Clarification /Fixation of Disability Pension as per DESW Orders dated 29.01.2019

Dear Sir,

  1. Many ESMs are asking me likely benefit that may accrue to them  following issue of Min of Def letter No: 16(3)/2017/D(Pen/Policy) letter dated 29 Jan 2019. Click here to view the letter.
  2. It may kindly noted that the minimum guaranteed pension is for casuality personnel (i.e. disabled soldiers or war injured soldiers), special family pensioners and dependents sanctioned liberalized dependent pension w.e.f. 01 Jan 2016. This letter does not pertain to normal Ex-Servicemen or ladies drawing ordinary or enhanced rate of ordinary family pension. The letter dated 29 Jan 2019 at para 2 stipulates minimum guaranteed pension as under:-

(a) Para 2.1 is fixation of minimum Disability Pension (Service Element + Disability Element) with any percentage of disability of Rs 18,000 pm.
(b) Para 2.2 fixes minimum Disability Pension for those whose disability percentage is not less than 60% whose disability pension should not be less than 60% of last pay drawn subject to minimum of Rs 18,000 pm.
(c) Para 2.3 fixes minimum Special Family pension at Rs 18,000 pm to wives of soldiers died while performing military duties. This excludes ESMs and ordinary family pensioners or those drawing Enhanced rate of OFP.
(d) Para 2.4 fixes Dependent Liberalised Pension of children of soldiers martyred at not less than Rs 18,000 pm.

  1. Many ESMs posed a question to me from the time the ibid Min of Def letter dated 29 Jan 2019 is issued : Does it benefit me? Let us analyse each of the above cases.
  1. (a) Disability Element. w.e.f. Jan 2016 disability element has been broad banded which is 50% irrespective whether the disability percentage is between 20% and 49% (disability granted prior to Jan 2016). That means disabled soldier irrespective of date of retirement even with 20% disability is now drawing disability element as if he is granted 50% disability from 01 Jan 2016. The disability element is 60% of pension (or 30% of last pay drawn) for 100% disability. For 50% disability it is 30% of pension or 15% of last pay drawn.

(b) Disability Pension  = service element + disability element.

(c) Minimum Disability Pension Being Drawn Already w.e.f. 01 Jan 2016. We take the poorest of the poor soldiers i.e. Sepoy with 15 years’ service and of trade group Y for our analysis of ibid Govt letter dated 29 Jan 2019.

(i)      Service element = is Rs 17,129
(ii)     Disability Element is Rs 5,139 (30% of pension)
(iii)    Disability Pension = Rs 17129 + 5139 = Rs 22,268
(iv)     Disability pension he is already drawing w.e.f. 01 Jan 2016 = Rs 22,268.
(v)     How does minimum of Rs 18,000 now sanctioned by the Min of Def in anyway benefit a disabled solider with 20% disability w.e.f. 01 Jan 2016 as he is already drawing Rs 22,268 as his disability pension? So none of the ESMs irrespective of their rank benefit from this Min of Def letter dated 29 Jan 2019.

(d) Disability Pension for Disabled Soldier whose Disability is not less than 60%. Let us examine this case too to see whether the ibid Min of Def letter dated 29 Jan 2019 gets him any benefit to such disabled soldiers. Pension of Sepoy with 15 years’ service and of Group Y as on Jan 2016 is as under:-

(i) Service Element. Rs 17,129
(ii) Disability Element with 60% rounded off to 75% due to Broad banding w.e.f. Jan 2016. Rs 17169 x 0.6 x 0.75 = Rs 7,708
(iii) Disability pension already being drawn = Rs 17129 + Rs 7708 = Rs 24,837.
(iv) Minimum guaranteed Disability pension is not less than 60% of last pay drawn = service element + disability element
(v) Service element = Rs 17129.
(vi) Disability element for disability not less than 60% of Last Pay drawn = 17129 x 2 x 0.60   = Rs 20,555 pm.
(vii) Does this ibid Min of Def letter of 29 Jan 2019 give any benefit to such disabled soldiers who are NOT invalided when they sustained disability but given sheltered appointment till the time of discharge on completion of terms of engagement?

5       Then who does this ibid Min of Def letter benefit? It may benefit only those who are invalided out of service as being unfit for military duties anymore. Generally, invalidment is done only if disability percentage is not less than 60%. Assume a Sepoy who sustained injuries which is more than 60% in his first year of service (war injured soldiers are not invalided in spite of 100% disability). His disability pension is as under:-

(a) Service Element – Rs 17129 pm
(b) Disability Element @ 75% disability due to broad banding = 17129 x 0.6 x0.75 = Rs 7708 pm
(c) Disability pension he is already drawing w.e.f. Jan 2016 = Rs     17129  + Rs 7708 = Rs 24,837 pm
(d) Disability Pension now fixed at minimum 60% of Last Pay Drawn subject to minimum of Rs 18000 = Rs 17129 + Rs 17129 x 0.6 x 0.6  = Rs 20,555 (subject to minimum of Rs 18,000)
(e) Even a Sepoy with six months service and invalided draws more than minimum of Rs 18,000
(f)  Observation: The minimum guaranteed disability pension does not benefit even a sepoy with six months service of Group Y and invalided from service. No disabled sepoy of 15 years’ service and of Y Group is benefited by ibid Min of Def letter dated 29 Jan 2019.

  1. Family Pensioners. The wives of soldiers who die and whose death is attributable to or aggravated by military service are sanctioned Special Family pension. The special family pension is 60% of last pay drawn or double the Ordinary family pension. The ibid Min of Def letter has fixed minimum Special Family pension at Rs 18,000 pm. The special family pension w.e.f Jan 2016 already being drawn by Special Family Pensioners of soldier who put in just six months service is 7000 x 2.57 = Rs 17,990. But soldiers can join at age of 20 years and till they put in 5 years’ service are not permitted to marry. The earliest service a Sepoy who dies while performing military duty is 5 years and then only SFP is granted to his wifew. The SFP of wife of such sepoy being Rs 17, 990, she is benefitted by Rs 10 as the minimum is Rs 18,000 pm.Wives of Sepoys who die with 5.5 years of service are already drawing SFP of Rs 18095 (=7041 x 2.57).  So ibid Min of Def letter also does not benefit wives of Sepoys whose husbands died with 5.5 years of service or more.
  1. Dependent Children Sanctioned Liberalised Dependent Pension. This pension is granted to children of martyred soldiers whose wives pre-deceased them. The minimum age at which a soldier is permitted to marry is 25 years. Even then let us see if a solider with just six months service is martyred, does his child get a benefit of minimum guaranteed pension of Rs 18,000 assuming his wife has pre-deceased him. The soldier whose service is just six months and martyred at the age of 20 or 20.5 years, then his child gets Liberalised Dependent pension of Rs 6183 x 2.57 = Rs 15,890. But you do not come across soldiers marrying at the age of 20 years. But if a soldier gets married at the age of 25 years and assuming he dies with 5.5 years of service then his dependent child gets pension of Rs 18,095. Even such children also do not get any benefit from the ibid Min of Def letter dated 29 Jan 2018.
  1. Summary.

(a) No disabled soldier of any disability percentage of any rank gets any benefit as his present pension is more than Rs 18,000 pm.
(b) No wife of soldier with 5.5 years or more service gets benefit of ibid Min of Def letter as they draw more than Rs 18,000 pm as SFP.
(c) No child of martyred soldier with service of 5.5 years of more gets benefit of ibid Min of Def letter as they are already drawing pension more than Rs 18,000.

  1. If someone can point out benefit of this ibid Min of Def letter, I will be highly obliged as I might have made some mistakes. Click on this link to view the MS Excel sheet showing these details.

Warm regards,
Brig CS Vidyasagar (Rtd)
TSEWA- 140


  1. Ak shukal

    Sir jinhone medical ground par 9 year ki service ke bad volunteer discharge liya ho aur unhe sirf disability element mil rha ho 20 percentage..
    Kya unko bhi minimum 18000 pansion milega.

    Kyuki only disability element 5500 ke aas pas hoti hai.

    To minmum pansion ke criteria me aese log bhi aayenge kya..

    June 5, 2019 Reply
  2. Alok Kundu

    i am an ex. indian navy sailor who was released from service after completion of 10 years of initial engagement with disability @ 30% granted for life. I was debarred of service element as i have a non pensionable tenure but given disability element of disability pension @ 1663 per month. will I be benefited with this letter. secondly was it correct that i was not sanctioned service element. kindly clarify.
    thanks sir, in advance

    April 28, 2019 Reply
    • Ak shukal

      Kundu sir
      My query also same.
      Mobile no plz

      June 5, 2019 Reply

    U do not know what is happening in defence.

    February 10, 2019 Reply
  4. Shaik Masthan

    Sir, Good Evening,
    I request more clarification,
    I think Service element is applicable only when Where an Armed Forces personnel is invalided out of service which is accepted as attributable to or aggravated by Military service, he/she shall be entitled to disability pension consisting of service element and disability element.

    Rule 53. (a) of Pension Regulation for Army Part-I states An individual released/retired/discharged on completion of term of engagement or on completion of service limits or on attaining the prescribed age (irrespective of his period of engagement), if found suffering from a disability attributable to or aggravated by military service and so recorded by Release Medical Board, may be granted disability
    element in addition to service pension or service gratuity from the date of
    retirement/discharge, if the accepted degree of disability is assessed at 20 percent or more.

    but Para 2.1 of the order dated 29 Jan 2019 speaks only about service element plus disability element,
    It implies that the order is applicable only for invalided cases ???

    February 4, 2019 Reply
  5. Ajit singh

    Sir,Sailor Y group who is invalid board out from navy in 1997 with 60% disability for one year. After RSMB disability is less than 20%. Since only service element is sanctioned. Presently pension is less than 18000/-
    Sir according to letter dt.29.01.18 minimum pension will 18000/- or not in above case ?
    Service is less than 5 year.
    Sir 1 more clarification for disability pension. Is disability pension converted to invalid pension after disability less than 20% by RSMB?

    February 2, 2019 Reply
  6. Brig R Vinayak, VSM

    Your analysis of the 29 Jan 2019 letter to me is very convincing. I too agree that it doesn’t benefit anyone unless those NOKs granted Ordinary Family Pensioners (OFP) as death of the deceased soldier was opined as Not Attributed to our Not Aggravated (NANA) by Military Service are included in this letter.

    In my opinion in order to make this letter meaningful the minimum pension of Rs 18,000/- should be made applicable to those granted OFP in case of NANA.

    The numbers affected will be miniscule hence financial implications negligible but payoffs will be tremendous. Thus strongly recommended.

    February 2, 2019 Reply

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