It’s early Diwali for defence pensioners as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday directed to release third instalment of arrears under the ‘One Rank One Pension’ scheme ahead of the festival.

More than 25.13 lakh, including over 4.52 lakh new beneficiaries, pensioners and family pensioners have benefitted from the government decision last year to revise financial benefits with retrospective effect from July 1, 2019.

“Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh has directed the MoD to release the third instalment of OROP Payment for the Defence Pensioners drawing pension through SPARSH System, before Diwali,” the Minister’s office posted on X. “The banks and other agencies have also been directed to do the same for all defence pensioners drawing pension through them,” it said.

The armed forces personnel retired up to June 30, 2019, (excluding those retired prematurely (PMR) with effect from July 1, 2014) are covered under the revision.

Way back in 2015, the government had issued notifications for the implementation of the OROP scheme which had a provision for reviewing the pensions every five years.