Pension issues in SBI–a petition addressed to the Bank by Ramchandra Upadhyaya:



Image result for Indian pensionerQuite pertinently meaningful a petition addressed to the Chairperson of State Bank by Ramchandra Upadhyaya, a retiree as General Manager of the Bank, in most logical an order with facts and figures, is the one that warrants a close perusal by the pensioners of all cadres in India. I, on behalf of the pensioners and all the readers of this blog, owe a solemn gratitude to him. His petition is reproduced below:

21.8.2015

Madam,

GRIEVANCE

PENSION ANOMALIES IN SBI

Nonpayment of Pension to 7th Bipartite Pensioners of SBI (RETIREES)

For about a decade and a half due to the Bank’s inaction.

You may perhaps be aware that as per the provisions of the Regulation 23 (16)(a) of the SBIEPFR, a member, as defined in the Regulation 2 (g), against whom disciplinary proceedings under the Rules of Service applicable to him have been continued after he ceases to be in the Bank’s service, may be paid at the discretion of the Trustees a provisional pension of an amount not exceeding the maximum amount of pension which would have been admissible to such member under these regulations on the basis of qualifying service up to the date he ceases to be in the Bank’s service.

2. The competent authority had permitted the retirement of the RETIREES comprising employees who retired either under VRS or on attaining superannuation. Nevertheless, the Bank is still paying them provisional pension as if it has initiated disciplinary proceedings against all the 32,000 and odd pensioners which is a shame. It is pertinent to note that the Regulation 23 (16) (a) also reiterates that the quantum of pension is dependent on the qualifying service put in by a member., which once again goes to prove my point that as per the Regulations 2(h), 17, 20, 22&23 (1), the Bank should have computed pension payable to the RETIREES on the basis of the average substantive salary received during the last12 months’ pensionable service. I wish to point out further that as per the Regulation 22(1), “A member shall be entitled to a pension under these regulations on retiring from the Bank’s service.” Allowing this anomalous position to continue, therefore, even after the SBIEPFR document was gazetted on 18.9.2014 makes a MOCKERY of the Regulations, which are made by none other than the Central Board of the Bank in accordance with the provision of SBI Act. Defying the provisions of SBIEPFR would mean that the Bank does not care for, the provisions of the SBI Act, the instructions of the Central Government, and its Central Board. It is indeed highly disheartening to note that the management of the Bank is dithering to act as per the provisions of the SBIEPFR even after the MOF had given directions to the Bank that it may adhere to the existing provisions of SBIEPFR, vide paragraph 2 of its letter no 4/8.6/2006-IR (Vol II)  dated 31.3.2015.If it had been the intention of the MOF to reject the Bank’s proposal made in its letter dated 27.1.2015, it would have merely sent one line reply stating that the Bank’s proposal had not been considered favourably. The purpose of the contents of the 2ndparagraph of its letter appears to be to indicate in a subtle manner that the Bank can act as per the SBIEPFR which was prepared after obtaining its prior sanction.

3. As one of the 32,000 and odd aggrieved, I would request each one of the members of the management involved in the decision making process in regard to payment of pension to honestly and dispassionately consider the following observations.

3.1. When there are a set of guidelines for handling certain types of transactions, does it not mean that depending on the amounts involved, the appropriate authorities can decide as per the guidelines? If the answer is in the negative, the entire system of delegation of powers operating in the Bank would come to a standstill. Against this background, kindly find out one reason why the Bank could not have taken steps to remove the prevailing anomalies in pension payments as per the provisions of SBIEPFR? In this connection, I attach copies of correspondence exchanged between the Bank, RBI and the Central Government at the time of introduction of Pension to the employees of the Bank. In particular, I would draw your attention to the excerpts of paragraph 4 of the DBD note dated 10.7.1964. You would observe that the sanction from the Central Government was felt necessary only for framing the Pension Rules, after consultation with the RBI. Your attention is drawn to the concluding sentence of the paragraph reading, “the Rules will thereafter be submitted to the Central Govt. by the SBI for sanction after which they will once again be submitted to the Central Board of the State Bank for final approval” Nowhere in the correspondence there was any mention that the Bank should seek the prior sanction from the CG as and when revision in salary and allowances take place. This is because the revision in pension would inevitably follow when revision in salary and allowances take place. It is surprising that revisions in pensions arising out of revision in salary and allowances are treated as amendments to Pension Regulations by the Bank. It would appear that the “abundant precaution”mindset by the Bank’s personnel led to the unwarranted practice of putting up to the CG for sanction as and when the salary and allowances of its staff was revised.

3.2.Is the Bank justified in abusing its powers to withhold a major portion of pension due to the RETIREES overlooking the Supreme Courts observations in several pension related writ petitions (which are also binding on the Bank) to deny the RETIREES, the  right to their properties?

3.3. It is strange that the management of the Bank didn’t realise that the instructions issued to its Branches vide its circular letter no CDO: PM: CIR: 34 dated 31.10.2000 were not in conformity with the provisions of SBI Employees’ Pension Fund Rules 1955 and that none including the Central Government has powers to instruct the Bank to compute pension in a manner other than what is laid down in the SBIEPFR 1955.

3.4. How does the Bank expect the Central Government to convey its approval for the recommendations contained in its letter no CDO/PM/SM/16/SPL/208 dated 27.4.2015 as the anomaly of not paying pension to the RETIREES is the Bank’s own creation as it issued its circular letter dated 31.10.2000 in anticipation of approval there for from the latter? If the Bank could issue instructions on 31.10.2000 without the sanction of the CG, why does it now need sanction from the CG for complying with the provisions of the SBIEPFR?

4. Madam, a majority of the RETIREES had joined the Bank at a time when it had about 450 branches and most of the development activities took place due to their committed and persistent efforts.Should the RETIREES be denied their rightful pension for the sole reason that while in the the nascent state they contributed their mite but when the fruits of their labour led to the flowering of  development leading to higher growth in business  bringing in its wake,larger revenue and therefore larger cake is available, they would be denied any share of it?

5.. Madam, the past experience of the Bank would indicate that SBI employees’ pension is of least priority to the CG and, most of the time, it had not responded favourably to the Bank’s just recommendations. Because of the hasty and unwarranted action of the management of the Bank in 2000, the RETIREES have been left in the lurch. The latter have been literally caught between the devil (the Bank) and the deep sea. I do not know whether Nero was fiddling when Rome was burning but I know for sure that the successive managements of the Bank, who were supposed to provide succour to the Bank’s retired employees by taking corrective action in this sordid episode, had been passive onlookers while many of the RETIREES were reeling under misery caused by denial of the quantum of pension rightfully due to them and many of them lost their lives due to abject poverty.However, you deserve to be congratulated for the initiative you had taken in the recent past in regard to removal of anomalies in pension payments, which would also become a thing of the past if you don’t take decision at the Corporate office level itself as per the SBIEPFR, which has been made by the Bank’s Central Board in accordance with the provisions of the SBI Act (23 of 1955). As most of the RETIREES are very old and I am not sure how many would be surviving when the clearance from the CG would be received, I once again urge upon you to act forthwith as the removal of anomalies would result in only repayment of the hard earned benefits of the RETIREES and no risk is therefore involved in doing so. Above all, the suggested action is fully compliant with the Rules/Regulations associated with pension payments and hence none can accuse the Bank of having acted in an illegal manner.#

Yours faithfully,

P.P.R.Upadhyaya

# The relative enclosures to this document are not annexed for technical reasons.

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11 thoughts on “Pension issues in SBI–a petition addressed to the Bank by Ramchandra Upadhyaya:”

  1. A VERY CATEGORICAL, CONVINCING AND NICE PRESENTETION WHICH NEEDS TO BE PAID HEED IN ITS PROPER OERSPECTIVE, BY THE MADAM, CHAIRMAN ALONGWITH THE CENTRAL BOARD OF THE BANK TO RESOLVE THE LONG PENDING ISSUE ONCE FOR ALL AT THE BANKS LEVEL ITSELF TO CORRECT ITS OWN WRONG CREATION IN THE YEAR 2000.

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  2. Sir,
    In the first instance, congratulations to you for articulating in a candid manner, the sufferings, anguish and travails of the pensioners. I am sure you have mirrored the sentiments/feelings/helplessness of the remaining 27000 retirees. I wish you had brought out these points to the Bank’s Chairman in the year 2000, when the initial blunder was committed. I also wish the then Union/Association leaders had given a little thought to the matter when they remained indifferent to the problems of the pensioners.

    Having said this, we should feel somewhat comfortable that the present Chairman (unlike her predecessors) at least seems to be having an understanding of the subject. It may be difficult for her at this stage to take an independent decision and correct the wrong decisions taken by her predecessors. The only solution for the problem is for her to talk and convince the CG officials of the justification of the demands of the retirees. Let us hope this happens before some more pensioners leave this planet without seeing justice!

    Thanking you again,

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  3. In India and in our State Bank of India, we do not have people with guts, most of the guts are removed for playing with each other not allowing other to act or take decisions, until and unless we know to serve and serve our other fellow members we will not live a happy life, making best use of our power or potentiality, we lived as slaves under the british rule and still live like slave under a government who are elected representative with least qualification in the name of reservations and caste and community and not with their own right of serving the country or doing something that time will help them to be remembered for their great decisions or guts, God only help the country and the State Bank of India retired pensioners.

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  4. RESPECTIVE UPDHYAYA JI,AS YOU ARE AWARE THAT 7TH BIPARTITE RETIREES ARE BEING DEPRIVED OF LEGIMATE RIGHT OF REVISION OF PENSION, IT IS BEING FELT AS IF THIS KIN D OF PUNISHMENT INFLICTED ON INNOCENT RETIREES AS IS AWARDED TO ERRING EMPLOYEES.IT IS TO BE UNDERSTOOD THAT ALL THE ISSUES RELATING TO PENSION ARE TO BE ADDRESSED TO THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA,BANK CAN MERELY RECOMMEND OUR GRIEVENCES.EVERY THING IS KNOWN THE PRESENT CHAIRPERSON AND SHE REMAINED D.M.D AND C.D.O AND WERE DIRECTLY DEALING WITH GOVERNMENT OF INDIA ON THE CAPTIONED SUBJECT.MY CONTENTION IS BASE4D ONTHE PASTVEXPERIENCE OF R.BI EMPLOYEES AND LIC EMPLOYEES AS SHRI BIMAL JALLAN FORMER GOVERNOR,EVEN PASSED RESULATIONS IN THE CENTRAL BOARD OFR.B.I BUT THESE WERE TURNED DOWN BY THE GOVERNMENT OFINDIA,WHERE AS PER VARIOUS COURTS VERDICTS THAT THERE IN NO NEED TO REFER TO GOVERNMRNT OF INDIA IF THESE ARE APPROVED BY THE BOARDS OF RESPECTIVE INSTITUTIONS.BHUT THE GOVERNMENT DID NOT IMPLEMENTED THE UPDATION OFPENSIONIN R.B.I ANDLI.C.
    CONCLUDINGLY I AM OFCONSIDERD VIEW THAT ALL THE PENSIONRELATEDMATTERS/ANOMALIES CAN BE RESOLVED EITHER BY THE APPROVAL OF GOVERNMENTB OF INDIA OR DIRECTIVE TO GOVERNMENT OFINDIA BY THE APEX COURT.AS ALL OF US AWARE THE FATE OF VARIOUS RESULATIONS PASSED BY CENTRAL BOARD IN WHICH NOMINEE OF G.O.I IS ALSO A DIRETOR HAVE NEVER SEEN THE LIGHT OF THE DAY.
    I CONVEY MY HEARTFELT THANKS FOR YOUR ENDLESS EFFORTS WHICH ARE BEYOND DESCRIPTION IF I SAY YOU ARE MASTER IN S.B.I PENSION REGULATIONS IT WILL STILL SHORT OF THE KNOWLEDGE POSSED BY YOU.THESE AREMY HEARTFELT FEELINGS WHICH I AM UNABLE TO EXPRESS.YOU ARE FIGHTING FOR A NOBLE CAUSE OFPENSIONERS AND GOD BLESS YOU.
    K.R.SAINI

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  5. All confusion has been created by our own brothern as if they were the bread giver and not going to retire ever hope the eloborate representation by Shri Upadhaya ji may bring some positive response from the Management.

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  6. In terms of the SBI Act our Central Board is fully empowered to take decisions as to the payment of pensions as stipulated in the SBI Act and the Regulations and the SBI Employees Pension Fund Rules. The Act does not empower the C.G./MOF in that behalf. The Act also does not empower the C. G./MOF to interfere in to the day today affairs of the Bank and those in respect of its staff, except only where Public interest is involved. The C.G./MOF approval is required for establishment and maintenance of the Pension Fund. By the Bank’s unnecessarily seeking approval/permission of the CG/MOF, they have assumed extra-constitutional authority and unwarrantedly interfering where they are not empowered to by the Act.

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  7. FROM SAMVAD FOR SEPTEMBER,2015:
    For information of SBI Pensioners, we are publishing hereunder the relevant provisions of Sec 50(o) (2), of SBI ACT 1955, according to which the SBI need to consult RBI and get approval of Central Government for giving any benefit to Pensioners, although the Pension is computed as per SBI Pension RegulationNo.23(Sub Regulation No.1,2&3) – Secretary **

    The State Bank of India Act 1955 (23 of 1955) Section 50: Power of Central Board to make regulations :- (1) The Central Board may, after consultation with the Reserve Bank and with the previous sanction of the Central Government [by notification in the official Gazette], make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act and the rules made there under, to provide for all matters for which provision is expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act. (2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for – (O) the establishment and maintenance of superannuation, pension, provident or other funds- for the benefit of the employees of the State Bank or of the dependents of such employees or for the purposes of the State Bank, and the granting of superannuation allowances, annuities and pensions payable out of any such fund; (2A) All regulations made under this section shall have effect from such earlier or later date may be as specified in the regulations.)

    The inference taken out from the above that the SBI need to consult RBI and get approval of Central Government for giving any benefit to Pensioners, although the Pension is computed as per SBI Pension Regulation No. 23 (Sub Regulation No.1,2&3) made by the Central Board of the SBI, already in consultation with the RBI and with the prior approval of the C.G., does not appear to me as correct.
    RP GUPTA

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  8. IMPEDIMENTS IN REMOVAL OF THE ANAMOLIES IN PENSION OF THE SBI RETIREES
    In terms of Section 50(o), (2) of the SBI Act,1955, SBI need to consult the RBI and get approval of the C.G. to make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act and the rules made there under, to provide for all matters for which provision is expedient for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of this Act. (2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such regulations may provide for(O) the establishment and maintenance of Superannuation Pension, Provident or other funds for the benefit of the employees of SBI and the granting of Superannuation allowances, annuities, and pensions payable out of such funds.
    The inference taken out from the above by the Pensioners Associations/Federation that the SBI need to consult RBI and get approval of Central Government for giving any benefit to Pensioners, although the Pension is computed as per SBI Pension Regulation No. 23 (Sub Regulation No.1, 2 & 3) made by the Central Board of the SBI, already in consultation with the RBI and with the prior approval of the C.G., does not appear to me as correct.
    2. The same appears to be the contention of the Corporate Office, and hence the issue is in the dilatory process since the last fifteen years. The non-utilization of the well set Delegation of Powers in existence, by the Central Board of the Bank, appears to have come to a standstill; needs to be given a push by giving a go by to the mind set of abundant precaution prevailing at the Corporate Office level and this much needed and long awaited task needs to be taken care of by our respected PERSON at the helm of affairs of the Bank and in her taking this dynamic step, may in consultation with the Solicitors of the Bank, no power on the earth can accuse/question her.
    -R.P. Gupta
    EXTRACT FROM THE LETTER OF PP RAMCHANDRA UPADHYAYA, OUR EX GEN. MANAGER ADDRESSED TO SHRI KR SAINI:
    “I am only stating that what is permissible/admissible as per our pension rules, framed by the Bank’s Central Board should not be referred to the Central Government whose task ends with the giving approval for the Rules as proposed by the Central Board. It should not meddle with the pension payment practice followed by the Bank.
    In the case of SBI, the management was so chicken hearted that it did not have courage to implement Supreme court order dated 23.2.89. I am not asserting that my efforts would succeed but I am interested in pensioners knowing that there is no truth in the Bank’s version that it is not getting Govt’s sanction. If the Bank realizes its folly well and good. But unfortunately, there is already propaganda that the Bank can’t do anything without the approval of the Govt. It is here that I would state that the Bank is not functioning as an autonomous body but as a department under the Central Government. What prevents it from of the Regulations applying the provisions and pay pension to the 7th bipartite retirees?

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