LAHORE - The general body of PIA’s retired employees demanded immediate increase in their pension since only once in a decade increase was given to them.

President Pakistan International Airlines’ Retired Employees Association (Piarea) Syed Tahir Hassan while presiding over the general body meeting of the association welcomed the suggestion of increasing the salaries of PIA employees recently by PIA management. He demanded the increase in pension of all retired employees promised by the chairman during a meeting recently. He claimed that retired employees are finding it hard to survive in this recessionary period with such meager amount of pension.

PIAREA also demanded that the payment of commuted amount and Matured Group Insurance should also be given to the retired employees.

He said the pension of the retired employees of the national airline is very low as compare to the pensions of the employees of other government departments, therefore this discrimination should be ended and a due raise in the pensions be made.

‘This policy of denying the lawful rights of the retired employees of PIA should be changed, and they should be given their legal rights while making their pensions respectable from current 32 percent to 50 percent, as per government rules,’ the general body meeting demanded.

Pension should be increased every year in line with the salary increase of the regular employees according to the Admin Order 21/2003 of the airlines that stated that the ex-staff pension will be raised along with the salaries of its in-service staff, he added.

Currently, the national airline gives its employees 32 percent of their total salary as pension but the formula it applies in the end makes the pension calculated on their basic pays. So the airline should either give them 50 percent pension on the basic pay or make the 32 percent pension to be given on their total salaries.

‘According to the rules, the PIA Pension Trust Fund should have Rs 25 billion to Rs 35 billion earmarked for the retired employees of the national airline. So any increase in the pensions will not affect the PIA’s budget,’ he reasoned.