Following RBI's decision to cut its repo rate by 50 basis points from 7.25 percent to 6.75 percent on Tuesday, many banks have decided to pass on the benefits to customers by cutting their base rates.
So far, nine banks both public and private including the largest lender of the country State Bank of India, have joined this club. The above chart provides with quick information on the new base rates of these banks.
On 31.08.2015, I had forecast that the anticipated hike in D.A. for November, 2015 is 3.00%. At that time, only the consumer price index for July, 2015 was out. Now, the index for August, 2015 has been published (only this morning - not yesterday, as per the advance release calendar). For July, 2015, the index was 263 and for August, 2015, it has touched 264. So, my forecast of 3% hike in D.A. for Nov.2015 may become true.
However, let us remember that the Index for Sep.2015 will be known only on 30.10.2015. So, until then, this is only a forecast.
Medical insurance scheme clarification by Sh Hariharan DGM united insurance HO. Chennai
Attended a meeting organised by AIBOA (Maharashtra) to discuss the health insurance scheme for retiree employees . The gathering of retired employees was addressed by:
1. Shri Hariharan, DGM , United India Insurance, HO, CHENNAI
2. Shri Manek Dastoor of Dastoor & Co., advisors to IBA.
Take-away from the discussions included:
1. The scheme is to be implemented from 01.11.2015.
2. Even though the banks have stipulated cut-off date for exercising option, a time window of 90 days (from the date of implementation) will be available for a retiree to exercise his option in case he failed to do so within the cut-off date.
3. Once an employee opts out of the scheme, he/she will not be eligible to be covered under the scheme.
4. Spouse of a deceased retiree is eligible to be covered under the scheme.
5. Even though the scheme talks of "dependent" spouse, it was clarified that there is no income restrictions. Spouse is covered.
6. Sum assured cannot be increased by individuals.
7. In case the retiree expires, the spouse will be eligible for coverage under the scheme till his/her death.
8. All types of retirees are covered under the scheme.
9. Pre-existing diseases are covered.
10. In case both husband and wife are in the bank(s), both can opt for the scheme. For each of them coverage will be for the spouse also. Total coverage for the two together
will be the sum of their eligible coverage.(if both are officers, total cover will be Rs 8 lacs.
11. No age limit for being eligible for the scheme.
Ref: GS:127 23rd September, 2015
Shri R.R. Mohanty,...
General Manager (HR),
Union Bank of India,
239, Vidhan Bhavan Marg,
Mumbai - 400021
Sub: Implementation of Medical Insurance Scheme for retired Officers / Employees – Staff Circular No. 6243 dated 18/09/2015
We invite your kind attention to Staff Circular No.6243 dated 18th September 2015 issued by you on the above subject. We had, in the recent past, demanded that the Retirees should not be burdened with the payment of premium and to meet the same out of allocation for Retirees from Staff Welfare Fund. We reiterate our demand and request you not to insist payment of premium by the Retirees, as all of them have been burdened with galloping inflation, falling interest rate on deposits and the spiraling medical expenses. However, we welcome this initiative and thank you very much for the same.
While on the subject, we note that Retiree Officers have to pay annual premium of Rs.7493/- and Retiree Award Staff members to pay Rs.5620/- per annum. We have today received a communication that the Board of Directors of Punjab & Sind Bank has approved a similar scheme with subsidized premium of Rs.3750/- for Officers and Rs.2760/- for Award Staff members. We, therefore, request you to kindly consider substantial reduction in premium payable by all the Retirees indicated in Staff Circular cited above. It may not be out of place to draw your attention that in terms of Khandelwal Committee recommendations, 25% of the funds allocated for Staff Welfare activities should be ear-marked for Retirees. With the introduction of Medical Insurance Scheme, the allocation of Staff Welfare Fund for Retirees will be very meager and the Bank may, therefore, consider subsidized premium for the Retirees, if not, altogether waiving payment of the same.
After carefully going through the Circular, we have observed that you have advised the retirees to submit the consent letter to join the Medical Insurance Scheme to the AGM (HR), Terminal Benefits Division, UBIREMAS, Central Office, Mumbai so as to reach his office latest by 20th October 2015. You may kindly note that not even a month’s time has been given to the reitrees to join the scheme. We may bring to your notice that many of the Peer Banks who have introduced similar scheme in their respective banks, have given 2 months time for the Retirees to join the scheme.
You may realise that retirees of our Bank, numbering several thousands, are scattered all over the country, some being placed in remote villages. Further, many retirees stay abroad with their children. Most of the retirees normally do not visit their pension drawing branches; since they are in a position to draw money through ATMS of our Bank and other banks situated near to their place of residence. As such even if the Circular is displayed in the Bank’s notice board, many retirees may not have a chance to see the circular.
In the consent letter to join the Medical Insurance Scheme, the retiree is required to declare that he has gone through the terms and conditions of the Joint Note dated 25.05.2015 on Medical Insurance Scheme extended to the existing retirees. This is untenable as the retiree is not expected to know all the terms of the Joint Note dated 25.05.2015, in view of its non-availability to the retiree.
In the staff Circular referred above, Branch Managers have been advised to bring the contents of the Circular to the notice of all the existing retired officers / employees of our Bank. However it is our experience that the compliance of such advices has been found to be far from reality, especially, in view of various practical and operational reasons.
Further we note that as per Staff Circular in question, the Bank will be debiting the retirees’ account for the amount of annual premium along with service tax decided by the Insurance Company as and when due / demanded, without any prior intimation / information to the Optee. In this connection kindly note that retirees are aged persons who may not remember correctly the due dates for renewal of the policy. Moreover, the amount of premium with service tax may vary from year to year. Therefore, we request that the retirees may be given prior intimation about the renewal date and also about the amount to be maintained in the account.
Taking into account all that are stated above, we request you to consider the following options in the matter.
(i) Extension of date of submission of consent letter, at least, up to 22nd November 2015
(ii) Arrangements to be made by branches to send a copy of the Staff Circular No.6243 (with annexure) dated 18th September 2015 to all retirees whose addresses are available with their pension drawing branches.
(iii) Giving prior intimation / information / notice to the retirees about the renewal of the policy and the premium due in every year.
(iv) Provision may also be made for the Retirees to send the consent letter duly signed, electronically, with photographs of the Retiree and his/her spouse scanned.