To secure the post-retirement life of postmen working in rural areas of country, the Department of Post (DoP) has launched service discharge benefit scheme which will benefit over 2.70 lakh 'Gramin Dak Sevaks' (GDSs).
Under the new social security scheme, a sum of Rs 200 per GDS per month would be deposited by Department of Posts. The scheme involves an expenditure of Rs 70 crore to provide for the financial security for GDSs and their spouses after retirement from the service at the age of 65, and the cost of managing the scheme shall be borne by the Government. The scheme has been designed to benefit the GDSs working mainly in rural, remote and far-flung areas across the country. This scheme will be operationalised utilising the platform of the NPS-Lite of the New Pension Scheme of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
The contributions deposited on a monthly basis by the Government on behalf of each GDS will constantly grow through investments in different schemes/securities by the Pension Fund Managers (PFM) appointed by PFRDA. 40 per cent of the accumulations at the time of normal exit at 65 years of age of GDS will be invested to purchase an Annuity which will ensure that the Ex. GDS or his/her spouse gets an monthly Annuity throughout their life. The GDS as a beneficiary will receive the balance 60 per cent of the accumulations in lump sum to meet his or her financial requirements as per their choice.
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.
The GDSs are backbone of the Postal Department, as running the rural network of post offices with minimal facilities and absence of advanced technologies is a challenge. The launch of Service Discharge Benefit Scheme (SDBS) for the financial and social security of Gramin Dak Sevaks is a welcome step to keep their motivation high.