THE disbursement of pensions to 58,275 defence pensioners was delayed this month as their banks could not confirm their identification by April 30, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said on Wednesday.
In order to avoid hardship, a one-time special waiver has been accorded to these 58,275 pensioners to get their identification done by May 25, it said.
It also said that their pensions for the month of April will be credited by the end-of-day on Wednesday. The MoD’s statement came after the matter was reported in media. Banks have to annually conduct identification of defence pensioners by November. However, due to COVID-19 last year, the Government extended the window for annual identification from November 30, 2021, to March 31, 2022, the MoD said. According to the MoD, SPARSH, its online pension disbursal system, successfully disbursed monthly pension to over five lakh pensioners -- including 4.47 lakh pensioners who have migrated from legacy system to SPARSH - till March 31 this year. However, during the processing of pension for the month of April, it came to light that the identification of around 3.3 lakh pensioners was not updated, it said. To overcome the issue, the department had shared a list with the banks to share the updated identification data, and as a result identification status of more than 2.65 lakh pensioners was updated on SPARSH by April 25 this year, leading to successful processing of pension for all these pensioners, it said.
“However, banks (the previous pension disbursing agency) could not confirm identification for 58,275 pensioners and neither was their identification received directly on SPARSH by the time of monthly closing. Hence, these pensioners were not paid their April pension by April 30,” it mentioned.
“The pension for the month of April 2022 has now been processed and pension is due to be credited by end-of-day on May 04, 2022. All such pensioners are being informed about pending annual identification through SMS and email,” it said.