Kochi: The Kerala State Electricity Board is staring at a mass retirement of staff over the next three years, which would further weigh on its pension burden.
As many as 3,800 employees will retire during the 2018-21 period from the board, where the number of pensioners is already more than that of the workforce.
This mass retirement is expected to increase its expenses towards pension by 30% from now.
That would further strain the finances of the KSEB which its chairman N S Pillai recently said was sitting on accumulated losses of Rs 1,877 crore.
Each retiring staff would on an average take home Rs 25 lakh towards pension, gratuity, commutation, welfare fund, terminal leave surrender, etc.
The board currently has 25,000 employees, while the number of pensioners, including family pensioners, is 30,000.
When the board was registered as a company in 2014, it formed a master trust and transferred the pension liability to it. Pension, gratuity and commutation have to be paid from this trust.
Based on a 2011 estimate, the amount required for this purpose was decided at Rs 7,584 crore. It was subsequently raised to Rs 12,000 crore and then to Rs 16,000 crore.
Cut down on posts
The board is working on cost-cutting steps, citing the high pension liability.
Reduction in job positions and redistribution of staff are among some of the measures which it would implement soon to reduce expenses.
As many as 1,000 meter-reader posts, which have become redundant with the introduction of smart meters, will be scrapped.
Work such as attending breakdowns and maintenance will be given on contract.
In section offices, headcount will be in accordance with the number of electricity connections they service, board chairman Pillai said.