In a major reform aimed at seeking “Ease of Living” for elder citizens, Banks have been instructed to disburse Pension expeditiously in view of the current COVID pandemic. Instructions have also been issued that in case of death of a pensioner, the spouse or the family member of the deceased pensioners should not be subjected to any inconvenience by seeking unnecessary details and documents, and instead the pension should be disbursed at the earliest.
Briefing about the Circular issued by the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh revealed that some instances have been brought to the notice of the Department wherein on the death of a pensioner, the family members of the deceased were asked by the disbursing banks to submit details and documents, which are otherwise not required for commencement of Family Pension. He said, the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to seek “Ease of Living” for all, including the pensioners and, therefore, such inconvenience to the elderly citizens has to be avoided, particularly during the time of the pandemic.
In a communique to the Heads to all the Pension Disbursing banks, it has been instructed that without causing harassment to the family members of the deceased pensioner, the pension should be commenced on the production of the Death Certificate of the deceased pensioner and in case where the pensioner had a joint account with his or her spouse, submission of a simple letter or application should suffice for the commencement of Family Pension.
In cases where the spouse did not have a joint account with the deceased pensioner, a simple application in Form-14 bearing the signature of two witnesses should be held valid for commencement of Family Pension.
The Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DOPPW) has also instructed the banks to conduct special awareness programmes to sensitise the concerned officers, in order to make them aware of the latest instructions as well as for compassionate handling of Family Pension cases.
It has also been instructed that the Bank’s website should prominently display the name and contact details of a Nodal Officer, who can be contacted by a family pensioner in the event of any inconvenience faced in processing Family Pension cases after the death of the pensioner. In addition, a half-yearly statement on progress of sanction of Family Pension cases may be submitted to the Department of Pension in the prescribed format.
It may be recalled that the current reform is a part of a series of such path-breaking reforms undertaken by the Department of Pension recently for the benefit of the pensioners, elderly citizens and their families.