The concept of paying Enhanced rate of family pension to the widow, for a period of 7 years from the date of death of pensioner or up to the age of 67 was introduced to protect the family due to the premature death of the pensioner. (i.e. before attaining the age of 67)
Normally the enhanced rate of family pension will be the same pension which was paid to the pensioner. In case of Defence pensioners/family pensioners, the concept is totally forgotten by the banks. Due to the lethargic attitude of the banks in the matter, many JCO’s widows are drawing just ordinary pension of a Sepoy’s widow..
For example a Civil govt. servant retired at the age of 60 was drawing a pension of Rs.8000/-. Suppose he dies at the age of 64, his will continue to get the same pension of Rs.8000/- till the deceased govt.. servant attained the age of 67. Thereafter her pension will be reduced to Rs.4800/- which is called ordinary family pension (i.e. 30% of his last drawn pay)
This is a simple rule easily followed and applied to a civilian pensioner and family pensioner. Since a civil govt.. servant is in service upto the age of 60 and the number of pay commissions he is going to meet after retirement is also limited to one or two. Therefore revising/ enhanced pension after his death is also limited and current. Where as in case of a Defence pensioner, who get discharged at the age of 35 with a pro-rata pension meets at least 4 pay commissions and his service pension is revised 4 times during his life time. The PDAs keeps the original PPO intact and revise the pension of the pensioner only but they do not revise the enhanced family pension and ordinary family pension at least for record purpose.
Therefore a defence pensioner (who retired in the year say 1987 during 4th CPC ) after 22 years at age of 57 draws a pension as per 6th CPC say Rs.5000/-. Suppose if he dies in the year 2008, his wife will have to be given the same Rs.5000 as enhanced pension till the deceased attained the age of 67 or for 7 years from the date of death whichever is earlier. In this case the Banks are finding it difficult to arrive at the correct family pension entitlement as the family pension entitlement has not been revised correspondingly for 22 years. The original PPO indicates an enhanced pension of Rs.500 only and an ordinary pension of Rs.375 as per 4th CPC. There are no clear guidelines to banks in this regard. Even if it is there on various govt.. orders, the banks are not ready to implement it in favour of the pensioners. Unless some learned persons intervenes in the matter with the Bank, the banks continue to pay Rs.500 with DA as enhanced rate of pension instead of Rs.5000/-.
Unless every pensioner/ family pensioner is clearly aware of their entitlements, it is very difficult to get the correct pension from the banks. So it high time that we know our pension entitlement first.
C Muthukrishnan (Ex Sgt)
Active Member IESM