Those pensioners who are residing abroad have been facing concerns in issues related to Life Certificates and receiving a pension in their bank account.
Staying abroad and finding it difficult to submit Life Certificate or want the commencement of family pension? Here is a set of rules that could be of help to you. The consolidated instructions on Life Certificate and commencement of family pension will be useful for pensioners or family pensioners living abroad. The government provides different ways in order to help pensioners living abroad to meet the conditions required to keep receiving pension without break and with ease.
Pensioners residing abroad have been facing various issues related to submitting Life Certificates or receiving a pension in their bank account. The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare of the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension has been receiving grievances of pensioners residing abroad mentioning the difficulties and inconvenience faced by them with respect to submission as well as commencement/continuation of family pension.
The Department has recently issued a circular having a consolidated list of instructions that keep being issued from time to time for the benefit of pensioners.
Life certificate for pensioners staying abroad
a. If the pensioner is drawing pension through any bank included in the Second Schedule to the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, the life certificate may be signed by an officer of the Bank.
b. An authorized official of the Embassy of India or High Commission of India or Indian Consulates may issue the life certificate.
c. In case the pensioner is unable to visit the Embassy or Consulate, the pensioner may submit requisite documents by post to the Embassy/Consulate, including Doctor’s Certificate showing the pensioner’s inability to present himself/herself in person. Embassy of India/High Commission/Indian Consulate may also assist pensioners/family pensioners in the submission of the Life Certificate.
d. A Pensioner, not resident in India, in respect of whom a duly authorized agent produces a Life Certificate, signed by a magistrate or a notary or an officer of an Indian authorized Bank or Diplomatic Representative of India, is exempted from special appearance.
e. There have been complaints that life certificate submitted over the counter of pension paying branches are misplaced causing a delay in payment of monthly pension. In order to alleviate the hardship faced by pensioners, agency banks are instructed to mandatorily issue duly signed acknowledgements. They were also advised to consider entering the receipt of life certificate in Core Banking Solutions and issue a system generated acknowledgements which would serve the twin purpose of an acknowledgment as well as real-time updation of records.
Commencement of family pension
After the demise of a pensioner residing abroad, the following procedure will be followed –
a. In case the pensioner and spouse are holding a joint account, the requirement of Form 14 has been dispensed with. The spouse may inform the pension disbursing Bank of the death of the pensioner and request the bank for the commencement of family pension, through a simple letter. He/she may enclose a copy of death certificate of the pensioner, PPO, proof of his/her own age/date of birth and an undertaking for recovery of excess payment.
In other cases, i.e., where the pension is not being credited to the joint bank account of the pensioner, Form 14 will be continued to be obtained by the banks from the family pensioner. However, the condition of attestation of Form 14 has been done away with and witnessed by two persons has been considered as sufficient.
b. In case of family pensioners who are unable to visit India for personal identification, they may be allowed pension/family pension on the basis of a certificate to be issued by an authorized official of the Embassy of India/High Commission of India/Indian Consulate in the country where the pensioner is residing. This certificate is to be issued on verification of Pensioner/Family Pensioner on the basis of the photograph available in the pension payment order (PPO) or on the basis of the photograph available on the Passport.