It is unfortunate that the relevant authorities have been ignoring the plight of PIA pensioners for the last 13 years. While performing their duties, the now retired employees of PIA worked tirelessly to turn the organisation into one of the best airlines of the world. However, after their retirement, these people are suffering in silence. These people have been requesting the PIA management for a sufficient increase in their amount of pension, but to no avail. Although previously the management vowed to address the pleas of pensioners, nothing constructive has been done to date. PIA pensioners are drawing meagre amount of monthly pension that cannot be utilised to pay a single utility bill. No increase has been made in PIA pension during the last 13 years. If the management approves an increase in the amount of pension, it will not have negative effects on PIA’s financial statements since a separate ‘PIA pension fund’ account is being maintained by the organisation. The same account also shows billion of rupees.
At the time of retirement, the PIA management had assured pensioners to restore 50 percent of commuted amount of pension to those who would complete 10 years after retirement, but PIA never implemented this clause. Back in 2003, PIA promised to increase the amount of pension whenever there is an increase in employees’ salaries, but this was also not implemented. Whenever the federal government announces an increase in pension, PIA pensioners never got any benefit. PIA retired employees are entitled to get the payment of insurance amount, but they have not get full benefits to date. The minimum amount of pension fixed by the federal government is not followed by the PIA management. It is time the authorities took notice of the plight of pensioners.
Mohammad Khan Sial (Karachi)