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Archive for March, 2011

Underwater Post Office

Posted by Prashant Shah on March 29, 2011

Do you imagine an underwater post office? Apparently it seems impossible to have any post office which is underwater. To your surprise underwater post office is the busiest one. Its Vanuatu Post’s Underwater Post Office. Further exiting information is as below which I have grabbed from http://www.vanuatupost.vu/underwaterPost.html

Vanuatu Post’s Underwater Post Office, found just off Hideaway Island near Port Vila, has quickly become one of the busiest post offices for postcards in the world!

Visitors from around the world have literally donned their mask and snorkels, postcards in hand to experience the world’s first underwater post office.

And they have not been disappointed. The Post Office is only 50 metres offshore and at just three metres below the surface, is very accessible to the young and young at heart. Thousands of visitors have posted one of the special waterproof postcards available in Vanuatu; these cards are collected regularly by one of Vanuatu Post’s four trained scuba divers and “cancelled” underwater with an embossing cachet. Mail that requires a normal Underwater Post Office date stamp is cancelled in the Main Post Office.

Since opening in 2003, the underwater post office has received an estimated 100,000 visitors. The underwater branch is manned daily for usually about an hour, longer on cruise ship days or with demand.

“I love working at the underwater branch,” says VPL’s Samuel Robert. “It’s great fun and really pleasing to see so many visitors each day who cannot believe their eyes!”

Vanuatu Post has released two stamp issues commemorating the world’s first underwater post office.

Underwater Stamps:

Presentation Pack:

Underwater Post Card:

There is lot more stuff which can be bought from http://www.vanuatupost.vu/underwaterPost.html so keep collecting. Life is full of surprises. Don’t you think so…


Posted in Collectibles | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Employees’ Pension Scheme

Posted by Prashant Shah on March 18, 2011

This is a pension scheme for survivors, old aged and disabled persons. This scheme came into effect from 16th Nov. 1995. The earlier family pension scheme has been replaced with this new scheme. This scheme caters for three types of contingencies:
  1. Survivor pension: If death occurs during service period
  2. Old age pension: Superannuation
  3. Permanent disability: In the event of member suffering permanent disability while service


  1. The employer’s contribution of 8.33% will be diverted to the fund of pension scheme
  2. Employee is not required to contribute at all in this scheme
  3. The central Government also contributes at the rate of 1.16% of the pay of the member of EPS and credit the contribution to Employee’s Pension Fund
  4. The 8.33% is on maximum pay of Rs. 6500
  5. If the employers are paying contribution on salary in excess of Rs. 6500, the excess contribution will be credited to PF and not to the Pension Scheme



Pension shall be calculated as per the following formula:


Pensionable Salary: Average salary drawn in period of 12 months preceding the date of exit membership of employee’s pension fund
Pensionable Service: The service rendered by the member for which contributions have been received or receivable
  1. If the service is rendered for a period which is more than 20 years, the member’s pensionable service shall in all cases be increased by adding 2 years
  2. E.g. 21 years of pensionable service shall be increased to 23 years

Under New Scheme:

  1. Superannuation/ Retirement/ Short-service pension under the new scheme will be payable on fulfilling:
  2. Minimum 10 years eligible service
  3. Attaining age of 58 years
  4. On ceasing employment earlier than 58 years, pension may be availed by the member at his option
  5. This may be before attaining the age of 58 years but not below 50 years
  6. Early pension is subject to discount factor as per table D
  7. This restriction are not applicable on pension payable on disablement or death

Widow Pension

In case the member dies

  • While in service
  • After death of exit but before attaining the age of 58 and before commencement of pension payment
  • Widow pension shall be equal to maximum of
    1. Monthly member’s pension
    2. Rs.450
    3. Amount indicated in Table C of the scheme

Note: If the member dies after commencement of monthly pension, widow pension shall be equal to 50% of the monthly member’s pension subject to minimum of Rs.450 p.m.

Children Pension

  1. The surviving children of the deceased member shall be entitled to monthly children pension, in addition to widow pension, equal to 25% of widow pension, subject to minimum of Rs.150 pm to each child
  2. Monthly children pension shall be payable until the child attains the age of 25 years
  3. This pension shall be payable to maximum 2 children running from eldest to youngest
  4. In case the deceased member is not survived by any widow, but is survived by children, the surviving shall be entitled to monthly orphan pension equal to 75% of the widow pension, subject to minimum of Rs.250 pm to each child

Commutation of Pension

  1. A member eligible to pension, may opt to commute up to maximum of 1/3rd of his pension
  2. Commuted value shall be 100 times the monthly pension
  3. Balance pension shall be payable on monthly basis.

Tax Treatment:

If he is in receipt of gratuity: 1/3 of (commuted pension/%of commutation) × 100

If he is not in receipt of gratuity: ½  of (commuted pension/%of commutation) × 100

Posted in CFP, Employee Benefits, Retirement Planning | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »