Amid the debate over the financial feasibility of the old pension scheme (OPS) for government employees, former chief minister and Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly Bhupinder Singh Hooda, on Saturday, said state government employees will be given the benefit of the OPS once the Congress forms government in Haryana.
Addressing a gathering in Sonipat, Hooda extended his support to the OPS and demanded that the Bharatiya Janata Party-Jannayak Janta Party (BJP-JJP) coalition government should implement it at the earliest.
He said if the present government does not do so, the employees will be given the benefit of old pension when the Congress government is formed in the state. “Like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Himachal Pradesh, the employees of Haryana will also get old pension,” he promised.
The statement came a day after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar cited drawbacks of the OPS. “Yesterday, I got a message on WhatsApp where a Central govt official said that if the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) is implemented then the country will go bankrupt by 2030,” Khattar said on Friday.
Recently, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also sounded a note of caution on reversion to the old pension scheme by some states, saying it poses a major risk on the “subnational fiscal horizon” and would result in the accumulation of unfunded liabilities in the coming years for them.
Earlier, the governments of the Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand informed the Central government and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) about their decision to restart the OPS for their employees.
The Punjab government in November 2022, too had issued a notification regarding the implementation of the OPS for the state government employees who are presently being covered under the NPS.
In 2004, the Union government came out with the National Pension System (NPS), a defined contribution pension scheme replacing the old pension scheme.
Under the old pension scheme, employees get a defined pension. Under this, an employee is entitled to a 50 per cent amount of the last drawn salary as pension. The pension amount is contributory under the National Pension System, which is in effect since 2004.
Several economists too have expressed concern over reverting to the OPS saying it would put stress on states’ finances.