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Other Circular

Dear Comrades,

We reproduce herein below the letter addressed by AIIPA to the Hon’ble Finance Minister, Government of India, New Delhi, with regard to the issues of insurance pensioners, which is self-explanatory.


28th September 2013


Shri. P.Chidambaram,
Hon’ble Minister for Finance,
Government Of India,
NEW DELHI.

Dear Sir,


Issues of Insurance Pensioners


We, from the ALL INDIA INSURANCE PENSIONERS’ ASSOCIATION (AIIPA), representing a major chunk of Pensioners from the Public Sector Insurance Industry, are happy to note that the Government has taken a timely decision to constitute the Seventh Central Pay Commission  for upward revision of wages for the Central Government employees that would benefit the Central Government Pensioners too.

Central Government Pensioners, who had retired prior to the year 1996, till then getting Basic Pension on the basis of their “Pay” at the time of retirement and Dearness Relief thereon with partial neutralisation, got updated Pension and Full Neutralisation thereon when the Government accepted of the Recommendations of Fifth Pay Commission,    with yourself, heading the Finance Ministry then also.

Our Organisation has been urging upon the Managements of LIC and Public Sector General Insurance Companies and the Government ever since that such a benefit be extended to Insurance Pensioners too and it has been our repeated refrain especially after acceptance of the Recommendations of Sixth Pay Commission effective from January 2006.

However, there has been no positive response and Insurance Pensioners continue to be paid pre-revised Basic Pension with a certain section still getting truncated Dearness Relief.

AIIPA firmly believes that the demand for ending this differential treatment is most justified and Insurance Pensioners, as part of the Senior Citizens of this country, deserve to be treated on par with the Central Government Pensioners.

Pensioners from LIC and Four Public Sector General Insurance Companies and their families constitute an important segment of the population and they had, while in service, contributed to the growth of these Institutions and to the growth of Indian Economy and we are sure the Government will readily acknowledge their role.

Our Organisation thinks that Insurance Pensioners and their kith and kin have been appreciative of the efforts of the Government in matters like  passing of RTI Act, Women’s Reservation Bill, MGREGA, Food Security Act etc.

The decision by the Government to grant increase in Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief to Central Government employees and pensioners to compensate for higher cost of living is a welcome step and though insurance pensioners too get periodic revision in Dearness Relief, the compensation they are entitled as per rules is much less as they get Dearness Relief on pre-revised Basic Pension and a truncated Dearness Relief by some.

The Government, by granting higher Family Pension at Uniform Rate to the spouses of Central Government employees and granting similar benefits to RBI pensioners, has done yeomen service to those who had lost their beloved ones and inspite of our representations, LIC and GIPSA are yet to come out with positive response.

We feel solutions to the issues of Insurance Pensioners brook no further delay and Government should   immediately initiate measures to grant Full Neutralisation to pre-August 1997 Retirees, grant uniform Family Pension at 30% for all those presently getting Family Pension and grant updated Pension to correspond to present wage levels to all  the Pensioners drawing Basic Pension at lower CPI levels prevalent at the time of their cessation of service.

Having put their toil for the growth of LIC and GIC and their contribution to the National Exchequer and being part of a conscious section of the Senior Citizens,  Pensioners from the Insurance Industry look forward to favourable decisions.  

All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA)  desires that the Hon’ble Finance Minister, taking into account the sentiments expressed herein and appreciating the merits of the issues  put forth, uses his good offices to ensure justice is done to the cause of Insurance Pensioners.

Thanking You,

Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
(K.NATARAJAN)
GENERAL SECRETARY


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Dear Comrades,

Early resolution of issues of insurance pensioners

In the aftermath of the latest developments in the legal  front, AIIPA has addressed a letter to the Chairman, LIC, on August 13, 2013 and the same is reproduced herein below. As can be seen, the communication has urged upon LIC Management to initiate measures for granting uniform rate of Dearness Relief to all Pensioners and for granting higher Ex-gratia for pre-1986  Retirees.

Insurance Pensioners are well aware of the principled stand of the AIIPA to get solutions through process of dialogue and time and again this has proved to be correct and if and when LIC contemplates to engage itself afresh in judicial process, there is bound to be further delay, though AIIPA has been representing for early favourable solutions independent of extraneous factors. We had been trying to impress upon LIC Management not to defer taking decisions and our latest letter underscores this point and refers to the background of LIC Board Resolution of November 2001, the willingness on the part of the Government, as told to our Delegation in 2008 before  the Authorities hardened their stance.

Had not the Pensioners outside our sphere of influence engaged themselves in filing multiple IAs, may be the duration of the whole process could have been shorter.

Insurance Pensioners are aware that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has dismissed the SLPs on the ground that SLP has not challenged the judgement of the Division Bench of Hon’ble Jaipur High Court and LIC has failed to show apparent error on the face of record in the Order dismissing the Review Petition filed by LIC before the Hon’ble Jaipur High Court. This order has also stated that LIC is not precluded from filing another SLP challenging the Division Bench Order and Application for condonation of delay, if and when fresh SLP is filed, will be decided on merits and LIC cannot claim it as a matter of right. This order also states that the interim order passed shall automatically stand vacated.

The relevant portion of the Hon’ble Supreme Court Order of 8.8.2013 is reproduced below for the information of the pensioners:

“In our view, in the absence of challenge to the  judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court vide which  the  special appeals filed  by  the  petitioner  were  dismissed,  the  special  leave  petitions filed against the order passed in the review petitions  do  not merit acceptance, more so, because the learned  senior  counsel  for  the petitioner could not show that the order under challenge is  vitiated  by an error apparent on the face of the record.

With the above observations, I.A.Nos.12-13 of 2013 are allowed and the special leave petitions are dismissed. The interim order  passed by this Court stands automatically vacated.

However, it is  made   clear   that   this   order  shall  not preclude the  SLP   petitioner   from  filing   special  leave  petitions against   the  judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court by  which the special appeals were dismissed. It is also made clear that this order shall not entitle the SLP petitioner to claim condonation of delay  as a matter of right and the application, if any, filed for this purpose  will be decided on its own merits.”

It shall be the earnest attempt of AIIPA once again to bring about solutions and to safeguard and further the interests of Insurance Pensioners by pursuing with LIC/GIPSA and the Government.

With Greetings,

Yours Comradely,

(K.NATARAJAN)

General Secretary


 

Dear Sir,

Early resolution of LIC pensioners’ issues

All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA) has been consistently impressing upon LIC Management, the need to redress the grievances of pre-August 1997 pensioners and recipients of Ex-gratia (pre-1.1.1986 retirees) and has been stressing that these issues should get settled without waiting for culmination of the legal process.

AIIPA has also been pointing out that the Management of LIC has a moral responsibility to get its Board Resolution of November 2001 implemented and grant uniform rate of Dearness Relief for all pensioners.

Now in the context of litigation proceedings having come to an end, the Organisation feels, LIC should, without any let up, initiate steps to ensure that the decision of LIC taken in its Board way back in 2001 and for implementation of which, there was favourable inclination as also the issue of increase in Ex-gratia, gets concretised.

AIIPA desires that solutions of these issues should not again get delayed and the LIC should carry through the understanding that was signaled to us when we met in the year 2008.

In fine, we urge upon the Management of LIC to grant uniform rate of Dearness Relief to pre-August 1997 pensioners from August 1, 1997 and extend benefit to post-July 1997 pensioners and also sanction the much needed increase in Ex-gratia to pre-1986 retirees.

We are hopeful of immediate positive response and that solutions will be forthcoming at the earliest.

Thanking You,

Yours faithfully,
Sd/-
(K.NATARAJAN)
General Secretary


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Group Savings Linked Insurance Scheme (GSLI) for LIC Employees. Please download Circular No.CO/Per/ER-A/038/2013 Dated 13/08/2013 for more details.


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c) Employees of banks, LIC may be drafted on election duty to the minimum extent possible, only in a constituency where sufficient numbers of govt. employees are not available or in emergent circumstances such as strike etc. by the Govt. employees. Care should be taken to ensure that normal functioning of banks, LIC are not interrupted. Care should further be taken to ensure that minimum numbers of employees of such institutions is requisitioned so that the business of these institutions is not hampered.

(Please download attached complete circular.)


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To all State/Regional/Divisional Units:

Dear Comrades,

AIIPA TALKS TO CHAIRMAN, LIC

The uppermost need of the hour is to initiate measures to find solutions to the three cardinal issues of the LIC Pensioners, stressed the Delegation of the All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA), when it met the Chairman and Top Officials of the Life Insurance Corporation of India on July 19, 2013 at Mumbai.

The Delegation of the AIIPA met Sri.S.K.Roy, the New Chairman and though it was sought to be a Meeting to exchange pleasantries and to express our Good Wishes, in person, for an useful tenure, the occasion was utilized, with Chairman evincing interest to hear our views to highlight our view points on issues of LIC Pensioners.

The Delegation congratulated the Chairman on his assuming greater responsibilities and wished him well. The Chairman reciprocated saying with the co-operation and wishes of all, he hoped to take LIC to greater heights and get legitimate encomiums for the Team- LIC.

The Delegation requested the Chairman to effectively pursue with the Central Government, issues of increased Ex-gratia to pre-1986 Retirees, Grant of Full Neutralisation to Pre-August 1997 Pensioners and updation of Pension for all.

We pointed out that LIC was within its ambit to decide on increased Ex-gratia as no Government Notification was necessary. We also said that the LIC was morally obliged to mete out justice to Pre-August 1997 Pensioners with the Board passing a Resolution for uniform rate of Dearness Relief, way back in the year 2001.

The Delegation also told the Chairman that fair play and natural justice demanded LIC Pensioners are not differentiated vis-a-vis Central Government Pensioners in the matter of updation of Pension.

When a reference to the Press Reports about huge pay outs by LIC towards settlement of Maturity Claims, this fiscal came up, Chairman explained the context in which such an observation was made by him. Expressing confidence of the Financial Stability of the monolith-LIC, Chairman said the reference was to the availability of such large amount in the economy that could go to new investments, that could be used to purchase consumer durables, a portion of which that could add to the savings, giving a boost to the economy.

Sri.Roy heard our views with an open mind and said he would get a detailed feed-back from the concerned Officials and take whatever steps were possible to be taken in the current situation and said he had other responsibilities too to be fulfilled.

We are happy to record that the interaction was fruitful and the Chairman, LIC, could well understand our feelings and the spirit of our representation and we could get satisfied of having effectively aired our views to the Top Most Official of LIC.

The Delegation of All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA) consisting of Com.M.L.Setiya, President, Com.K.Natarajan, General Secretary and Com.M.J.Damle, Joint Secretary, also met Sri.M.R.Kumar, Executive Director (P), Sri.T.R.Mendiratta, Chief (Per) and Ms.Aruna Seth, Secretary (PER/ER).

The Meeting was utilized to drive home the merits of the issues, the forceful arguments on the imperative to solve the issues, without getting bogged down on extraneous concerns.

AIIPA pointed out that the legitimate aspirations of the recipients of Ex-gratia for a comfortable living were being negated and both LIC and the Government were delaying the decision, obviously linking this with other issues. As the issue of enhanced Ex-gratia was not on the legal radar and as no formal Notification was required, LIC should, on its own, decide on the issue, it was stressed. The demand for increased Ex-gratia was most justified and even after the grant of Cash Medical Allowance, which also they eminently deserved, increase in Ex-gratia continued to be an issue requiring immediate solution, said the Delegation of AIIPA.

The E.D. (P), while understanding our strong concerns, said the Government was not favourably inclined to decide, presumably taking into account other implications. AIIPA once again urged the Management to reconsider the matter and effectively pursue in order that the decreasing tribe of these Senior Citizens get what is justifiably due to them.

Pointing out to the various averrings, both in writing and in person, the Organisation asked the Officials to ensure that the favourable inclination both on increased Ex-gratia to pre-1986 Retirees and Grant of Full Neutralisation on Dearness Relief to Pre-August 1997 Pensioners got materialized in concrete terms without the need for culmination of the legal process.

AIIPA again stressed on the ethical and moral standards that need to be maintained by the LIC in the background of the LIC Board Resolution of November 2001 and desired to know how come LIC was now reluctant, with the Central Government Affidavit on Dearness Relief in LIC vis-a-vis banks coming into focus.

We said the comparison between LIC and Banks was not relevant, as LIC Employees’ DA structure with Full Neutralisation came about from August 1997, while in Banks, employees got DA with Full Neutralisation only from May 2005. Already there is a demand in Banks for Full Neutralisation for pre-May 2005 Pensioners from that date and there have been court pronouncements and hence Dearness Relief with Full Neutralisation from August 1997 for LIC Pensioners was thoroughly justified, it was said.  We also told the Management that we are happy that LIC has recognized the due date of eligibility for Full Neutralisation as August 1, 1997 from which date in-service employees were granted and hence pensioners after that date got Full Neutralisation in respect of Pre-August 1997 Pensioners too.

Though E.D.(P) and others heard our submissions with all the attention they deserved, were non-committal and AIIPA reiterated its position for an early breakthrough even before a judicial verdict.

The AIIPA also pointed out that LIC was now not inhibited by sustained contempt proceedings and with the SLPs in Supreme Court, LIC could take initiatives to sort out issues with a dialogue process, if necessary, to bring about the much needed solution on Full Neutralisation from August 1, 1997. The Officials expressed their concern about the plethora of cases before various courts and said they were finding it more and more difficult to keep track.

Taking up the issue of updation of Pension for all, AIIPA asked the Management to vigourously pursue the matter. When all Central Government Pensioners who had retired on various dated prior to January 1, 2006 were granted equitable pension to correspond to the current pay scales through G. O. s, LIC Pensioners too deserved to be treated on par.

Central Civil Pension Rules applicable to Central Government Employees had talked of Pension on the basis of Average Emoluments of the last ten months’ pay drawn by the employee at the time of retirement and LIC Pension Rules modeled on Central Civil Pension Rules also spoke on similar lines and now Last drawn Pay at the time of retirement has become the basis in Central Government.

AIIPA pointedly told the Management as both Central Civil Pension Rules and LIC Pension Rules had similar provisions and only with issuance of G.O.s, the Central Government had implemented uniform pension for all, LIC could also bring in updation with necessary amendments and argument of LIC Rules not providing for updation cannot be a ground to deny updation to LIC Pensioners.

LIC Officials responded with the argument of LIC Scheme being Funded Scheme as different from Central Government Pension Scheme (paid from consolidated Fund), AIIPA argued funding should not be a deterrent and also it could not be a problem with vast resources at the command of LIC and reiterated its demand for ending discrimination between LIC Pensioners and Central Government Pensioners.

Referring to the improvements recently brought about in the RBI Pension Scheme like Minimum Pension/Family Pension uniformly @ 30% etc., AIIPA wanted the officials to initiate steps to get similar improvements in LIC Pension Scheme and the officials assured to consider the same.

Eventhough the officials, after listening to us on all issues were non-committal, they assured to brief the Chairman of all the ramifications and we hope LIC would strive to take measures in whatever way feasible to meet our demands.

AIIPA urged upon the management to grant one more option under LIC Pension Rules 1995 and E.D.(P) informed the matter rested with the government.

About opening of a Pensioners’ Portal for use by LIC pensioners, we were informed that efforts were on and we hope the portal will be made available soon.

AIIPA pointed out that there has been cases of delay in credit of pension to individual bank accounts and suggested credit of pension on the last day of the month and LIC agreed to consider.

AIIPA Delegation raised the issue of payment of revised Pensionary Benefits to Class I Officers who had retired between August 1, 1992 and March 31, 1993. We explained that, having paid the difference in Gratuity on the basis of revised Basic Pay that came into vogue, LIC was left with no alternative but to grant pensionary benefits too on revised pay structure. The court decision treating revised pay as last drawn pay for purpose of Gratuity, had a cascading effect on payment of other benefits too. The Organisation referred to its earlier communication and asked the officials to concede the demand. The Officials agreed to have a fresh look into the whole matter.

On grant of benefits arising out of Jaipur High Court Order on allowing extra month service and consequential benefits for those whose date of birth fell on first of a month, LIC officials said the benefit has not been actually paid but only deposited in the court, which we differed and wanted to get this benefit extended to all similarly placed pensioners.

The Delegation also took up matters relating to Group Mediclaim. The Management informed that increase in Sum Insured and the concept of Floater Policy were under active consideration to be pursued with the Insurer.

On our demand for grant of Ex-gratia for expenditure over and above the cover under the Group Mediclaim Policy, the Officials pointed out of the possible increase in subsidy burden once the Sum Insured gets increased and expressed doubts about the possibility for bearing extra load for grant of Ex-gratia. However we insisted on our demand being considered favourably. The officials were also not inclined to respond positively to the issue of grant of advance for deposit as according to them, the provision of cashless facility should take care of the same. When we wanted expansion of the cashless facility, the officials informed that the same may result in increase in premium because of TPA. Officials also informed that discussions were on for the issuance of Identity Cards for the pensioners by the TPA for the cashless medical facility. On providing facility of Preventive Health Check-up for the pensioners and their families, though the officials were receptive but did not commit.
 
While welcoming grant of Monthly Medical Allowance to pre-1986 retirees and their spouses, AIIPA raised a demand for Cash Medical Benefit for all Pensioners. The Office bearers explained how Pensioners were subjected to recurring medical expenses without the need for hospitalisation for which there was no cover.

It was argued on behalf of AIIPA that, with advancing age, Pensioners had to spend more on health care which could not be got reimbursed and the only way to compensate them was grant of cash medical benefit. The Management was receptive to the idea and the Organisation is hopeful that with further pursuance, there can be an opening.

On the issue of recovery of Group Mediclaim Scheme premium from monthly pension, the E.D.(P) assured to talk to the concerned department officials to take an early decision. The officials further informed that as per the MOU with the insurer, the mediclaim bills are to be settled in 21 (twentyone) working days by the insurer and wanted us to let them know if there was inordinate delay in settlement of bills with complete details for their taking up with the insurer.

AIIPA feels that the meeting had helped to make the management more aware of the standpoint of the organisation, make them understand the hurt feelings of the pensioners over the non-settlement of issues and has helped the organisation to establish good liasion with the authorities for further dialogues for finding solutions.

AIIPA reassures that interests of the LIC Pensioners will be safeguarded and further advanced through sustained efforts and AIIPA will endeavour to talk to GIPSA also in regard to issues of GIC Pensioners.

With Greetings,                                                                

Yours Comradely,

(K.NATARAJAN)
                                                                                                  General Secretary


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To all State/Regional/Divisional Units:

Dear Comrades,

Contribute liberally for Uttarakhand disaster relief efforts With a feeling of sadness that cannot be expressed in words but can only be felt, we pen a few lines herein below. We know these feelings and words will not be able to recompense lost lives. None can ever imagine Mother Nature can be so furious as She was recently in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh causing loss of precious lives and causing such devastation.

Torrential rains in the mountainous areas flooded the rivers that swept away people - both locals and pilgrims, that uprooted the buildings in the vicinity, that changed the whole landscape of the area.

It is said many have died though there are different estimates about the number and the loss to property has been colossal and many are said to be missing. It is with pride and gratitude, we record the role of Armed Forces, Airforce, ITBP etc., who ventured against all odds to save people caught in the ravaging floods, to flush out the dead bodies and to provide relief supplies to those stranded. We express our deep sympathy to the kith and kin of those who lost their dear ones and we also salute the Brave Hearts who laid down their lives  at the call of duty.

The authorities say it may take long to rebuild and to rehabilitate and we know it will besides costing the state exchequer heavily. We, the Insurance Pensioners outside the affected area, owe it as a national duty to help raise resources for relief efforts. Lives lost and properties wiped out and/or damaged will be grim reminder of our sacred duty towards our brethren.

We know Insurance Pensioners, socially conscious as they are, will rise to the occasion and contribute liberally for the noble cause. We call upon pensioners of LIC and GIC to make contributions liberally.

As a token of our commitment, All India Insurance Pensioners’ Association (AIIPA) has remitted Rs.50,000/- and hope our pensioners following this lead will contribute liberally.

Let us hope the Governments at Centre and States will take all precautions to prevent recurrence of such calamities, especially of such a magnitude.

Yours Comradely,

(K.NATARAJAN)
General Secretary


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