The Army Group Insurance Fund (AGIF) increased insurance cover for serving army personnel without any increase in the subscription being paid by them.
The insurance cover in case of officers, including Military Nursing Service officers, Army Postal Corps (APS) and re-employed officers, was increased from Rs 60 lakh to Rs 75 lakh. The insurance cover for Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and Other Ranks (ORs), including those JCOs who have been given honourary commission and those belonging to the Defence Service Corps and APS has been increased from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 37.5 lakh.
The increased cover will come into effect from October 12, 2016. A letter dated August 22, 2016, issued by the AGIF to all Army Commands, and accessed by The Indian Express, informs that the hike has taken place in light of the suggestions received by the Board of Governors of AGIF in the meeting held on July 18, 2016.
In another move, the disability benefit has been capped at Rs 25 lakh for officers and Rs Rs 12.5 lakh for JCOs/ORs with 100 per cent disability. The amount will get proportionately reduced upto a disability element of 20 per cent.
However, Army personnel who are invalidated out of military service due to alcoholism, drug addiction and diseases which existed before the personnel enrolled into service will not be eligible for any disability pension.
Lately, the AGIF was criticised in retired military officers circles regarding the inadequacy of the insurance cover which is given to the rank and file and how private insurance companies were offering a better deal. Several retired officers have even made presentations to the military brass and to the Defence Minister, Manohar Parriker, suggesting that given the corpus available with AGIF, the schemes could be more beneficial to the personnel.
Chandigarh-based Lt Col JS Sandhu (retd), who has been approaching military authorities for better financial management of AGIF funds has pointed out in the past that the life insurance cover of AGIF is lost when a soldier retires from service. He has also pointed out that a soldier receives only a paltry sum from the insurance funds on retirement which is quite less than what is offered by private insurance companies and those in public sector.