The Centre should extend its directive on the grant of family pension to all employees covered under the National Pension System (NPS) including the railways', a central and state governments staff body said on Thursday. Manjeet Singh Patel, the Delhi unit president of the National Movement for Old Pension Scheme (NMOPS), said the Ministry of Personnel, Public grievances and Pensions had in March issued the Central Civil Services (Implementation of National Pension System) Rules, 2021 which are not applicable to all NPS employees.
“We want it should be made applicable to all employees under the NPS, particularly those from the railways,” said Patel, who has been fighting for the scrapping of the new pension system and the restoration of the old one. The NMOPS has over 13 lakh central and state government employees as its members.
Patel said the Centre and state government have implemented a share-market based pension system for their employees, including the ones in autonomous organisations since January 2004. He has also raised a request through the Centralized Public Grievance redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) – a website for lodging public grievances related to central government departments -- for implementing the Personnel Ministry's order for all categories of NPS employees.
Responding to his grievance, authorities said, “Your suggestion has been noted. PFRDA (Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority) is working on the same”. Echoing Patel's demand, Sushant Panda, the General Secretary of Western Railway Employees Committee for Movement for Old Pension Scheme, said the Central government should ensure that these rules apply to all categories of NPS employees so that they can take the benefit of different provision of family pension applicable to them.
“These are very beneficial rules notified by the Personnel Ministry. We want that these rules be made applicable to railways and other employees covered under the NPS also so that they get the benefit of the provisions of family pension mentioned in it,” said Panda, who works as Chief Welfare Inspector, Western Railway, Mumbai.
After the rules were notified, the Department of Pensions and Pensioners' Welfare (DoPPW) has come out with detailed notes -- one for employees under Old Pension Scheme and the other for those under NPS -- to facilitate expeditious disbursement of all entitlements of the family on the death of a government staff. "In addition, employee's contributions and returns thereon in the NPS pension corpus shall also be paid to the family member," the DoPPW has said.
The head of office will start the process to sanction family pension and simultaneously close Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) under the NPS. Government contribution and returns thereon would be transferred into the government account, it said. "The remaining amount would be paid in a lump sum to the nominee or legal heir as per PFRDA regulations," it said.