OROP means payment of uniform pension to military personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service. irrespective of their date of retirement.
In addition, any further enhancement in pension rates to be automatically passed on to past pensioners.
THE JUSTIFICATION OF DEMAND:
Military personnel retire much earlier, jawans retire at 35 -38, NCOs and JCOs at 40-45, most officers in early 50’s. They are denied opportunity for longer service at higher pay grades and hence, higher pensions.
Moreover, each Pay Commission widens gap between veterans who have retired earlier and those who retire later since retirement date also determines quantum of pension (50% of last pay drawn).
Terms and conditions of military service much tougher than civilian employees. Soldiers undergo prolonged hardship postings, risk to lives and restriction of fundamental rights.
PROBLEMS BEFORE THE GOVERNMENT:
1) FINANCIAL:Grant of full OROP will further bloat the government’s pension bill by Rs 8300 crore ahead of 7th pay commission in 2016.
2) ADMINISTRATIVE: Huge task to pass all the benefits, with no cut-off date, to all living ex-servicemen. Records of pensioners before 1980’s were maintained manually.
3) LEGAL:Will lead to similar demands by other government employees, especially paramilitary forces. Employees on contributory pension scheme since 2004 may demand return to fixed pensions.
SOURCE :SUNDAY TIMES OF INDIA, NEW DELHI, AUGUST 2015 page 10