SBI’s merger with its five associate banks has resulted in 2,800 employees of these associate banks opting for voluntary retirement. The Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) provides employees over the age of 55 years who have completed 20 years of service with a bank the opportunity to opt for voluntary retirement.
While 12,000 employees are eligible under the voluntary retirement scheme, only 2,800 have applied so far.
SBI’s five associate banks, namely State Bank of Mysore (SBM), State Bank of Hyderabad (SBH), State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ), State Bank of Travancore (SBT), and State Bank of Patiala merged with the SBI on April 1. Bharatiya Mahila Bank also merged with SBI in addition to the associate banks.
Certain employee unions were concerned that the merger would lead to loss of jobs, but SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya assured that there would be no job cuts. Interested and eligible employees, could, however, opt for voluntary retirement.
The scheme will pay employees who opt for voluntary retirement an ex-gratia equivalent to 50 per cent of their salary for the remaining period of service. Employees would, however, be eligible to receive this sum only for a maximum of five years.
The strength of SBI has increased to 2,70,011 following the merger, with 69,191 associate bank employees.
Eligible employees can choose to register under the scheme till April 5.