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08/05/2011

New Pension Scheme for railway employees challenged

New Pension Scheme for railway employees challenged

The new pension scheme introduced by the Union Government for railway employees has been challenged in the Madras Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal.

An employee of the southern railway and Dakshin Railway Employees Union (DREU) have challenged the scheme terming it unconstitutional and invalid.
According to the new scheme, employees appointed on or after 01.01.1994 in the Railways would be governed by the new pension scheme which would be governed by ‘Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority’ which would function under the overall control of Ministry of Finance. According to the new scheme, 10% of Pay and DA of an employee would be deducted and an equal amount would be contributed by the central government.
The entire pension scheme is being authorized through various executive orders, which cannot be done to govern the retirement benefits of government employees which has to be in tune with Articles 41 to 43 of the Constitution, alleges the application. The notifications issued by the government constituting PFRDA dated 10.10.2003 and 14.11.2008 are unconstitutional, as they have not been issued by the President of India and authenticated as required under Article 77 of the Constitution and the ordnance sanctioning this also lapsed in 2005, which renders the entire process without authority of law alleges DREU in its application.

The new pension scheme, which is mandatory to government employees curtails them from exercising any option said V. Daniel, a Helper in Southern Railway. According to the New Pension Scheme, any citizen of India can join the Scheme and they can choose their Fund Managers or opt for different schemes whereas no such option is available to government servants.

The application also raised serious apprehension over the way in which their funds are being exposed to market risk and they cite the risk clause in the offer document of the NPS which says that “there are no guarantee on investments and investments involve risks such as trading volumes, settlement risk, liquidity risk, default risk, including possible loss of principal’. The application also cited the statement of PFRDA Chairman that pension fund managers regulated by PFRDA are not giving minimum guarantee on returns in their products.

Besides seeking quashing of the notification and grant retiral benefits to all employees on par with those who joined prior to January 1994, the application sought an interim injunction against the notification and also to release family pension and gratuity to certain employees who died after the introduction of the new scheme.

The matter came up before the Madras Bench of the CAT comprising Members K. Elango and R. Satapathy. Counsel R. Vaigai advanced arguments on behalf of the DREU and highlighted how the funds of the employees are being entrusted with private players and are subjected to undue risks. She also apprised the Bench that the government as an employer cannot transfer its funds to a private player and expect him to discharge government’s obligation.
After hearing the arguments on behalf of the applicant and of the central government, the Bench ordered interim relief directing the railway authorities to offer gratuity and family pension to all employees who joined after January 2004 within four weeks from the date of application and posted the matter for June 1.

Source: Lawetal News

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25



Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974



Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.



6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:



6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:



6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.



Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.



(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.



(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.



(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.



If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.




Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below



Age Group PME Due



Age 00-45 every 4yrs



Age 45-55 every 2yrs



Age 55-60 every year
Details:-
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you
SMLokhande





6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.