Amid the ruckus created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of India has come up with more easy and simplified family pension rules for central government employees. Announcing the changes in rules made by the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW), Union Minister Dr. Jitendraa Singh said in a statement that there will be new rules in place and provisional family pension will be given once the receipt of a claim for Family Pension and Death Certificate from the eligible family member is confirmed and that too without any basic formalities or procedural requirements.
The new rules under the Department of Pension & Pensioners Welfare (DoP&PW) will bring relief for employees who are suffering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Jitendra Singh said, "A provision was recently made for the provisional family pension to be sanctioned immediately on receipt of a claim for family pension and death certificate from the eligible family member without waiting for other formalities or procedural requirements to be completed." This provision is further applicable to deaths caused due to the pandemic or a non-COVID issue.
According to the Rules 80 (A) of the CCS (Pension) Rule 1972, after a government employee dies doing his/her duty, the Provisional Family Pension will be sanctioned to his/her family members once the Family Pension case has been given to the Pay and Accounts Office. But now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are fresh instructions that implies that the Provisional Family Pension may be sanctioned immediately after getting the Family Pension and Death Certificate from the family member, without waiting for forwarding of the Family Pension case to Pay and Accounts Office.
Meanwhile, the second reform that has happened is that the payment of provisional pension will be extended for one year after the date of retirement with the concurrence of PAO and after the approval by the Head of the Department.
Basically, if we look at Rule 64 of CCS (Pension), 1972, it says that provisional pension can only be given for six months, especially in cases when a government servant is likely to retire before finalization of his pension.
Dr. Jitendra Singh said, “In the wake of the pandemic, the Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare has been, from time to time, very sensitively responding to each of the issues concerned with Pensioners and elder citizens. Reforms are also being undertaken accordingly.”