In a major reform initiative, the Department of Military Affairs (DMA) has proposed a significant cut in the pension amount of military personnel taking retirement and suggested increasing the retirement age of certain categories of officers.
The move by the DMA, headed by Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, is part of a series of reforms aimed at ensuring efficient use of resources and manpower, the officials said.
As per the proposal, the retirement age of Colonels and equivalent rank in the Indian Army is sought to be increased to 57 years from the existing 54 years, the officials said.
Similarly, the retirement age of Brigadiers in the Indian Army is proposed to be increased to 58 years from the existing 56 years, and in the case of Major Generals, it is proposed at 59 years as against 58 years at present.
The same age bracket for retirement is proposed to be applied in equivalent ranks in the Indian Air Force and the Navy, the officials said.
As per the proposal, the retirement age for personnel in logistics, medical, technical some other branches will be 57 years.
According to the proposed pension disbursal plan, only those personnel completing over 35 years of service will be eligible for a full pension which comes to around 50 percent of the last drawn salary.
Under the proposed slab, an officer with 20 to 25 years of service will get 50 percent of entitled pension while those having 26 to 30 years of service will receive 60 percent of entitled pension.
The DMA has proposed that personnel with 31 to 35 years of service will get 75 percent of the entitled pension.
A note issued by the DMA last month asked the forces to process the draft GSL (Government Sanction Letter) for the secretary of the DMA by November 10. Chief of Defence Staff General Rawat is also secretary of the DMA.
The consistent rise in budget outlay for pensions of armed forces personnel has been an issue for the defence planners. A study was instituted earlier this year to analyse the feasibility of extending the retirement age of military personnel.
The size of defence budget for 2020-21 was Rs. 4.71 lakh crore out of which Rs. 1.33 lakh crore was set aside for payment of pensions.