Govt issues fresh guildlines to benefit 65 lakh pensioners

 Malik Sameed/Yasmeen Manzoor

Srinagar, May 16(KNB):To consolidate the grievances  received by the Department of  Pensioners Welfare, the Personal Ministry issued fresh guidelines  to change the existing investment pattern of pension with an aim to benefit 65 lakh central employees pensioners amid nation-wide lockdown.

Integrated guidelines consists of various matters, including the banks insisting spouses to open separate bank accounts for getting family pension, submissions of life certificate and disability certificate and on requirement of family pensioner to submit ‘form 14’ on death of a pensioner, among others, the order issued by department reads.

Earlier, while pondering on the issues of pension seekers, G C Murmu Lt Governor directed for the immediate release of all pensions of one month to give reprieve to the retired employees of Jammu and Kashmir in view of the situation arising out of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Pertinently, all banks have been advised to comply with the consolidated guidelines and to give wide publicity by putting up these instructions on their websites and also on the notice boards of the branches of the bank, etc.

The guidelines read as, “On death of a pensioner, the spouse is not required to submit form 14, if he/she was having a joint account with the pensioner and authorisation for payment of family pension exists in the Pension Payment Order (PPO) in his/her favour.”

“In such cases, a spouse will be required to provide only a copy of the death certificate to the pension paying branch in order to commence his/her family pension.”

Pension disbursing bank will identify the family pensioners based on the information furnished in PPO and its own Know Your Customer procedure without insisting him/her to physically present himself/herself in the paying bank, the department said, citing its instructions issued in September 2013 in this regard.

Banks will not insist on opening a new account when the spouse already has a joint account with the pensioner and authorisation for payment of family pension exists in the PPO in his/her favour, the consolidated guidelines said.

Pension disbursing banks will also accept Aadhaar-enabled digital life certificate “Jeevan Pramaan”, according to the guidelines.

Pensioners who are 80 years and above can submit life certificates in the month of October also. Life certificate has to be submitted by every pensioner/family pensioners in the month of November every year.

“No fresh certificate of disability would be required in the case of a child with permanent disability,” the guidelines said.

A disabled child will also be required to self-certify every year that he/she has not started earning his/her livelihood, according to the instructions.

If family pension has been sanctioned to a disabled child and the disability is temporary, the guardian of such disabled child shall produce a disability certificate once in every five years to the effect that he/she continues to suffer from such disorder /disability in order to continue family pension, the guidelines said.

“If the spouse is a recipient of family pension, no certificate of remarriage is required to be furnished by him/her,” the consolidated guidelines said.

“At the time of commencement of family pension, an undertaking will be obtained from him/her to the effect that in the event of his/her re marriage, he/she will report the fact to the pension disbursing bank promptly,” they said.

However, childless widow of deceased government servant and disabled child of a pensioner/government servant will continue to get family pension even if they get married/remarried, as per the guidelines.

A family pensioner, other than spouse, has to submit a declaration of non-marriage/non re-marriage every six months. The family pension is discontinued if she/he gets married/re-married.

“The department directed all pension disbursing banks to make an exception list as on 15 December every year of those pensioners who fail to submit their life certificate and issue another SMS/email to them for submitting the life certificate,” the guidelines said.

“The bank in addition will also ask such pensioners through SMS/email whether they are interested in submission of life certificate through a chargeable door-step service, on a nominal charge not exceeding ₹60,” they said.

Pertinently, the government of Jammu and Kashmir approved a series of relief measures for the needy and destitute in view of the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.(KNB)

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