Employees of the Central government who are retiring during the COVID-19 pandemic will now receive provisional pension, till their regular pension payment order (PPO) is issued and other related formalities are completed. This was announced by the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions.
While the Department of Pensions had been upgraded to process PPOs without delay and a portal has also been created where employees can check the status of their pension, the pandemic had disrupted the system causing delays in PPOs.
Therefore, in order to avoid delay of any kind for those who are retiring during the ongoing pandemic, the provisional pension will be paid for six months from the date of retirement. The instructions of DoPT will also apply in cases of voluntary retirement, retirement under FR 56, and so on.
In certain exceptional cases, this period of ‘provisional pension’ may even be extended to one year.
This provision will bring relief to many government employees who may find it challenging to complete pension-related formalities or submit the required documents or papers on time due to the pandemic and related restrictions. For employees whose offices and residences are located in two different cities, the challenge will be even more, when it comes to submission of claim forms and service book in hard copy.
This provision will be especially beneficial for employees of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) who are always on the move and whose heads of offices are usually located in a different city from where the pay and accounts office is.
The provisional pension initiative will take care of any delay in the start of regular pension as per the CCS (Pension Rules) 1972. These rules may even be relaxed so that the payment system becomes smooth for both ‘provisional pension’ and ‘provisional gratuity’ until the issue of the regular PPO.