The Narendra Modi-led Central Government in a move to empower women has extended the cover of family pension to divorcee daughters too. According to a report by News18, the government has decided to introduce ‘gender and religion neutral reform’ after it received suggestions from several quarters. Now divorcee daughters will be able to benefit from the family pension scheme even if the divorce is not yet finalised. The cover will be extended to her as soon as divorce suit is filled in the court.
Jitendra Singh, the Minister of State for the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, Prime Minister Office, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions while talking about the same said that a daughter could claim her part in the family pension earlier only when her divorce was finalised during her parents life. Singh added that after the new law kicks in a daughter will be able to claim her share in the pension even if the divorce has not been formalised and even if both her parents have expired. He said that the daughter will have a claim along with other family members like her mother and brother.
This change in the family pension scheme comes after the opposition criticised the Central government for the proposed bill that criminalised triple talaq. The government was questioned on how would a women maintain herself while her divorce was not final and the husband was in jail.
According to an Office memorandum dated July 19, 2017 on the Eligibility of divorced daughters for grant of family pension- the turn of unmarried children below 25 years of age comes after the death or remarriage of their mother/father, i.e., the pensioner and his/her spouse. Thereafter, the family pension is payable to the disabled children for life and then to the unmarried/widowed/divorced daughters above the age of 25 years.
It adds that, “It was clarified in the Office Memorandum of even number, dated 11th September, 2013, that a daughter if eligible, may be granted family pension provided she fulfils all eligibility conditions at the time of death/ineligibility of her parents and still on the date her tum to receive family pension comes. Accordingly, divorced daughters who fulfil other conditions are eligible for family pension if a decree of divorce had been issued by the competent court during the life time of at least one of the parents.”