AP State’s Guaranteed
A Critical Look
State Government had announced and followed it up with enactment of AP GPS Act
2023. The enactment as well as the earlier announcement have been given much
hype by the Media and even suggestion was there that the Union Government may
catch up with the thread and enact a similar GPS Act. No reference to ending
the notorious NPS against which continuous demonstrations are going on in Delhi
and throughout the nation and no support is forthcoming from any Media for
bringing back the OPS. This article is an attempt to analyze the Andhra State
Government’s GPS Act, 2003 and contrasting it with the CCS (Pension) Rules,
2021. The provisions of the Act were taken from the Andhra Teachers website.
AP GPS Bill adopted
State Government has adopted the AP GPS 2003 Bill on 27.09.2023 for the
employees of Andhra. It was made clear that the subscriptions to the AP GPS
Scheme shall not affect in any way the monthly contributions made to NPS Scheme
by the employees and the employer. Therefore, our readers must be clear that
the AP GPS Act in not to replace the notorious NPS but only as a additional
scheme to NPS. The NPS Scheme in Andhra is called the CPS (Contributory Pension
Scheme) that was implemented from 1.9.2004 in that state. This also means that
the CPS will continue to operate in the State and the present AP GPS will
superimpose itself on the existing NPS.
AP GPS will cover only NPS
State GPS Act makes it very clear that the present scheme will cover those
employees who were already covered by the CPS (Contributory Pension Scheme).
More over it is also made clear that those CPS employees recruited on or after
1.9.2004 and those who opt to contribute or subscribe to AP GPS System are
eligible to join the scheme. It is also mentioned that the existing NPS or CPS
Pensioner should exercise option to subscriber AP GPS Scheme.
Annuity and Top-up Annuity
System says that the retiring employees have to purchase annuity plan duly
utilizing the “Accumulated Pension Corpus”. What is this ‘Accumulated Pension
Corpus’? It is nothing but the amount in Pension Account under CPS (NPS)! The
Guaranteed Pension assured by the scheme will consist of both the Annuity
Component and if necessary the top-up Component. The Annuity Component is the
monthly returns based on the investments made by utilizing the ‘Accumulated
Pension Corpus' under CPS and will be added if necessary by the ‘Top-up
Component’ by the State Government. But any part withdrawal or final withdrawal
by a AP GPS Subscriber from the final accumulated corpus of CPS shall result in proportional reduction in the
Guaranteed Pension quantum. In addition it is made clear that the State
Government can withhold or withdraw the top-up component or a part of top-up
50% of Last
drawn basic pay at the time of retirement will be given as GPS Pension by a
top-up amount by Andhra State Government in case of any short fall in the
annuity received by the AP GPS Subscriber.
60% of the
Pension will be given to the Spouse as Family Pension in the even of death of
GPS Pensioner under the same above conditions.
Relief will be paid over and above the basic pension.
Pension of 10,000/- is announced under the scheme by a top-up of annuity.
scheme also will be provided under the scheme.
The AP GPS
scheme is eligible to superannuating Pensioners with a minimum qualifying
service of 10 years. The period is 20 years of qualifying service for VRS
Pensioners. Any servant retired on public interest on any disciplinary action
must have put in 33 years of qualifying service. Those who retire on medical
invalidation should have a minimum of 10 years qualifying service.
employees who resign or sent out by dismissal or removal or under compulsory
retirement under Disciplinary Action are not eligible for drawing Guaranteed
Important minus points
The Scheme is also a contributory scheme of Pension
that we are stoutly opposing and more over the fact of the present scheme is
that the existing NPS scheme shall also continue and only those who are in the
existing NPS scheme can exercise option to join the AP GPS Scheme. This is
unlike the State Governments of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal
etc., which have declared reversion of NPS to OPS.
The Guaranteed Pension quantum is in addition to the
NPS quantum through the Annuity earned by investments of the sum left with
Service Providers. The subscription quantum (though not prescribed) will
increase by way of subscriptions to the new AP GPS Scheme also in addition to
the existing NPS. Thus, the employees are not rescued from the wage cut but continued
and more percentage of wage cut is imposed.
Under the CCS Pension Rules 2021, the ompulsorily
retired are getting the pension as per their LPD (according to percentage cut
imposed by the Disciplinary Authority) but the AP GPS scheme stipulates that
the compulsorily retired under Disciplinary Action are not at all eligible for
the Guaranteed Pension.
The CG Pensioners under CCS Pension Rules 2021 have
provisions for grant of Provisional Pension etc if the disciplinary case
against the employees continue after retirement. But the AP GPS Scheme states
clearly that the retirees against whom any Disciplinary or Judicial Proceedings
are pending at the time of retirement, will not be given any Guaranteed Pension
until such proceedings are completed.
The CCS Pension Rules 2021 Pensioners will get their
pension periodically updated whenever any Pay Commissions are in place along
with the CG Employees. There is no mention of periodic updation to AP GPS
Andhra State Government instead of playing with jargons should come out
openly and implement its poll promise of ending NPS in the State. The boldness
with which the States like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Himachal, Punjab
and Delhi adopted a line to end the NPS and embrace OPS should be followed by
Andhra also. The West Bengal State right from beginning followed the foot steps
of the earlier LF Government. The State Government of Karnataka has made a poll
promise to end NPS. The Media reports show that the Union Government is trying
only a face lift to the existing NPS on the lines of Andhra State. But the NPS
is a dead issue in the present context and becoming an election based political
issue in India. We shall not rest until the NPS and all forms of it are ended
squarely and CCS Pension Rules 2021 is extended to all Central, State
Government Employees including the Teachers and also to all Central and State
Public Sector Workers. Is it not time to declare that we support only those
political parties which openly support ending the NPS if voted to power at