RCSC: The Civil Servants’ Welfare Scheme (CSWS) that was launched on November 9 ensures financial support to civil servants and their direct dependents in times of need, according to Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) officials.

As a self-help programme ‘of, by and for’ the civil servants, the CSWS which is an insurance scheme, is expected to take care of civil servants while in service and after they superannuate.

Members who do not have any direct dependents can nominate at least one person as a representative to receive the admissible grant upon his or her demise. All regular civil servants are members of the scheme by default. Membership to the scheme is for life and withdrawal is not an option while in service unless terminated.

Records with RCSC state that of the 25,410 regular civil servants, 19,855 were enrolled as members to the CSWS. The rest, according to RCSC officials, were not accounted as they are still considering the option while some of them are on long-term study, secondment, medical leave or extraordinary leave.

Zhung Dratshang’s Leytshog Lopon Sangay Dorji launched the CSWS that was dedicated to 60th birth anniversary celebrations of His Majesty The Fourth Druk Gyalpo.

A civil servant Kinga Choden said that the CSWS is different from other schemes as it not only provides financial support but civil servants can continue to be members of the scheme for free even after they superannuate.

However, only the member and his or her spouse would be covered under the CSWS.

“The monthly contribution is minimal under which even our dependents are covered,” she said, adding that the scheme also expands to cover exigencies like permanent disability and terminal illnesses.

The monthly contributions will be based on the civil service’s four position categories while the benefits are same for all. Executive and specialists category has to contribute Nu 300, while professional and management, and supervisory and support, have to contribute Nu 200 and Nu 100 respectively. The operational category will contribute Nu 75.

As of December 2014, there are 250 civil servants under executive and specialists group. Meanwhile, there are 13,132 and 9,875 civil servants under professional and management, and supervisory and support, category respectively. The operational category alone has 2,101 civil servants.

The contribution will be deducted at source by the respective accounts sections starting this month. For fresh recruits joining as regular civil servants, the deduction shall start at the end of the month when the civil servant becomes a member.

A sum of Nu 75,000 will be paid in the event of the death of a member, Nu 35,000 in the event of the death of a dependant and Nu 50,000 in the event of the death of a superannuated member.

However, only one payment will be made against a death instance irrespective of the number of contributing members.

Another civil servant, Tshering Deki, said a downside of the scheme was that in the event of the death of a member who is also a dependant of another member, only one payment, whichever is higher, is made. And also in the event of a common dependant, the claim could be made by one of the members.

“Both I and my sister are civil servants and we have our parents as our dependants. In the event of their death, only one of us can claim for the benefit although both of us contribute to the scheme,” she said.

Dechen Tshomo