Erring officer to pay for babus’ pension delay

Erring officer to pay for babus’ pension delay

New Delhi, May 20.2012(TNN): Acting on recommendation of a parliamentary committee, the government has directed all ministries and departments to strictly adhere to the timeline for disbursing post-retirement benefits to retired public servants and to take action against those who cause ‘delay’.

Penalty against erring officials would include recovery of ‘penal interest’ from their salaries.
Under the existing rules, pension of retiring public servant has to be authorized on h\his last working day, while PF claims have to be settled within 30 days.

Though the specific rules for disbursement of Provident Fund (PF), gratuity and pension have been in the statute book for long, they are often adhered to, leading the ministry of personnel to send a ‘reminder’ to all the central ministries.

Referring to the rules, the ministry reminded all other ministries of the provision which makes labour commissioners and dealing officials or head of office liable for delay in disbursing PF and gratuity, respectively, to retired public servants.

The parliamentary panel – standing committee on home affairs – in one of its reports had noted that the ‘delay’ not only causes distress to retired babus, but puts additional burden on the exchequer in the form of huge interest that courts and Central Administrative Tribunal impose for delay in disbursal of superannuation benefits.

Taking note of the Committee’s observation, the ministry of personnel has through its office memorandum (OM) No.38/64/98-P&PW(F) dated May 1, 2012 advised all departments to either pay all the post-retirement dues to public servants without any delay or sanction “provisional pension” wherever delays are anticipated.

“Thus, in case where regular pension is not authorized at the time of retirement, provisional pension should invariably be sanctioned,” said the ministry’s OM No.38/64/98-P&PW(F) dated May 1, 2012.

In case of gratuity, it said: “Once it has been decided to pay the gratuity, the amount should be paid immediately pending a decision regarding payment of interest. This would reduce the interest liability, if any, on payment of delayed gratuity.”

Reminding the labour ministry’s rules for Provident Fund, the ministry of personnel made it clear that “in case the commissioner fails without sufficient cause to settle claim complete in all respects within 30 days, he or she will be liable for the delay beyond the said period and penal interest at the rate of 12% per annum may be charged on the benefit amount and the same may be deducted from the salary of the commissioner”.

Similarly, in respect of delayed payment of gratuity wherever it results in payment of penal interest, secretary of the administrative ministry of department is authorized to fix responsibility at all levels to recover the amount from the concerned dealing official, supervisor and head of office “in proportion to their salary”.

The OM No.38/64/98-P&PW(F) dated May 1, 2012 is placed below for ready reference.
Click here for OM No.38/64/98-P&PW(F) dated May 1, 2012

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