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Friday, May 6, 2011

Department of Posts will deposit Rs.200 per GDS per month

Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot and Department of Posts Secretary Radhika Doraiswamy (left) at the launch of the scheme in Gurgaon on Tuesday.

To provide post-retirement financial security to over 2.73 lakh Gramin Dak Sevaks (GDS), the Department of Posts has decided to deposit Rs.200 per GDS per month, said Union Minister of State for Communications and IT Sachin Pilot while launching a new social security scheme for GDSs and their spouses here on Tuesday.

Mr. Pilot, who launched the Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS), said it was being operationalised utilising the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)'s New Pension Scheme product — NPS-Lite.

The cost of the management of the scheme would be over Rs.70 crore annually, to be borne by the Union Government.

"The scheme has been designed to benefit the GDSs working mainly in the rural, remote and far-flung areas across the country. Some modifications in the NPS-Lite scheme have been made under the SDBS to suit the needs of the GDS," he added.

The Minister pointed out that the monthly deposits by the government would constantly grow through investments in different schemes/securities by the pension fund managers (PFM) appointed by the PFRDA.

"Forty per cent of the accumulations at the retirement of the GDS at 65 years will be invested to purchase an annuity, which will ensure that the GDS gets a monthly annuity throughout his/her life and later his/her spouse after his/her death. The GDS as a beneficiary will receive the balance 60 per cent of the accumulations in lump sum to meet his/her financial requirements as per their choice," he said.

"Backbone of Postal Department"

Describing the GDSs as the backbone of the Postal Department who are responsible for running the rural network of post offices, Mr. Pilot said the Department was committed to the welfare of such important constituent of postal human resources.

He also gave away Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) cards to some GDSs.

According to Department of Posts Secretary Radhika Doraiswamy, "Of 2.73 lakh GDSs, 1.53 lakh have already opted for SDBS and 1.35 lakh have already received their PRAN cards. The existing GDSs have the option to join the new scheme or continue under the Severance Amount Scheme as per their choice. The new scheme is, however, mandatory for the GDS engaged on or after January 1, 2011."