Pensions

Pension woes of PIA employees

KARACHI: The retired employees of PIA have been facing an injustice for a long time, as there has been only a single increase in their pensions during the period 2009 to 2017. According to the admin order No 21/2016 dated July 26, 2016 the salaries of GM and above were increased with effect from October 1, 2015 (Rs74,000) and then further increased with effect from January 1, 2017 (Rs56,000), making the total increase Rs130,000 approximately.

The management should increase the pensions of retired employees as per its circular No 21/2003 dated July 31, 2003, which mentions that ‘in future revision/suitable increase in pension shall be linked with salary revision of serving employees’. On the other hand, almost every year there is a plausible increase in the pensions of federal and provincial government employees at the time of budgets but this doesn’t happen in PIA.

The national airline gives its employees 32% of their total salary as pension but the formula (which was adopted in 2003) it applies in the end makes the pension calculated on their basic pay. This is unfair. As per rules all other government organisations give their retired employees 50% of their salaries as pensions. This was also in practice at PIA till the end of 2003. The management should restore this practice.

For a long time, the retired employees have been demanding that the airline should either give them 50% pension on their basic pay or 32% pension on their total salaries without the said formula.

As an ex-general manager of PIA public relations, I request the prime minister, the federal finance minister and the PIA chairman that pensions should be increased in line with the salary increase of serving employees, and in future the pension should be increased as per increase in the federal budget every year by the government.

Bashir Ahmad

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2017.

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