New Delhi: The Department of Pension and Pensioners' Welfare has issued an order through which all Central government employees whose selection for appointment was finalised before January 1, 2004 but who joined service on or after January 1, 2004, can now opt to be covered under the old pension scheme — Central Civil Services (Pension) Rules, 1972 — instead of the NPS (National Pension System).
Minister of State (I/C) for the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions Jitendra Singh said that the order effectively gives those employees of the government who were recruited before 2004 the option of either switch over to the old pension scheme or continue to be covered under the National Pension System.
Singh further added that the landmark decision had been taken by the Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare to address the longstanding demand of the Central government employees whose recruitment was finalised before January 1, 2004 but who had, for various reasons, joined the services on or after January 1, 2004. However, he noted that the last date to exercise this option would be May 31, 2020, and those who fail to exercise the option by this stipulated date would continue to be covered by the National Pension System.
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With this order, the government has addressed a long-standing grievance of a huge number of employees whose recruitment (including written examination, interview and declaration of result) had been finalised on or before January 1, 2004 (which was the cut-off date for employees to be covered under the old pension scheme) but whose joining was delayed on account of administrative reasons.
This order is expected to give relief to several Central Government employees, some of whom were knocking the doors of the courts in order to get covered under the CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 and will also substantially bring down the litigation on this subject matter.