Rule change: Family pension for women who lose parents while divorce case is on
As per rules till 2004, pension could only be granted to dead govt employee’s spouse and after his/her death to the dependent son/daughter below 25 years of age.
Although the pension will start from the date the divorce is granted, women will no longer be ineligible for the pension just because of the death of the parent in question during the course of the divorce proceedings.
This follows a modification in rules about two weeks ago after intervention at the highest quarters in government and consultations between the personnel ministry headed by Prime Minister Modi and the Department of Expenditure headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley.
All ministries have been informed of the rule change.
As per government rules till 2004, family pension could only be granted to deceased government employee’s spouse and after his or her death to the dependent son or daughter below 25 years of age. In 2004, the rule was changed to stipulate that there will be no age restriction in the case of the divorced or widowed daughter who shall be eligible for family pension even after attaining 25 years of age. An income stipulation was fixed to qualify for getting this pension. The family pension would end once the parents passed away and none of the children qualified for the pension on account of the son or daughter being married or them being above 25 years of age.
In an order on July 19, the personnel ministry said it had been receiving grievances from various quarters that the divorce proceedings are a long-drawn procedure which may take years before attaining finality. “There are many cases in which the divorce proceedings of a daughter of a government employee/pensioner has been instituted in the competent court during the lifetime of one or both of them but none of them was alive by the time the decree of divorce was granted,” the order said.
It said that the government has hence decided that family pension will be granted to a divorced daughter in such cases where the divorce proceedings had been filed in the court during the lifetime of the employee or pensioner or his or her spouse but the divorce took place after their death – provided the claimant fulfils all other conditions.
“In such cases, family pension will commence from the date of divorce,” the order said.