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Fact Check: Ex-servicemen yet to get pension for April?

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Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, May 04: Several media reports have claimed that hundreds of former servicemen, including several three-star officers, have not received their pension for April 2022 and the authorities have not given any explanation on why the pension has been delayed.

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"Veterans complaining of pension stopped without explanation. For most, this is the only source of income. Is this how we say 'Thank you for your service to the nation'? Request @rajnathsingh to intervene," former Northern Army commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda (retd) wrote on Twitter, seeking the defence minister's intervention.

Following the reports, the defense ministry has come up with clarification on the non-disbursement of pension to defence pensioners for the month of April 2022.

All pensioners must complete annual identification in order to continue receipt of monthly pension, which is usually done in the month of November 2021 by all banks acting as Pension Disbursing Agencies. Due to the COVID situation, Government had extended the window for annual identification due on November 30, 2021 upto March 31, 2022.

Accordingly, SPARSH has been successfully disbursing monthly pension to over five lakh pensioners, including 4.47 lakh pensioners migrated from legacy system to SPARSH (post 01.01.2016 retirees) upto March 31, 2022.

However, during the processing of pension for the month of April 2022, it came to light that annual identification of around 3.3 lakh pensioners was not updated. A list was shared with all Pension Disbursing Banks to share updated identification data, if any, and as a result identification status of more than 2.65 lakh pensioners was updated on SPARSH by April 25, 2022 leading to successful processing of pension for all these pensioners.

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, 2022.

In order to avoid hardship to such pensioners, a one-time special waiver has been accorded to these 58,275 pensioners to get their identification done by May 25, 2022.

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.

For performing identification pensioners are requested to approach nearest CSC (https://findmycsc.nic.in/) and get their annual identification updated through Jeevan Pramaan using SPARSH PPO number and selecting PDA as SPARSH PCDA (P).

The Ministry of Defence, including the Defence Accounts Department, is undergoing a major transformation with an aim to bring transparency and efficiency in various processes and procedures. With the broader agenda of digitisation and modernisation of legacy systems, the System for Pension Administration (Raksha) (SPARSH) as an initiative of Ministry of Defence was envisaged to provide comprehensive solution to the administration of pension to the defence pensioners in line with the Government's vision of Digital India, Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) and Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.

The SPARSH Portal may be accessed at https://sparsh.defencepension.gov.in/.

Fact Check

Claim

Former servicemen, including several three-star officers, have not received their pension for April 2022.

Conclusion

Due to some technical glitch, these pensioners were not paid their April pension by April 30, 2022. A one-time special waiver has been accorded to them.

Rating

Mostly False
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