Naziya Lalani
I Am A Student
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Sanath Kumar T S
Consultant, Management

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I am doing a project on Voluntary Retirement Scheme in India. The topic is very broad and I regret not having made it a little more concise. I cannot change my topic now, so I am worried about how to make the project a success without appearing to lose focus. I took up this project with a primary reason - Its been quite some while since I wanted to know about VRS and its implications. I thought,"hey to start off I just want to get a layman's view of it". Now I feel it wasn't such a good thought.
Can you please advise me on how to deal with this situation. Also, can anyone suggest some good books to help me in this project?


The "layman's view":

The concept of VRS comes in when an industry finds itself having more employees than it needs. This could because of industry slowdown, automation, or simply, better manpower management.

Quite natural, no one would like to be given a 'pink-slip' and a farewell just like that. So the Voluntary Retirement Scheme is formulated whereby the employees are given the option to 'retire' and, in return, they are compensated financially. This compensation could be in the form of cash, or redeemable bonds carrying a fixed rate of interest for a fixed period.These bonds could be redeemable either in one or more instalments. This compensation is also referred to as the 'Golden Handshake'.

This compensation package would naturally be different for different people in different levels of hierarchy or seniority in service. For example, when VRS was offered to the banking industry in 2001, the calculation, in a broad sense, was worked out on the basis of the number of years that the optee had served, the remaining years of service, and the designation (hierarchy). Though this scheme envisages an immediate cash outflow of immense proportions, the organization saves on subsequent payroll and employee benefits that would need to be continued if the optee had stayed on: future increments and dearness allowance rises, etc. The organization also benefits by charging this outflow against its profits. It was estimated that, in the same banking example, the banks were able to offset the huge payouts by the third year itself and benefit from leaner payroll expenses.

The flipside of VRS, once again going by the same banking example, was: while the industry expected the 'flab' (the lesser productive employee segment) to grab this 'bonanza offer' and quit, to their dismay, they found that more of the 'cream' opted out! One 'post-mortem' view was that it was natural that the 'cream' would leave for better pastures BECAUSE they had the talent, while the 'flab' would stick on because they knew that could not get the kind of remuneration they have become used to getting. Let me make one thing clear: I AM NOT CASTING ASPERSIONS ON ANY BANK EMPLOYEE WHO HAS NOT TAKEN VRS.

I hope that this input will guide you in the direction you want to proceed.

Incidentally, as may be evident from what I have just shared with you, I AM one of the bank employees who took VRS. :D


If you need inputs on the 'human' side of the implications of VRS, let me know. If your project will be looking into the pscychological aspects, too, these inputs may be relevant.
All the best!

Thanks for the reply. :) You have actually given me an added bonus. Can I get an interview from you? Not now... but sometime at the end of this month :?:
However, I am still not sure of how to make my project without losing focus and the sources where I can look for more information, not necessarily the layman's view :?:
Do let me know.
Thanks a ton :)

Happy to note that I was of some help.
I will be on an assignment out of town from next week till the third week of November and I may not have internet access to check my mails. But, until then, please feel free to tap me for whatever it is worth.
I am not aware of any books / sites regarding VRS, but, of course, why worry when Google is there?
All the best in your endeavor.

Well, implications of VRS on the employees opting for it is an important part of my topic. So if you could give me a detailed account of it, it would be great.
Hope I am not asking for too much

Hi Contact below mentioned address / unions for more detials Maharshtra Instistute of Labour Studies. D.C. Road, Parel , Mumbai - 12. Rashtriya Mill Majdoor Sangha CITU regards SANDEEP

You have mentioned: "implications of VRS on the employees opting for it" .

I am presuming that you are referring to the impact that VRS had on their mindsets, the ramifications of their decision on their personal and social lives, etc.

Those of us who had meticulously planned what we intended to do after taking VRS did not suffer problems, but there were many who just did not realize that post-VRS, there would be no more paychecks on Salary Day, no more office to go to, no people to look up to you and wish you because they needed you to do something for them in an official capacity...this was more so in the case of people who were in positions wielding authority--they suddenly felt as if they had been stripped of their strength...people who were used to others fawning over them for favors could not reconcile themselves to the fact that people just did not care about them any more...such people did end up becoming a 'pain' at home where they felt that even their spouses stopped to respect them because they were 'sitting at home' some cases, children started to feel embarrassed to tell others that their dad was not working any more...there were some people who just did not have the capacity to manage their finances and splurged or gave away their compensation money to their children and relatives and then found themselves left in the lurch...

What was important was understanding that things are not going to be the same, mentally preparing oneself for this radical change, and finding something productive to do with all the time that would be on their hands. Some of us started to pursue our interests that had been kept in the back-burner for various reasons: lack of time, not being remunerative, etc.

In my case, I always was one for interacting with people, building relationships, reading, writing (in English) and sharing knowledge with others and I found my calling here in Bangalore where I am now a Behavioral trainer for SymIndia training and Consultancy Pvt. Ltd. You can visit our website: for further details.

I hope that I have clarified your doubts.

All the best!


hey vinisha this is naziya here... actually i have also taken up VRS as my project topic.... so v can help each other with the contents if u agree!!!
Hello Vinisha,

Thanks to Sanath Kumar for his good advice.

I am a retired academic from UK and I have no knowledge of VRS in India. However, I know of people who have taken VRS in India.

Here is link to a book on VRS, that is advertised.

Voluntary Retirement Scheme By Vani Narula Books: Buy Online India @

I think by registering on BNET you could access this
<link outdated-removed> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )

<link outdated-removed> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )

But if you make use of any of the material from the web please learn how to reference the material. I have seen MBA projects from Indian institutions which are well below par in that respect and I would not have accepted them, if they had been submitted to me.

To learn how to cite work, kindly see <link updated to site home> ( Search On Cite | Search On Google )

Best wishes

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