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Defence Personnel

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The Government has provided certain concessions to senior citizens who have worked in the Armed Forces. Retired Defence Personnel enjoy special cost benefits in sectors such as travel, health, housing, reemployment and pension. Listed below are the various schemes applicable to them in the related field.

Travel Concessions
Travel concessions are available for road, rail as well as air travel. Indian Railways allows free travel in air conditioned (AC) II tier coaches of mail or express trains and AC III tier in Rajdhani trains for winners of gallantry awards such as Param Vir Chakra, Mahavir Chakra and Vir Chakra.

As far as war widows of defence personnel are concerned, they are allowed a concession of 75 per cent on the fare for travelling in second class. In planes, 75 per cent concession is available to retired defence personnel who are Level I or Level II gallantry award winners. The Indian  provides a 50 per cent discount to retired defence officials who are gallantry awardees on airline tickets, as on March 31, 2007.

Medical Amenities
Benefits to retired defence personnel also include a range of medical facilities. Ex–servicemen and their families are allowed to go for in–patient and outpatient treatment at military hospitals at any time. The Ex–servicemen Contributory Health Scheme has helped them to a great extent. Non–pensioner ex–servicemen are provided financial assistance to meet medical expenses.

If military personnel are unable to avail medical treatment at military hospitals, they are provided around 75–90 per cent financial assistance from the Kendriya Sainik Board for the cost of treatment incurred at other hospitals as on March 31, 2007. This helps them to take care of their medical needs quite conveniently.

Pension Facilities
The nature of retirement or release from service determines the type of pension for Armed Forces personnel. On normal retirement or release from service after the completion of the prescribed tenure, a retiring/serving pension is paid. In cases of disablement in non–battle casualty cases, disability pension is sanctioned on the recommendation of the appropriate medical authority. Personnel who have been injured or wounded during war or war like operations are granted a special pension known as War Injury Pension.
Usually, the retiring pension is calculated at 50 per cent of the average computable emoluments drawn during the last 10 months. The commutation pension given to defence personnel is 43 per cent for the officers and 45 per cent for personnel below officer’s rank. Civilians receive only 40 per cent as on March 31, 2007. These facilities enable them to lead a good standard of life even after retirement.

Family pension is given to the dependants of those defence personnel who passed away after retirement or while serving. These facilities are meant to provide financial stability to retired personnel and encourage others to join the defence forces.

Saving Instruments
The Senior Citizens Saving Scheme or SCSS is a useful savings instrument available to ex defence service personnel. This scheme was recently launched by the Central Government and allows retired defence personnel to invest in this scheme at any stage of their life.

This SCSS provides retired defence personnel and others an interest rate of 9 per cent on their deposits, as on March 31, 2007. The Government has also been introducing other financial schemes and programmes for the benefit of retired defence personnel and their dependants.

SCSS are available through any post office that does savings bank work. There are also 24 nationalised banks and one private sector bank (ICICI Bank) through which senior citizens Saving Schemes are available.

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