Army likely to cut service years for pension eligibility


The Nepali Army, which has forwarded a recommendation to the government to reduce service years for low ranking officials for eligibility to avail pension, is likely to get its proposal approved.

The NA had, around a year ago, sent a recommendation to the Ministry of Defence regarding the matter after the rate of lower ranking officials quitting their jobs started increasing rapidly.

The move is seen as a strategy to let young army personnel serve until they are eligible to receive pension for the rest of their lives.

Earlier, lowest ranking personnel of the NA could become eligible for pension facility after servicing 16 years.

But, with the enforcement of Army Service Rule, 2069 (Third Amendment), the service years for non-commissioned officers was extended to at least 19 years.

With this, the trend of quitting the service without completing the tenure had increased, especially in the lower ranks. They had join the force with the hope of a pension fund while working for a shorter period.

Such people often opt for foreign employment and work as security guards. They had left the job midway. The NA, had in a bid to discourage the trend has been mulling shortening service years.

Ministry of Defence sources told THT that the proposal, after much discussion, had been sent to the cabinet for final decision.

As per the proposal, the lowest ranking soldiers and followers (non-combatant) can be eligible for pension after 16 years of service, sergeants can get pension after serving 17 years, Junior Warrant Commission Officers can be eligible for pension in 18 and 19 years and Officer level personnel can get pension after 20 years of service.

All the personnel can take voluntary retirement after becoming eligible for pension.

The 16-years tenure of pension eligibility has been proposed for lower ranking officials who joined the service from 2003 onwards.

Santosh Ballav Poudel, NA’s spokesperson, said that they have also recommended the service year bar reduction with the aim of not letting the government bear more financial burden due to this. Many personnel are likely to quit the job after securing pension after 16 years. As the personnel quit, the NA will have to hire new personnel while providing lifelong pension to those who quit.

“Keeping in mind this issue, we have also provided an option to the government, not to provide pension for a couple of years to those who opt for voluntary retirement until the time of their joining the service reaches 20 years,” Poudel said.