On 24th August 2022, Indian Banks Association (IBA) filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court stating that it would neither be appropriate nor possible for the Banks to consider the request of the Representation/Claim requesting for Updation of Pension. Bank Employees Federation of India (BEFI) points out in its letter to IBA on 22nd September 2022 that this stand of IBA is totally unacceptable and contradictory to its (IBA’s) own earlier stand on this issue. Here are excerpts of the above mentioned letter of BEFI.
We came across the Affidavit in subject in regard to representation/claim of the petitioners for Updation of Pension. We understand from the Affidavit that a Committee was formed to consider the representation/claim of the petitioners and similarly placed persons. It is also understood that the said Committee had to be reconstituted as the Chairman of the Committee demitted the office.
As per Para 3 of the Affidavit, “The Committee formed by the Indian Banks’ Association, for the purpose above, discussed all aspects and also heard the Representatives of various Workman Unions and Officers Associations and the Committee has concluded as under :-“.
Subsequently Para 3.1 to Para 4.1 has been narrated in the Affidavit as submission of the said Committee formed by IBA for the purpose.
So far as hearing of various Workman Associations as mentioned in Para 3 is concerned, we would like to put on record that BEFI was never given any scope of such hearing by IBA on the subject matter. Quite obviously, we disown the comments of IBA narrated in Para 3.1 to 4.1 in the Affidavit.
Regarding this Para 3.7, apprehensions/confusions are mainly on two counts:
Firstly, it is not clear if the IBA is averse to Updation of Pension at par with Central Government Employees or Updation itself.
Secondly and more importantly, the IBA commented that Updation of Pension would not be financially viable. How this has been ascertained is not clear.
In the minutes dated 10.12.2020, the IBA commented inter alia that, “The current details of the Pension Fund in various Banks are being collected and based on these details, actuarial working also needs to be done. These processes would be expedited to take the issue further forward and IBA /Banks would take decisions subject to Government’s approval”.
In the minutes dated 04.01.2021, the IBA commented that, “IBA is actively evaluating the issue as demanded by the Associations, for which an actuary is appointed”.
The actuarial calculation, if at all completed, has not been made known to the Unions/Associations.
Whatever may it be, IBA must start discussion on the outcome of the actuarial calculations with the Unions/Associations.
Clause 12 of the Settlement dated 29.10.1993 reads, “Provisions will be made by a scheme to be negotiated and settled between parties to this Settlement by 31st December 1993 for applicability, qualifying service, amounts of pension, payment of pension, commutation of pension, family pension, updating and other general conditions etc. on the lines as are in force in the Reserve Bank of India”.
Since pension for the employees and officers of Reserve Bank of India has been revised in 2019 with a definite formula; denial of Updation of Pension for those under BEPR, 1995 on the plea of not provisioned is factually incorrect and hence not at all acceptable.
During negotiation, the IBA agreed that for Updation of Pension the opinion of common actuarial calculation will be undertaken in determining the financial requirements. Subsequently, the two Supplementary Minutes were signed on 10.12.2020 and 04.01.2021 with commitment of actuarial calculation.
In the circumstances narrated herein above, we consider that IBA must come out with actual position of the actuarial exercise, if undertaken, and also demand that IBA clarifies its view on the basis of Updation of Pension.