Monday, June 26, 2017

Pensions : Armed Forces Personnel

Pension Regulations
This Division administers (i) Pension Regulations for the Army(PRA), 1961, revised as PRA, 2008 (ii) Pension Regulations for the Air Force, 1961, and (iii) Navy (Pension) Regulation, 1964. It also deals with Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pensionary Awards, 2008.
Kinds of Pension
Pension Division deals with policy matters relating to pensionary matters of Defence Forces Personnel which includes:-

1.  Service Pension is granted @ 50% of emoluments last drawn or average of reckonable emoluments during the last 10 months, whichever is more beneficial subject to minimum of Rs. 9000 /p.m. The minimum qualifying service to earn pension is 20 years in case of Commissioned Officer and 15 years in the case Personnel Below Officer Rank.

2.  Ordinary Family Pension is granted @ 30% of reckonable emoluments last drawn subject to a minimum of Rs.9000/- p.m. (in case of natural death of the individual).

3.  Special Family Pension is granted at a uniform rate of 60% of reckonable emoluments last drawn by the deceased. (in case of death of a individual attributable to military service).

4.  Liberalized Family Pension is granted equal to the reckonable emoluments last drawn by the deceased (to the families of personnel killed in war or war like operations,counter-insurgency operations, encounter with terrorists etc.)

5.  Disability Pension matter has been reffered to Anomaly committee-Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure.

6.  War Injury Pension The rates of War Injury Element for 100% disability for various rank shall be equal to the reckonable emoluments last drawn in case of invalided out and 60% of reckonable emoluments last drawn in case of discharge, which would be proportionately reduced where disability is less than 100%.
Processing of appeal
A Defence Forces Personnel, who is boarded out on medical grounds or is discharged / released / retires in low medical categories has the right to appeal against the denial of disability pension within a period of six months from the date of rejection of his initial claim. He will submit his claim to his Record Office(JCO /ORs) / Service Hqrs (Commissioned Officers), which, in turn, will forward the same to Service Hqrs, as the case may be, to place it before the Appellate Committee. Similarly, right of appeal is available to next of kin to Defence Forces Personnel, whose initial claim for Special Family Pension has been rejected. This Committee comprises of:-

Chairman : DDG(PS)/equivalent rank in Air Force and Navy

Members : (a) DDG(Pens), Office of DGAFMS :(b) DFA (Pension) :(c) Dir PS-4 / equivalent rank in Air Force and Navy.

In case the individual is not satisfied with the decision of the Appellate Committee for First Appeal, he has right to make another appeal through his Record Office(PBOR)/Service Hqrs(Commissioned Officers), which, in turn, will forward the same AG/PS, Army Hqs or equivalent in Navy/Air Force along-with all the records to place it before the Second Appellate Committee on Pension. This committee comprises of:-

Chairman : Vice Chief of Army Staff or equivalent in Navy & Air Force.

Members : a. Addl. DGPS or equivalent in Navy & Air Force. b. DGHS (Rep of DGAFMS ) c. Joint Secretary & Addl. FA, MoD (Fin) d. Judge Advocate General of the Service other than to which the appellant belongs.

After consideration of all relevant issues involved in the case, the Appellate Committee will give its decision by upholding or rejecting the appeal.
Processing of Pension claims
The process for grant of pension is initiated by the Unit where the individual is posted, 18 months ahead of discharge/retirement. JCO's/ORs is attached with the concerned Record Office(RO) for completion of pension documents one month prior to discharge/ retirement. Pension claim is initiated by the concerned RO in the case of PBOR and by Service Hqrs in case of Commissioned Officers and is forwarded to the respective Pension Sanctioning Authorities for notifying the Pension Payment Order (PPO). PPO is notified by Pr. Controller of Defence Accounts (Pen), Allahabad, in the case of Army personnel, Pr. Controller of Defence Accounts (Navy), Mumbai in the case of Naval personnel and Controller of Defence Accounts (Air Force), New Delhi in respect of Air Force personnel. A pensioner can approach his Pension Disbursement Agency on any working day after the date of retirement for getting his pensionary dues.
Defence Pensioners and disbursement agencies
There are 24 lakhs Defence pensioners and approximately 55,000 pensioners are added every year. The pension is disbursed across the country by approximately 45000 branches of the Public sector branches, 640 Treasury offices of the various State Governments, 61 Defence Pension Disbursing offices, two Post offices, Five Pay Accounts Offices of Indian Embassy, Nepal. PCDA(Pension) Allahabad is centrally responsible for accounting and audit of such pension payments, which amounts to approximately Rs. 45,495 crores during the year 2013-14.
Defence Pension Adalat
A large community of Ex-servicemen specially Personnel Below Officers Rank (PBOR) and their families are settled in the interiors as also remote areas. The lack of awareness at the ground level both at the end of the pensioners as well as amongst the local authorities specially the disbursing agencies leads to generation of grievances either on delays in disbursement or on incorrect payments. Defence Pension Adalats provide a credible forum for redressal of grievances of the defence pensioners near to their place of residence/work. Reforms in disbursement of pension is a continuous process. The whole idea is to make the life of the defence pensioners dignified and hassle free so that they can get their due entitlement promptly without running from pillar to post.

Since representatives of concerned organizations are present in the Adalat, it is possible to take appropriate decisions on the spot to the extent possible. The Adalat disseminates latest information, order circulars, procedures, forms and formats not only to the pensioners but also to various local authorities like Banks and Treasury offices etc besides providing clarification of doubts on pension provisions and procedures. Six such Adalats are held in a year.
D (Pension Grievances)
D (Pension Grievances) receives on average representations around 600 to 1000 in a month from Ex-Servicemen. These are examined by the concerned Dealing Hand and referred to the concerned agencies for redressal manually with a copy to the individual so that he should know as to where his case has been referred. States have also been requested to set up grievance redressal mechanism for the ex-servicemen. Further, around 500-700 online grievances are also being received through, an online grievance redressal mechanism, which are being processed electronically with the concerned organization/Service Hqrs who redress the grievance of the ex-servicemen and status of redressal is also updated in the portal. By this, the petitioner can see the status of his grievance electronically by simply clicking their registration number in the
Process for disposal of Court cases
The Legal Notices and Writ Petitions/Original Petitions, relating to pensionary matters, filed in various Courts are forwarded to the respective Service Hqrs for defending the case on behalf of UoI and others and to take necessary action for filing counter reply, briefing the Govt. Counsel and attending the Court’s hearings. Powers for implementation or otherwise of the Court cases have been delegated to the Service Hqrs who in turn have re-delegated the powers to lower formations like line directorate/Records Offices, etc. Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court is, however, processed by them with Ministry of Law through Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare. DP&PW is also consulted wherever necessary.
Status of recommendations of 7th CPC
The Government order No. 17(01)/2016-D(Pen/Pol) regarding implementation of Government’s decision on the recommendations of the Seventh Central Pay Commission for revision of pension of pre-2016 Defence Forces Pensioners/Family Pensioners has been issued on 29.10.2016.

(Source- )

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