Saturday, January 13, 2018
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Payment of Pension to Government Pensioners (Part I)
Pension schemes/rules are formulated by the respective Central Government Ministries/Departments. A link to some of such schemes are available at www.rbi.org.in under Notifications> Master Circulars>Banker to Banks>Disbursement of Pension by Agency Banks. The Reserve Bank of India (the Reserve Bank) oversees disbursement of pension by its agency banks in respect of all Central Government Departments. In the process, it receives queries/complaints from pensioners in regard to fixation, calculation and payment of pension including revision of pension/Dearness Relief, transfer of pension account from one bank branch to another, etc. The Reserve Bank has analysed the queries/complaints, and put them in the form of answers to Frequently Asked Questions here. It is hoped that these will cover most of the queries/ doubts in the minds of pensioners.
1. Can the pensioner draw his/ her pension through a bank branch?
Yes. Even the Government employees earlier drawing their pension from a treasury or from a post office have the option to draw their pension from the authorized bank’s branches.
2. Who is the pension sanctioning authority?
The Ministry/ Department /Office where the Government servant last served is the pension sanctioning authority. The pension fixation is made by such authority for the first time and thereafter the refixation of pay, if any, is done by the pension paying bank based on the instructions from the concerned Central/ State Government authority.
3. Is it necessary for the pensioner to open a separate pension account for the purpose of crediting his/ her pension in authorized bank?
The pensioner is not required to open a separate pension account. The pension can be credited to his/her existing savings/ current account maintained with the branch selected by the pensioner.
4. Can a pensioner open a Joint Account with his/ her spouse?
Yes. All pensioners of the Central Government Pensioners can open Joint Account with their spouses.
5. Whether Joint Account of the pensioner with spouse can be operated either by ”Former or Survivor” or “Either or Survivor”.
Yes, the Joint Account of the pensioner with spouse can be operated either as ‘‘Former or Survivor” or “Either or Survivor”.
6. Whether a Joint Account can be continued for family pension after death of a pensioner?
Yes, the banks should not insist on opening of a new account in case of Central Government pensioner if the spouse in whose favour an authorization for family pension exists in the Pension Payment Order (PPO) is the survivor and the family pension should be credited to the existing account without opening a new account by the family pensioner for this purpose.
7. What is the minimum balance required to be maintained in the pension account maintained with the banks?
RBI has not stipulated any minimum balance to be maintained in pension accounts by the pensioners. Individual banks have framed their own rules in this regard.
8. Who sends the Pension Payment Orders (PPOs) to the authorized bank?
The concerned pension sanctioning authorities in the Ministries /Departments/ forward the PPOs to bank branches wherefrom the pensioner desires to draw his/her pension. However, on implementation of CPPCs, pension sanctioning authorities have started sending PPOs to the CPPCs of the bank instead of bank branch.
9. When is the pension credited to the pensioner’s account by the paying branch?
The disbursement of pension by the paying branch is spread over the last four working days of the month depending on the convenience of the pension paying branch except for the month of March when the pension is credited on or after the first working day of April.
10. Can a pensioner transfer his/ her pension account from one branch to another branch of the same bank or to the branch of another bank?
Pensioner can transfer his/ her pension account from one branch to another branch of the same bank and from one authorized bank to another authorized bank within the same centre or at a different centre;
11. Whether the paying branch has to maintain a detailed record of pension payments made by it in the prescribed form?
Yes. The pension paying branch/ CPPC is required to maintain a detailed record of pension payments made by it from time to time in the prescribed form duly authenticated by the authorized officer.
12. Can the pension paying bank recover the excess amount credited to the pensioner’s account?
Yes. The paying branch before commencement of pension obtains an undertaking from the pensioner in the prescribed form for this purpose and, therefore, can recover the excess payment made to the pensioner’s account due to delay in receipt of any material information or due to any bonafide error. The bank also has the right to recover the excess amount of pension credited to the deceased pensioner’s account from his/her legal heirs/nominees.