OROP · pension

Speculating About NFU

A few days back, while reading a blog-post centered around Non Functional Financial Up-gradation, or NFU as it is being referred to, it appeared that some form of collation of information on the subject, especially as it would/could apply to Officers of Indian Armed Forces, would not exactly be out of place.

Reference to NFU finds mention at several places in Report of Seventh Pay Commission. But paras 11.22.20 and 11.22.21 come closest to describing how it would be implemented, if at all, for CAPFs and Armed Forces. An extract is embedded below.

From the wording of the extract, it appears NFU would apply, quoting the report, “at the two levels just above those where the system of time-bound promotions ceases”.  In the case of armed forces Officers, this appears to mean levels 13 and 13-A of the VII CPC Matrix, which presently correspond, respectively, to ranks of Col/Capt(IN)/Gp Capt and Brigadier/Cmde/Air Cmde.

From that bit of speculation, I presume the next leap of imagination should bring one to an understanding that when a Lt Col/Cdr/Wg Cdr gets promoted by selection to rank of Col/Capt(IN)/Gp Capt and moves to level 13 from Level 12-A of the Matrix, all the non-promoted Lt Cols/Cdrs/Wg Cdrs, with the same seniority for promotion as the promotee, would be placed in Level 13 from 12-A two years later, without getting the rank of Col/Capt(IN)/Gp Capt. Judging from online discussions, if these non-promoted Officers get promoted in the 2nd or third boards within the two year period, then they’d get the higher ranks as well from the dates they get promoted.

Two Levels :

  • It is still not very clear what is meant by “two levels” as mentioned in the Pay Commission Report. In the above example, does that mean that if the Lt Col/Cdr/Wg Cdr who got promoted and did not have to get NFU would have the NFU provision still available if he is not promoted when Officers of his seniority are subsequently promoted from Col/Capt(IN)/Gp Capt to Brig/Cmde/Air Cmde  , i.e. at the second level of 13-A in the Matrix?
  • Or do the recommendations imply that even the Lt Cols/Cdrs/Wg Cdrs who were not promoted and had got NFU by getting placed in level 13 after two years, would also, now, move to level 13-A two years after the original “Lt Col to Col” promotee got superseded for promotion to the next rank of Brig/Cmde/Air Cmde, getting NFU for the 2nd time, again without getting the ranks? This scenario implies the original promotee and the original non-promotees would get NFU to level 13-A (Brig/Cmde/Air Cmde level) at the same time, the former for the first time and the latter set for the second.

Comparison With Civilian Gp A Pensioners: As per the foregoing speculation, it seems armed forces Officers could expect to get NFU up to level 13-A of the Defence Matrix. The Pay Commission report also states that Gp A Civilian officers also get NFU at two levels. But, from what has been published on blogs and web-sites, one gets the impression that all civilian Gp A Officers get NFU up to HAG band, i.e. level 15 on their matrix which corresponds to level 15 in the defence matrix as well. Therefore Gp A Officers appear to progress two level higher, even in theory. It may take some time to establish the reason. Could it be that the time-bound stages in their case go up to level 13-A and as a result they get NFU up to level 15?

Effect On Pensions : As a veteran, I’m interested in whether NFU would impact pensions of older pensioners. Now, the questions to be asked here are way too many. But two that immediately come to mind can be highlighted as follows so that digging out answers in subsequent blog-posts becomes simpler :

  • How were pensions of pre and post NFU civilian Gp A Officer pensioners equalized, if at all? This seems to be an issue on the same lines as equalizing Maj pensions before AVS-I and Lt Col pensions after AVS-I, both pensioners having equal QS.
  • As 7 CPC speaks of fixing pensions in the level in which an Officer retired, would not those who get NFU be in a higher level than those pre NFU retirees who were in a lower level though with the same post/designation or, in the case of armed forces, the same rank?

I think a bit of research, interaction and feedback could help to clear up some of these mysteries.

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