One Rank One Pension: Need and Obstacles

One Rank One Pension: Need and Obstacles

Question: Principle of One Rank One Pension/OROP for the Armed Forces has been accepted by the Government. However, the implementation of the same is yet to be accomplished. Discuss the obstacles in the implementation of OROP. Also highlight the key issues underlying this system and need for it.

One Rank One Pension – What is it?

• OROP implies that uniform pension has to be paid to Armed Forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same duration of service regardless of date of retirement and future enhancement in rates f pension to be automatically passed to past pensioners

• This aims at closing the gap between rate of pension of current and past pensioners

• Future enhancements in the rate of pension have to be automatically passed on to past pensioners

• Equal pensions are demanded for those who have retired in a certain year while holding the same position as those who have retired in another year

Need for OROP

• Civilian employees retire at 60 while military personnel retire earlier in relation to rank; this is at a time when family liability is maximal and second careers are hard to build

• Sepoys retire at 35 to 38 while NCOs and JCOs retire at 40-45 and around 10 percent of sepoys become JCOs. Many officers retire in their early 50s and few serve till 60

• Terms as well as conditions of military service are harder than civilian government employees

• Soldiers also undergo hardships and postings with restriction of fundamental rights and risks to their lives

• Successive pay commissions have increased the gap between veterans who retired earlier and later
• Moreover, pay commissions have bumped the salaries of government servants while pensions of ex-servicemen has remained unchanged

• This disparity is extremely uncomfortable following the Sixth Pay Commission wherein a sepoy retiring before 1996 gets 82% lower pension than sepoy retiring after 2006

• Defence personnel also do not get to serve that many years so as to procure optimal pension


• The biggest obstacle is financial as grant of OROP will bloat the government’s pension bill

• It is also an administrative burden to pass on the benefits with no cut off date to living ex-servicemen

• It will also entail similar demands by other government employees such as paramilitary forces

Facts and Stats

The numbers involved

• There are currently 24.25 lakh registered ex-servicemen
• Over 13 lakh serving military personnel are there
• Rs 8,300 crore is the estimated cost of OROP
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