Old pension scheme: The Maharashtra government on Friday told the Bombay High Court that the ongoing strike by Maharashtra State government employees seeking restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) is illegal and the Court should take cognizance of the same [Gunratan Sadavarte v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.].
Lakhs of employees in Maharashtra have been on an indefinite strike from March 14 seeking restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), which had been scrapped by the State in 2005. The strike has reportedly affected the health services at government hospitals, schools, and colleges. It has also impacted government offices in rural areas.
The Court issued notice to all respondent authorities and the employee unions, and posted the matter for hearing on March 23. The petitioner, Sadavarte, appearing in-person, pointed out that public health service employees working in State run hospitals, sanitation workers and teachers are also on strike.
What is Old Pension Scheme?
Old Pension Scheme (OPS) is a retirement scheme approved by the central government which provides a monthly pension to the beneficiaries till the end of their life service. Under this, the amount of monthly pension is equal to half of the last salary drawn by an individual.
What is New Pension Scheme?
New Pension Scheme (NPS) is the latest retirement scheme in which the beneficiaries will be able to withdraw 60% of the amount invested after retirement.
It was made mandatory for all new recruits to the Government service (except armed forces) with effect from January 1, 2004, and has also been rolled out for all citizens with effect from May 1,2009, on voluntary basis.
Why employees are protesting against NPS?
Under Old Pension Scheme (OPS), the pension amount is provided by the government, which increases its liability, whereas the NPS has a contributory mechanism from the employee as well as the government.