Landmark decision! Female central govt employee can nominate children instead of spouse
This move, prompted by concerns related to marital discord and legal proceedings, outlines a detailed process for such nominations, ensuring that family pension considerations prioritize the well-being of eligible children.
In a significant move aimed at empowering women, the Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare Department, operating under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances, and Pensions, has introduced amendments to the CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021. The amendment allows women government staff to nominate their child or children for family pension, taking precedence over their husbands.
According to the revised sub-rules (8) and (9) of Rule 50 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021, in cases where a deceased government servant or pensioner leaves behind a spouse, a family pension is traditionally granted to the spouse. Subsequently, other family members, including children, become eligible for family pension only after the spouse becomes ineligible or passes away.
This landmark decision was prompted by numerous queries from ministries and departments, seeking guidance on whether female government servants or pensioners could nominate their eligible children for family pension instead of their spouses in situations involving marital discord, divorce proceedings, or cases under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, Dowry Prohibition Act, or the Indian Penal Code.
Following inter-ministerial consultations, the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare has outlined the process for such cases. In instances where divorce proceedings or legal actions under protective laws are ongoing, female government servants or pensioners may request, in writing, to grant family pensions to their eligible child or children in precedence to their spouses. The department has laid out the following considerations:
* If divorce proceedings or legal actions are pending, the female government servant or pensioner may make a written request to the Head of Office, stating that, in the event of her death during the ongoing proceedings, a family pension should be granted to her eligible child or children before her spouse.
* In the event of the female government servant or pensioner's death during ongoing proceedings, the family pension shall be disbursed as follows:
~ If the deceased is survived by a widower and no child is eligible for a family pension, the widower shall receive the family pension.
~ If the deceased is survived by a widower with minor or disabled children, the family pension shall go to the widower, provided he is their guardian. If the widower ceases to be the guardian, the family pension shall be payable to the child through the actual guardian.
~ When the minor child, upon attaining majority, remains eligible for family pension, it becomes payable to the child from that point.
~ If the deceased is survived by a widower with children who have attained majority but are eligible for family pension, the family pension shall be payable to those children.
~ Once the children mentioned above cease to be eligible, the family pension shall be payable to other eligible children, if any.
~ After all eligible children cease to be eligible under Rule 50 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021, family pension becomes payable to the widower until his death or remarriage, whichever comes earlier.
This move signifies a crucial step toward gender empowerment and addresses specific circumstances where women can exercise their rights in family pension nominations.