Retired officers and workers from nationalized banks and the State Bank of India (SBI) are concerned because there has been no action taken to update their pensions, even though there was an agreement about this 30 years ago. The Reserve Bank of India, on the other hand, did update the pensions for its retirees in 2019 and 2023.
A person named A Raghavan, who used to be in charge of the State Banks’ Staff Union and the SBI Pensioners’ Association in Kerala, said that the government has said there’s no plan to increase the pensions of employees from commercial banks. The Minister of State for Finance, Bhagwat Karad, mentioned in the Lok Sabha that pensions were introduced for these banks’ employees through an agreement in 1993.
The banks made regulations for employee pensions based on laws from the 1970s and 1980s, and these regulations do not allow for pension updates. However, pensioners from banks do get increased payments over time to account for rising living costs.
The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) stated that the issue of updating bank pensions is under review by the Supreme Court. They also said that there’s no provision to update pensions and that it’s not reasonable or financially viable to give bank pensioners the same updates as government employees.
Raghavan disagreed, saying that data from RTI documents show that banks have around ₹3.5 lakh crore available as of March 2022 to cover the costs of pension updates. Pensioner associations point to agreements signed in the past that mention plans for pension schemes similar to those in the Reserve Bank of India.
In 1993, there was an agreement involving many banks and their workers that outlined plans for a pension scheme. A small committee was formed to work out the details of the scheme, based on the RBI’s regulations and government pension rules. The committee agreed on a formula for pension updates similar to the RBI’s scheme, but any changes needed mutual agreement.