A female central government employee or pensioner can nominate her child as pension recipient in case divorce, dowry, or domestic violence case is filed against her husband. The Government has amended Central Civil Services (Pension) rules and accordingly prescribed a mechanism.

The latest report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed in 2022 points, ‘cruelty by husband or his relatives’ accounted for a majority of the crime against women cases at 31.4 per cent or over 1.40 lakhs in 2022. Also, 13,479 cases under the Dowry Prohibition Act.

Fruitful discussion

In an office memorandum, the Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare Department said that it received several representations seeking clarity on whether a female employee or pensioner can nominate her children in case of marital discord leading to filing a divorce petition or a case in a court. The Department discussed the matter with the Women and Child Development Ministry and accordingly amended rules.

“It has been decided that in case divorce proceedings in respect of a female Government servant/female pensioner are pending in a Court of Law, or the female Government servant/female pensioner has filed a case against her husband under Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act or Dowry Prohibition Act or under Indian Penal Code, such female Government servant/Female Pensioner may make a request for grant of family pension after her death to her eligible child/children, in precedence to her husband,” an office memorandum issued by the Department said.

Existing rule

The existing rule says if a deceased Government servant or pensioner is survived by a spouse, family pension is first granted to the spouse. Children and other family members become eligible for family pension, only after the spouse of the deceased Government servant/pensioner becomes ineligible for family pension or dies.

With change in the rule, the OM has also prescribed a mechanism for disposing application filed by a female employee for nomination. The concerned employee or pensioner will need to give in writing to the Departmental head about nomination. Based on that, in case of death of the applicant and during the pendency of the court proceedings, the family pension shall be given to widower in case no child/children is eligible for family pension on the date of death of the female Government servant/female pensioner.

Eligibility criteria

Here eligible child means son / daughter (including widowed daughter), up to the date of his/ her marriage/ re-marriage or till the date he/ she starts earning or till the age of 25 years, whichever is the earliest.  It will be for life in the case of son/ daughter suffering from any disorder/ disability.

“Where the deceased female Government servant/female pensioner is survived by a widower with a child/children who has/have attained the age of majority but is or are eligible for family pension, the family pension shall be payable to such child/children,” the OM said. In case the children is suffering from disorder or disability of mind including intellectual disability the family pension in respect of the deceased shall be payable to the widower, provided he is the guardian of such child/children. It can also be given to guardian other than widower.

“After all the children cease to be eligible for family pension under Rule 50 of the CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021, family pension shall become payable to the widower till his death or remarriage, whichever is earlier,” the OM said.