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One Rank, One Pension (OROP) for Indian armed forces

One Rank, One Pension has been a long-lasting demand of millions of ex-servicemen of India. The Defence Minister of India Shri Manohar Parrikar has announced the One Rank One Pension scheme for the Ex-Servicemen.

Modi government took major step to implement this scheme as the issue of "One Rank One Pension" (OROP) has been awaiting for approximately four decades. Retired defence personnel and war widows have been demonstrating for the enactment of One Rank One Pension for more than three decades. The agitation gained impetus in the last few months with a group starting protests at Delhi's Jantar mantar and some of them even going on fast-unto-death. It was a matter of deep distress that the various governments remained undecided on the issue of OROP.

The Government held detailed talks with experts and Ex-Servicemen. The main debate for One Rank, One Pension is that the Defence personnel retire early and therefore are not able to get the benefits of serving till normal retirement age. Regardless of the enormous economic burden, the Government decided to implement the OROP as commitment was given for the wellbeing of Ex-Servicemen.

Concept of One Rank, One Pension infers a uniform pension is paid to the defence employees retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, regardless of their date of retirement. Future improvements in the rates of pension would be routinely passed on to the past pensioners. This suggests that it bridges the gap between the rate of pension of current and past pensioners at periodic intervals. Any hike in pension rates to be automatically passed on to past pensioners. The date of retirement determines the amount of pension. With each Pay Commission coming up with its recommendations every 10 years, the military personnels who retire early, receive less pension as com-pared to those who retired later with the same rank and length of service.

Under One Rank, One Pension, a Captain who retired in 1996, for instance, would get the same amount of pension as the one who retired in 1997. Who will get advantage from OROP scheme?

Ex-servicemen who draw pensions will be benefited from the One Rank, One Pension scheme, particularly those who retired before 2006. Because at present, pensioners who retired before 2006 get less pension as compared to their colleagues and even their subordinates. The scheme will benefit all three services that include air force, navy and army.

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