SBI moots voluntary retirement scheme: About 30,000 employees eligible

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In a bid to optimize its costs, the State Bank of India (SBI) has planned a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) under which about 30,190 employees are eligible. The total employee strength of the country’s largest lender stood at 2.49 lakh at the end of March 2020 in comparison to 2.57 lakh a year ago.  

According to resources, a draft scheme for VRS has been prepared and board approval is awaited. The proposed scheme — ‘Second Innings Tap VRS-2020′ — is aimed at optimizing human resources and charges of the bank. 

Besides, the draft scheme, visible by PTI, stated it’s going to offer a choice and a respectable exit route to employees who have reached a level of saturation in their profession, may not be at the height of their overall performance, have some personal difficulty or want to pursue their professional or personal life outside the bank. 

The scheme might be opened to all permanent officers and a group of workers who’ve put in 25 years of service or completed fifty-five years of age on the cut-off date. The scheme will open on December 1 and could continue to be open until the end of February, it stated, including that applications for VRS could be accepted throughout this period only. 

According to the proposed eligibility criteria, a total of 11,565 officers and 18,625 staff members might be eligible for the scheme. The total net savings for the bank might be Rs 1,662.86 crore if 30 percent of eligible employees choose retirement under the scheme, as per estimates based on July 2020 salary. It stated that the staff member whose request for retirement under VRS is accepted can be paid an ex-gratia amounting 50 percent of salary for the residual period of service (up to the date of superannuation), subject to a maximum of 18 months’ last drawn income. Other advantages like gratuity, pension, provident and medical benefits will be given to employees seeking VRS. 

Ahead of the amalgamation of SBI’s five associates with it in 2017, the merging subsidiaries had announced VRS for his or her employees. In 2001 additionally, the bank had introduced VRS intending to optimize human resources.  

This type of move at a time when the country is in the grip of COVID-19 pandemic displays the anti-employee attitude of management, National Organization of Bank Workers Vice President Ashwani Rana stated. 

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