Recommendations of 7 CPC contain very clear-cut instructions on how OROP will be achieved for all by defining a process of fitment by “levels” and index numbers based on increments drawn by pensioners in the pay-band in which they had retired, though in the case of some classes of armed forces pensioners, such as older officer pensioners with time bound ranks, it could create anomalies and disparities. The recommendations also include an alternate and less sophisticated manner of fixing 7 CPC pensions as a stop-gap measure, viz., the 2.57x multiplier.
Instructions on pensions for armed forces pensioners certainly seem to be some time away. Some impressions can be formed from the example of the “Resolution” on civilian pensions. The Resolution dated 04 Aug 2016 for civilians has restricted their pension fixation to the 2.57x calculation, leaving the index based fitments to a committee as per item 11 of annexure to the resolution.
There are two examples of older civilian pensioners cited in an Office Memorandum, also dated 04 Aug 2016. These too are based on just the 2.57x calculation and throw no light on the manner in which the 7 CPC matrix index number based pension fitments will take place, except in a passing reference at para 11 of the O.M. to the committee to be formed for the purpose.
Unfortunately, unlike for civilian pensioners, in the case of armed forces, the 7 CPC report itself did not have any examples from a CPC regime earlier than VI CPC. In their case, matching the QS of older pensioners with index numbers of the matrix can prove to be a truly mind-bending exercise. On-going articulation of points of view amongst the online veteran community doesn’t reassure that the negative implications, of settling for just the 2.57x calculation, have been fully grasped. The most recent example of the QS vis-a-vis index number issue does appear to indicate armed forces pensioners will be sold short if a clear-cut way is not defined for matching present matrix index numbers with QS of older pensioners.
In many cases, especially for time-bound rank pensioners, some unambiguous and formal delineation of principles also seems to be called for in the matter of defining appropriate higher matrix levels for older pensioners who had retired in lower time-bound ranks in-spite of having rendered as much, or more, service than current pensioners who retire in the higher levels nowadays due to faster time-based promotions, e.g. Level 12-A being assigned to older Major pensioners who had retired with 20 yrs or more of service.
These additional complexities in the case of armed forces pensioners call for greater vigilance lest 7 CPC anomalies get added to the ones still unresolved from VI, V and probably even IV CPC. OROP anomalies are an additional consideration.