The pensioners’ plights

On retirement the pensioners lose everything they were used to while in service, like – personal peon, vehicle, telephone, bungalow, etc. besides their own monthly pay. In that manner they come to an end of one phase of their life and enter into a new environment. They are insecured socially and financially and often find difficulties to keep their families survived. Therefore, after retirement, they fully depend on their savings like provident fund, gratuity, commuted pension, leave encashment, retirement T.A., etc. for the survival of their family.

Every pensioner has the responsibility to ensure that after his retirement his family is not thrown to the wolves socially and economically. Pension is a social security for the family which helps them to live a reasonable and a decent life. Therefore, pension must be sanctioned within the prescribed period of 6 (six) months of retirement so that the pensioners would be able to live free from want with decency, dignity and self respect. However, in some unavoidable cases, if delays are anticipated, provisional pension should be sanctioned immediately as per the Pension Rules applicable to Nagaland Employees.

Pension is neither a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employers. It is also not an ex gratia payment. But it’s a deferred wage for the past service rendered by the pensioners. It is hard money which has been earned by the sweat of the pensioners’ brow. It is therefore the statutory responsibility of the govt. to pay pension to the retirees within the prescribed time.

The problems of the pensioners has been seriously aggravated during the last few years. Some of the plights of the pensioners are as under :

(1)    No separate pension cell to deal with the grievances of the pensioners,

(2)    For any pension matter we go to A.G.’s office. But we are restricted to enter into the Pension Branch,

(3)    There is no proper waiting sheds both in the Treasuries and in the Banks where the pensioners are waiting for hours together,

(4)    No toilet facility for pensioners both in the Treasuries and in the Banks,

(5)    No drinking water facility is available,

(6)    Most of the staff dealing with the pension matters both in the Treasuries and in the Banks appear to be not properly trained in pension procedures,

(7)    In some cases, the pension papers are not processed even for years together for the reason best known to them,

(8)    There are no post retirement schemes, and many more grievances.

Just a few days back, there was a complaint in the local paper that payment of retirement T.A. for those who retired some 4/5 years back had not been sanctioned in the Public Works Department. The victims are said to be about 300 and are mostly III grade and IV grade employees. The reason why their retirement T.A. are held back is best known to the department. However, the retirement T.A., being a part of pensionary benefits, it should be sanctioned by the concerned departntment/ Head of the office within the prescribed time. Besides, there are a lot of stories that many pension cases are being held up in the respective offices as well as in A.G.’s office.

Therefore, in the interest o all concerned and as per the Pension Rules as applicable to. Nagaland services, the pending pension cases should immediately be disposed off. As per the chapter VII of Clause 64(6)(a) of CCSP(RULES) as applicable to the Nagaland services, the payment of pension shall not continue beyond the period of 6 (six) months from the date of retirement of the govt. servant. Again, Sub Rule (7) of the same chapter and same Clause says that, provided the amount of pension and gratuity could not be determined by the Head of office in consultation with the A.G. within a period of  6 (six) months, the A.G. shall treat the provisional pension and gratuity as final and issue Pension payment order (PPO) immediately on expiry of the period of 6 (six) months.

It is hoped that the authority will try their best to solve the plights of the pensioners at the soonest time. It is a1se our prayer that the authority of the Public Works department will attend to the plight of the pensioners under the department, and sanction may be granted for drawal of retirement T.A. of the 300 retirees under their department.

Former Executive Secretary
Nagaland Pensioners Association