Re-opening of Retired Employees Liberalised Health Scheme [RELHS-97]

Railway Board Letter No
2003/H/28/I/RELHS dated 16.03.2009
Circular Subject
Re-opening ofRetired Employees Liberalised Health Scheme [RELHS-97]
Board’s letter No. 2003/H/28/1/RELHS dated 28.01.05, 21.10.2005, 30.12.2005, 10.05.2006 and 10.1.2007

1.       Arising out of demands raised by old retirees and Pensioners Associations, the subject of extension / re-opening of the Retired Employees Liberalised Health Scheme [RELHS-97],  for those retired employees who have not yet joined the RELHS-97 scheme, has been under consideration of the Board for some time.  After careful examination of the matter it has been decided that all retired Railway employees having qualifying service period and who have not yet joined the RELHS-97 scheme, will be given another last and final chance to join RELHS-97.


2.         The period during which the scheme shall be opened is from the date of issue of this letter and upto 31.03.2010 [Thirty first March two thousand and ten only].


3.         The re-opening of RELHS-97 scheme has been approved by Railway Board with the same conditions as stipulated in Board’s letter of even number dated 10.1.2007 viz. there will be a “lock-in period”  of six months from the date on which a retired employee joins the scheme i.e. the date of depositing the fees.  During this period, the retired employee will be entitled for  medical treatment as available in Railway hospitals and other Govt. hospitals including Govt. owned autonomous hospitals and Govt. Medical College Hospitals only.  They shall not be referred to private hospitals, which are recognized for Railway employees and other RELHS card holders.  In any circumstances and in any medical condition, during the “lock-in period”, reimbursement of medical claims for treatment taken in private hospital including  the private recognized hospitals will not be permitted.


3.1.      All other terms and conditions of the RELHS-97 mentioned in Board’s letters under reference will remain unaltered.  RELHS [Medical Identity] card will be issued by the Personnel Branch of concerned Railways.  The RELHS Card issued to beneficiaries with lock-in period should clearly indicate the designation, amount and date of deposit, name and designation of issuing authority / signatory along with date.


3.2.      Lock-in period to be clearly and prominently mentioned on the card.


3.3.      The  retired /medically invalidated employees who are willing to join this scheme  must give a clear declaration along with  application that he/she is joining the scheme with full knowledge about the “lock-in” period.   He/ she should also give clear declaration that during the “lock-in” period, he /she will not submit any reimbursement claim for treatment taken in private or private Railway recognized hospitals and would not challenge the orders of Railway Board to this effect in any court of law.


4.         The instructions regarding Lock-in period are also applicable to those retired / medically invalidated employees and spouses of Railway employees who died in harness / after superannuation and have not joined the RELHS-97 scheme earlier because they are permitted to join the scheme within 3 months from the date of invalidation / death of the employee.

5.         It has further been decided by the Board that joining of RELHS-97 may  be made mandatory for all retiring Railway employees.  In case, the retiring officer /staff is unwilling to join the Scheme, he/she should clearly submit his / her unwillingness in writing in the declaration proforma along with reasons thereof [Revised Annexure of Booklet containing Pension Forms].  As such, option /declaration proforma may be modified suitably.  The retiring Railway employees may also be explained that the certification of his / her willingness to join RELHS shall be treated as final and no further chance will be given to join the scheme thereafter.


6.         In the wake of the recommendations by VIth Central Pay Commission, it has been decided by Board that following should be the rate of contribution for joining RELHS-97:



The employees who have already retired on the date of RE-OPENING OF THE RELHS  and have not joined at the time of retirement.

A sum equivalent to double the amount of revised basic pension after the implementation of VI CPC.


Family pensioners

A sum equivalent to double the amount of revised family pension after the implementation of VI CPC.


SRPF optees

A sum twice  the amount of ex-gratia monthly payment  admissible on the date of joining the scheme.


            A wide publicity should be given.


            This issues with the concurrence of the Finance and Pay Commission Directorates of the Ministry of Railways.