Sikkim becomes the first Northeast state to bring back Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for employees

Sikkim becomes the first Northeast state to bring back Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for employees
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In the Northeast region, Sikkim has become the first state to reinstate the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for its government employees hired on or after April 1, 2006. Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang announced the historic decision during the State Level Temporary Employees’ Convention.

The OPS, which was replaced by the New Pension Scheme (NPS) in 2004, guarantees a fixed pension based on the last drawn salary after retirement. The NPS, on the other hand, is a market-based system where individual contributions and returns determine the final pension amount.

The reinstatement of the OPS will apply to all government employees appointed on or after April 1, 2006. Existing employees covered under the NPS will have the option to switch to the OPS. Additionally, those appointed before March 31, 1990 will continue to benefit from the existing OPS provisions.

This decision is expected to benefit thousands of government employees and their families, offering them greater financial security after retirement.

As part of its efforts to improve welfare, the government has made changes to rules about making temporary workers permanent. These changes are meant to make sure that people with disabilities have better job security and are included in the workforce. Now, employees who have been working for two years or more in certain positions can apply to become permanent staff. This shows the government’s dedication to making sure everyone has a fair chance at stable employment.

Changes in government rules about making temporary workers permanent highlight a bigger promise to ensure stability and job security. Workers who have been continuously employed for four years or more in different roles like Work-charged, Muster Roll, Adhoc, and Consolidated Pay positions can now apply to become permanent staff. These steps aim to give more stability and security to the workforce, in line with the government’s main goal of creating stability and prosperity in Sikkim.

The move comes ahead of the upcoming state assembly elections, and analysts suggest it could be a strategic decision to woo voters, particularly government employees who have been demanding the return of the OPS for years. However, the government emphasizes its commitment to employee welfare and long-term financial security as the primary reasons for the decision.

The revival of OPS is likely to have significant financial implications for the state government. The pension liabilities will increase, requiring careful fiscal management.

Sikkim’s decision has sparked interest and debate across the Northeast region. The success of the OPS implementation in Sikkim could pave the way for other states to follow suit, potentially leading to a wider shift in pension policies across the country.

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