20,000 government employees protest against national pension scheme

More than 20,000 central and state government employees from various departments assembled at Ranchi to protest against the national pension scheme.

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Members from employees’ unions of the state and central government and other associations from across India, united to lend their support to the national movement for old pension system (NMOPS). Members of the Secretariat Service Association, Policemen’s Association, Teacher’s Association and Paramedical Association along with the employees’ association of the Damodar Valley Association (DVC) and railways participated in the protest.

Although for the past couple of years, NMOPS has been working to revoke the new pension scheme launched by the Centre, it was the first gathering on such a grand scale, where the state as well as central- government employees united to raise their voice against the new system.

The protestors were explained the advantages and disadvantages of the new system by the officials of NMOPS. The protestors feel that the new scheme does not even let them have enough money to pay their monthly electricity bills. Under the new scheme, the contribution is mandatory for all new employees of the central government who have joined on or after Jan 1, 2004. In this contribution-based pension system, employees pay 10 per cent of their monthly wages and the government pays the same amount and the consolidated amount is invested in equity shares. Therefore, the pension is dependent on the stock market. In the old system, however, the entire pension amount was borne by the government and the employees received 50 per cent of the last drawn salary as pension.

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