STRAIGHT TALK BY SAJJAD BAZAZ
We have been receiving various queries from government pensioners drawing pension from bank branches. Based on these queries, we have tailored frequently asked questions and fervently hope that this will cover most of the queries/ doubts in the minds of pensioners.
Is a pensioner liable to repay the excess amount which was erroneously credited to his pension account by the bank?
Yes. A pensioner has to repay the excess amount paid to him by the bank. The bank can recover the excess amount credited to the pensionerís account and this can be done even without informing the pensioner. Before commencement of pension, the bank obtains an undertaking from the pensioner in the prescribed form for this purpose and therefore, can recover the excess payment made to the pensioner's account due to any bona fide error. The bank has even right to recover the excess amount of pension credited to the deceased pensionerís account from his/ her legal heirs/nominees.
Is it compulsory for a pensioner to furnish a Life Certificate/Non-Employment Certificate or Employment Certificate to the bank?
Yes. The pensioner is required to furnish a life certificate every year in the month of November. The certificate should be duly signed by a gazetted officer / Bank Officer with seal. Non-Employment Certificate or a self declaration is to be submitted by the pension recipient on half-yearly basis in May and November. A self declaration about non-marriage / remarriage duly certified by a gazetted officer / MLA / MLC / MP is to be submitted on quarterly basis in January, April, July and October. However, in case a pensioner is unable to obtain a life certificate on account of serious illness / incapacitation, bank official will visit his/her residence/ hospital for the purpose of recording the life certificate.
What is the procedure to be followed by the bank branch if the pensioner is handicapped /incapacitated and is not in a position to be present at the paying branch?
If the pensioner is physically handicapped/incapacitated and unable to present at the branch, the requirement of personal appearance is waived. In such cases the bank official visits the pensionerís residence/hospital for the purpose of identification and obtaining specimen signature or thumb/toe impression.
In this regard J&K Bank has issued guidelines to its branches for payment of pension to sick/old/incapacitated pensioners. There are instances when the pensioner may be too ill to sign a cheque or unable to be physically present to withdraw the money from his/ her account but may be in a position to put his/ her thumb impression on the cheque/withdrawal form. There are also instances when the pensioner may not only be unable to present in the Bank but also not even able to put his/her thumb impression on the cheque/withdrawal form due to certain physical defect/incapacity. In order to facilitate these pensioners, the J&K Bank branches have been advised to adopt the following procedure:
* Whenever thumb or toe impression of the sick/old/incapacitated pensioner is obtained, it should be identified/ attested by two independent witnesses known to the bank, one of whom should be a responsible bank official.
* Where the pensioner cannot put his/her thumb or toe impression and would not be able to be physically present in the bank, a mark can be obtained on the cheque/withdrawal form which should be identified/ attested by two independent witnesses, one of whom should be a responsible bank official.
* In addition to this the pensioner should also indicate the person who would withdraw the amount from the bank on the basis of cheque/withdrawal form and that person should be identified by two witnesses, one of whom should be a responsible bank official, besides furnishing his signatures, duly attested, to the bank.
Can a pensioner withdraw pension from his/ her account when he/ she is not able to sign or put thumb/toe impression or unable to be present in the bank?
In such cases, a pensioner can put any mark or impression on the cheque/ withdrawal form and may indicate to the bank as to who would withdraw pension amount from the bank on the basis of cheque / withdrawal form. Such a person should be identified by two independent witnesses. The person who is actually drawing the money from the bank should be asked to furnish his/ her specimen signature to the bank.
Is debit card issued to the pensioners drawing their pension from J&K Bank branches?
Yes. J&K Bank issues debit cards to pensioners to give an ease and comfort to them to draw cash from their accounts at their own convenience and at any ATM location. However, the debit cards issued to pension accounts are blocked on 25th of May and 25th November every year if they fail to submit Life / Non-Employment / Non-Marriage certificate between 1st and 25th of the respective months of May and November.
A pensioner whose card is blocked and personally visits the branch for getting his card released need not to submit life certificate. The branch shall be recording his visit to the branch. However Non-Employment / Non-Marriage Certificates have to be submitted by the pensioner.
Can a pensioner be allowed to operate his/ her account by the holder of Power of Attorney?
No. The account is not allowed to be operated by a holder of Power of Attorney. However, the cheque book facility and acceptance of standing instructions for transfer of funds from the account is permissible.
Who is eligible for family pension?
The family pension is payable to the person indicated in the pension payment order (PPO) on receipt of a death certificate and application from the nominee.
(The views are of the author & not the institution he works for
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Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 23 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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