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KARACHI: A long-running case filed by pensioners from MCB Bank, Habib Bank, United Bank and Allied Bank--the country’s largest scheduled banks-- finally saw their case conclude in the Supreme Court on Tuesday.

A three-member bench of the apex consisting of Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, Justice Ejazul Ahsan and Justice Omar Ata Bandial had asked the banks to submit a statement saying how much pension they are willing to pay to their long retired employees since pensions were frozen by the banks at 1991 levels.

The banks submitted a combined statement saying they will pay Rs5,250 per month. Ayesha Hamid, the counsel for pensioners, said that the pension should not be less than 60 per cent of the minimum salary being paid by the banks, which comes to Rs15,000. The bench ordered the banks to pay Rs8,000 per month to each pensioner instead and disposed of the petition. The case is now concluded.

The banks had frozen their inherited pensions at 1991 levels since their privatisation in the early 2000s. As a result, retirees including officers were now getting pensions between Rs800 and 2,500 only. The salaries of top executives at these banks run in the millions.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2018