Maharashtra State Employees Set to Rally for Pension Reform
Maharashtra State Employees Set to Rally for Pension Reform

Approximately 1.7 million government and semi-government workers in Maharashtra have resolved to stage a "Family March" across every district and tehsil in the state on November 8. Their objective is to advocate for the reinstatement of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), which was discontinued in 2005.

During this march, participants will unite under the banner of "My Family, My Pension" and rally at district collectors' offices to voice their demand for OPS revival.

Vishwas Katkar, the coordinator of a coalition of state employee associations, declared, "We have chosen to orchestrate a 'Family March' in every district and tehsil on November 8, articulating our request for the OPS's revival."

In the event that their pleas fall on deaf ears, Katkar warned, "Should we not receive a satisfactory response, we will commence an indefinite strike starting on December 14 to secure the reinstatement of OPS."

State employees have been disillusioned with the Maharashtra government's failure to address their request for the OPS's revival, a system that guarantees a dependable post-retirement income.

Their demands extend beyond pension reform, encompassing the cancellation of indirect privatization in the education sector and the filling of all vacant positions.

The Old Pension Scheme (OPS) is a government-approved retirement plan that ensures beneficiaries a monthly pension for life, equal to half of their final salary.

In contrast, the New Pension Scheme (NPS) represents the contemporary approach to retirement planning, allowing beneficiaries to withdraw 60% of their invested amount upon retirement. Introduced by the central government in December 2003, it replaced the traditional defined benefit pension system with a defined contribution pension scheme. This transition aimed to ensure fiscal sustainability and direct small savings into productive economic sectors through prudent investments.

Simultaneously, members of the Maratha community in the state have been actively protesting to secure their reservations in jobs and education. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured his government's commitment to these reservations, urging the youth to refrain from taking extreme measures, such as suicide, to voice their concerns.

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