The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has issued a notification on review, consolidation and reiteration of the guidelines on premature retirement of government servants, clarifying that under the rules, it is distinct from “compulsory retirement” and is not a penalty.
“The objective of Fundamental Rule (FR) 560)1(l) and Rule 48 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, is to strengthen the administrative machinery by developing responsible and efficient administration at all levels and to achieve efficiency, economy and speed in the disposal of government functions,” said the order.
As provided, the appropriate authority can retire an official in the public interest, by giving a notice of not less than three months in writing or three months’ pay and allowances in lieu of such notice.
The rule will apply on officials who are in Group ‘A’ or Group ‘B’ service or posted in a substantive, quasi-permanent or temporary capacity and had entered government service before attaining the age of 35 years; and who have attained the age of 50 years. In any other case the officials should have attained the age of 55 years.
The authority can retire a government servant in the Group ‘C’ service or post, who is not governed by any pension rules, after the official has completed 30 years of service, by giving a notice of not less than three months or three months’ pay and allowances.
At any time after a government servant has completed 30 years’ qualifying service, the official being prematurely retired will be entitled to a pension.
There will be quarterly performance review. A register of those who are due to attain the age of 50/55 years, or to complete 30 years of service, has to be maintained. The register will be scrutinised at the beginning of every quarter by a senior officer in the ministry, department or cadre.
Non-adherence to the timelines, as mentioned in the notification, due to certain administrative exigencies will not take away the powers of the authority to prematurely retire an official. There is also no bar on the government reviewing any such case again where it was decided earlier to retain the official.
The Secretary concerned of the Cadre Controlling Authority (CCA) will constitute Review Committees of two members at an appropriate level. The Representation Committee will comprise a Secretary level official nominated by the Cabinet Secretary; an Additional Secretary/Joint Secretary in the Cabinet Secretariat, and one member nominated by the CCA.
The broad criteria to be followed by the Review Committee while making the recommendations include the issues of doubtful integrity, ineffectiveness and fitness/competence to continue in the post held.
“No government servant should ordinarily be retired on ground of ineffectiveness, if, in any event, he would be retiring on superannuation within a period of one year from the date of consideration of his case. However, in a case where there is a sudden and steep fall in the competence, efficiency or effectiveness…it would be open to review such a case also for premature retirement,” said the order.
Also, no official should ordinarily be retired on the ground of ineffectiveness, if his service during the preceding five years, or where he has been promoted to a higher post during that five-year period, his service in the highest post has been found satisfactory.
In case of the officials promoted during the last five years, previous entries in the ACRs may be taken into account if the promotion was on the basis of seniority-cum-fitness, and not merit. The entire service record of a government servant has to be considered for review.