The government announced 2015 pay scale for the employees of govt. semi-govt., autonomous bodies, NCB and state owned financial institutions. It is said that provision is there to raise pension money to 90 per cent of basic pay in stead of 80 per cent continued so long.
2. Many of the old pensioners had to sell their pension fund at the rate of 80 per cent as per govt. rule to support requirement of liquid fund to buy assets, bear educational expenses of wards and dependents, medical treatment, matrimonial expenses of children, family maintenance and to meet unforeseen contingencies. The regular monthly pension of the pensioner not surrendering the pension money is also not so encouraging because of lower pay scale prevailing prior to 2004.
3. Realising the difficulties of old pensioners, the government introduced payment of 2(two) festival bonus per year each equivalent to net pension money of the pensioners including those who surrendered 100 per cent of the pension money and not entitled to monthly pension. This was effective from 2005 and calculated on 2004 pay scale. Those who will retire after implementation of 2015 pay scale, their pension fund is learnt to be calculated on 90 per cent basis. This facility should be considered for the old pensioners also.
4. The govt. order to pay two yearly festival bonuses is still not being adhered to properly by many NCB and financial institutions. The pensioners are being paid less than their actual entitlements.
Although Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) and Agrani Bank had by this time paid the arrears/ un-disbursed money, Sonali Bank has not been paying the arrears.
5. After lot of persuasion through different sources the Sonali Bank Management issued circular number 680 dated 23/06/15 advising the branches to reassess the net pension amount of the pensioner on the basis of govt. directives issued at different times to ensure proper payment of festival bonuses. In this case also, while the festival bonus of 2015 was paid properly, the bank did not pay the previous years' arrear festival bonuses on the basis of 2004 and 2008 pay scales and the matter is still unresolved.
6. The Finance Ministry through finance division issued notification number 07.00.000.171.13.013-08 dated 01/02/16 and clarified the issue of un-withdrawn/arrear festival bonus within purview of their notification of July 2004. The Sonali Bank circular dated 01/02/16 circulated to its branches did not have any guiding instruction (HO Circular No. 748, Date 14/03/16).
On enquiry, it was found that the bank is in a dilemma regarding the word 'pensioner' as contained in the govt. notification dated 01/02/16 in 2nd Para (last line) of the notification and hence it is yet to be complied with. Consequently the pensioners who surrendered 100 per cent of their pension money are not getting the un-disbursed/arrear festival bonus.
The bank should be instructed to pay to pensioners particularly those who surrendered 100 per cent of their pension money, to implement the govt. order without any harassment. Names of the govt. offices who are disbursing the arrear pension money to their retired pensioners could be known from different sources.
A retired senior banker and sufferer