Union minister Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that the government has decided to extend the payment of provisional pension up to a period of one year from the date of retirement of an employee in view of the COVID-19 situation. At a meeting held online with senior officers of the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) and the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG), he said that provisional family pension was also liberalised, according to a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry.
Singh, the Minister of State for Personnel, said that instructions were issued that family pension may be sanctioned immediately on receipt of a claim for family pension and death certificate from the eligible family member without waiting for forwarding of the family pension case to Pay and Accounts Office.
“Singh today said that the government has decided to extend the payment of provisional pension up to a period of one year from the date of retirement in view of the pandemic situation,” the statement said
In some cases, government servants have died after retirement without submitting the pension papers, it said.
In order to avoid hardships to the families of such government servants, instructions have been given for issue of Pension Payment Order for release of arrears of pension (from the date of retirement till the date of death of retired government servant) in all such cases and for grant of family pension to the family member from the date of death, the statement said.
He said that orders have also been issued to extend the benefit of lump sum compensation to National Pension Scheme (NPS) employees also, if they suffer a disability in the performance of duty and are retained in government service despite such disablement.
According to rules, if a government servant suffers a disability due to an injury or disease in the performance of duty and is retained in government service despite such disablement, a lump sum compensation is paid to the person in lieu of the disability element of the disability pension.
Moreover, to ensure timely credit of pension in cases where PPO (Pension Payment Order) has been issued but not sent to the Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO) or banks due to lockdown, the matter was taken up with the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) to issue necessary directive to CPAO and the Central Pension Processing Centre (CPPC) of banks to use electronic modes during the unprecedented situation of the COVID-19 pandemic till normalcy returns, it said.
The DoPPW has advised all the Pension Disbursing Banks to adopt the video-based customer identification process (V-CIP) as an additional facility for obtaining a life certificate from pensioners, within the permissible Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines. UCO Bank has become a pioneer in this area, the statement said.