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Centre issues new guidelines to help banks improve disbursal for 65 lakh pensioners

The move comes after an analysis of the grievances received by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare under the Personnel Ministry for the 65.26 lakh central government pensioners.

SNS | New Delhi |

Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has said that banks are adopting different procedures while releasing pension or seeking certificates from pensioners at different periodicity and has issued consolidated guidelines to the chairpersons of pension disbursing banks to create awareness among the Central Pension Processing Centre (CPPC) or banks branches on updated rules and instructions in this regard.

The move comes after an analysis of the grievances received by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare under the Personnel Ministry for the 65.26 lakh central government pensioners.

The department said in an order issued on Friday, “It has been observed that updated and consolidated instructions will help improve the processing of pensioner’s requests by banks and others.”

“Hence, an attempt has been made herein to consolidate relevant instructions issued by the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare from time to time with regard to disbursement of pension,”  it added.

While issuing the consolidated guidelines, the department said, “These banks are adopting different procedures, while releasing pension/family pension or seeking declarations/certificates from pensioners/family pensioners at different periodicity.”

The integrated guidelines are tackling different issues, 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.

An advisory is issued to all banks to comply with these consolidated guidelines and to give wide publicity by putting up these instructions on their websites as well as the notice boards of their branches.

“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,” the guidelines said.

“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,” states the guidelines.

Citing instructions issued in September 2013 in this regard, the department said, 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.

According to the guidelines, banks will not insist on opening a new account when the spouse already has a joint account with the pensioner and the authorisation for payment of family pension exists in the PPO in their favour.

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