In a huge relief for many pensioners, the Union government has announced that it is no longer mandatory to open a joint bank account to receive a spouse pension. Union minister of state for personnel, public grievances and pensions Jitendra Singh said that the relaxation has been decided upon for the “ease of living” of all retirees and pensioners.
According to the new rules, if the head of an office is satisfied that it is not possible for the retiring government servant to open a joint account with his or her spouse for reasons beyond their control, this requirement may be relaxed and the retiree can avail pension without a joint bank account, an official statement said.
The government has also advised all banks disbursing central government pension that in case the spouse (family pensioner) opts for the existing joint bank account for the credit of family pension, banks should not insist on opening a new account.
A joint bank account with the spouse is however desirable, the statement issued by the personnel ministry added, and it is to be opened with their spouse in whose favour an authorisation for family pension exists in the Pension Payment Order (PPO).
Singh informed that operation in these accounts would be on a “former or survivor” or “either survivor” basis as desired by the pensioner.
The government said that a joint account will ensure that pension is commenced without any delay, with minimum documentation and the family pensioner is not subjected to difficulties of opening a new account, the statement said.