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Business News/ News / India/  Select central govt staff get a one-time option to opt for Old Pension Scheme
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Select central govt staff get a one-time option to opt for Old Pension Scheme

Old Pension Scheme: The select group of government servants can opt for this option by August 31, 2023

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Old Pension Scheme

In the major order by the Centre, a select group of central government employees has got a one-time option to opt for the old pension scheme. According to the latest notification by the Ministry of Personnel, the employees who joined the central government services against posts advertised or notified before December 22, 2003, the day National Pension System (NPS) was notified, are eligible to join the old pension scheme under the Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 (now 2021).

The select group of government servants can opt for this option by August 31, 2023. The option once exercised shall be final, the ministry said.

The move came following various representations/references and court decisions in this regard, it said.

"Representations have been received...from the government servants appointed on or after 01.01.2004 requesting for extending the benefit of the pension scheme under Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 (now 2021) on the ground that their appointment was made against the posts/vacancies advertised/notified for recruitment prior to notification for National Pension System, referring to court judgments of various Hon'ble High Courts and Hon'ble Central Administrative Tribunals allowing such benefits to applicants," the order said.

The ministry said that after the consultation with the Department of Financial Services, Department of Personnel & Training, Department of Expenditure, and Department of Legal Affairs the decision was taken.

"It has now been decided that, in all cases where the central government civil employee has been appointed against a post or vacancy which was advertised/ notified for recruitment/appointment, prior to the date of notification for National Pension System i.e. 22.12.2003 and is covered under the National Pension System on joining service on or after 01.01.2004, may be given a one-time option to be covered under the CCS(Pension) Rules, 1972 (now 2021)," the order said.

Those government servants who are eligible to exercise the option, "but who do not exercise this option by the stipulated date", would continue to be covered by the National Pension System, the order stated.

The matter regarding coverage under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 (now 2021), based on the option exercised by the government servant, shall be placed before the appointing authority.

In case the government servant fulfils the conditions for coverage under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 (now 2021), the necessary order in this regard shall be issued latest by 31st October 2023, the Ministry of Personnel added.

It must be noted that the NPS account of such government servants would be closed with effect from December 31, 2023.

The National Movement for Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS), an umbrella body of more than 14 lakh central and state government employees, has welcomed the government decision.

"It is a good news for the eligible central government employees. We again ask the central government to amend the existing NPS to ensure that the benefits of old pension scheme can be extended to all central government staff," NMOPS Delhi unit head Manjeet Singh Patel said.

What is OPS and NPS?

Under Old Pension Scheme (OPS), employees get a defined pension. An employee is entitled for a 50 per cent amount of the last drawn salary as pension.

OPS was discontinued by the NDA government in 2003 with effect from April 1, 2004.

Whereas under the new pension scheme(NPS), employees contribute 10% of their basic salary towards pension while the government contributes 14%.

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Published: 04 Mar 2023, 05:54 AM IST
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