One Rank, One Pension (OROP): Ex-servicemen holding same rank and same length of service to get same pension
The One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme for ex-servicemen was recently in news on 16 June 2015 as the scheme is likely to be rolled out ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls 2015.
The One Rank, One Pension is a scheme that lays down that the retired soldiers of the same rank and length of service will receive the same pension, regardless of when they retire. The scheme was laid out in 2014, but has not been implemented yet due to some technical calculations and interpretations.
Under OROP, a soldier who retired in 1995 would get the same amount of pension as the one who retired in 1996. The scheme will benefit ex-servicemen drawing pensions from the OROP scheme, especially those who retired before 2006 as at present, pensioners who retired before 2006 draw less pension than their counterparts and even their juniors.
The scheme will benefit all three services- Air Force, Navy and Army. The NDA Government in its 2015 Budget announcement allotted 1000 crore rupees for the scheme.
Reason behind delay in implementing OROP
Some of the officials within the Union Ministry of Defence (MoD) have been against the implementation of OROP citing financial, administrative and legal impediments.
In 2011, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare of the MoD pointed out to a parliamentary committee that OROP was not feasible to be implemented since documents of military personnel are removed after 25 years, which is not true.
In reality, the Pension Payment Orders of pensioners, which contain all relevant details such as the rank last held and the length of service are retained during the lifetime of each pensioner. All these details are available in a document called Long Roll which is maintained in perpetuity in terms of Regulation 592 of the Regulations for the Army.
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