With the aim of seeking restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), Maharashtra government employees have decided to organise a ‘Family March.’ Approximately 1.7 million government and semi-government workers in Maharashtra will be a part of this march on 8 November 2023.
The employees are unhappy with the Maharashtra government because it hasn’t met their requests for the old pension plan (OPS). This plan ensured a guaranteed and dependable source of income after retirement. However, the plan was stopped in the state in 2005, when the government introduced the New Pension Scheme (NPS).
As per the NPS, a state government worker puts in 10 per cent of their basic salary and dearness allowance, and the state also contributes an equal amount. These funds are then put into one of the approved pension funds by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), and the earnings depend on the stock market.
Hence, the workers want the state to reinstate the OPS, as the employees used to receive a monthly pension, which is half of their last salary, without needing to make any contributions.
The march will be organised in all the districts and tehsils of the state with the slogan, ‘My Family, My Pension,’ with the workers going to the offices of district collectors and tehsildars to ask for what they want. Additionally, in case the march doesn’t get a satisfactory response, the workers will go on an indefinite strike on 14 December, 2023 to insist on the OPS.
Along with the OPS, the workers are also asking for the reversal of indirect privatisation in the education sector and want all vacant job positions to be filled. Responding to this request, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stated on Sunday, 22 October 2023, that the government is determined to provide job and education reservations for the Maratha community.