Some of the common problems faced by pensioners are of a repetitive nature and can be reduced/ avoided if shared and understood by other pensioners. These common problems are as given below:
Not Giving Any Nomination in Bank Account.
As per the existing rules, banks can pay the left over money in late individual’s account, to the nominee or to the next heir as per succession certificate from a court of law.The wife automatically can’t claim life time arrears of her late husband if she is not a nominee. There are cases where a widow had to wait for over one year to complete legal formalities in a court and claim the money. It is desirable for family pensioners to have a nominee in their bank account. The nominee should preferably be one of her children who is looking after her.
Wife’s Name is Different From What is Notified in PPO.
If the two names differ, the banks don’t release family pension. This matter thereafter, has to be resolved procedurally with the help of Service HQ/ Record office/CDA. This whole process takes time and is a frustrating experience for the widow. Experience indicates that the mistakes could be related to spelling or variations due to extra words in one name i.e. Savitri Singh Mankar and Savitri Mankar. The best way to avoid future problems is to re-verify the name of wife as jointly notified in PPO with the wife herself and her certificates etc. Whereever there is a discrepancy, the same should be rectified at the earliest.
Non Submission of Life Certificate in Time.
If the life certificate is not submitted in time, the banks can stop the pension payment. This is a precaution which banks take to detect fraudulent withdrawal from pension accounts of pensioners who are dead. All pensioners should ensure to submit the yearly life certificate every year in November, to avoid discontinuation of their pension.
Not Writing a Will.
Death is inevitable. If one is lucky he/she will die of ripe old age but the possibility of an unexpected/premature death due to accident/ disease can’t be ruled out. Therefore, prudence demands that everyone should write a ‘WILL’ immediately after retirement and revise it at regular intervals.
Problems Faced by NRI Pensioners.
Many pensioners retire at a young age and settle down in a foreign country. Many pensioners get the citizenship of the new country. Over the years, these pensioners start experiencing a lot of problems with their pension. Experience indicates that the problems of these pensioners are primarily caused due to non-submission/transit loss of yearly life certificate and non-adherence to procedural requirements of FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act). Such pensioners are advised to take appropriate advice from their bank and also take the help of a chartered accountant to meet the procedural requirements of the bank. Procedure of Lodging Complaints against Banks. Pensioners can utilise the complaint channels of a bank to lodge a complaint directly against their local bank with regards to their pension related issues as given below:
»» Online complaints pertaining to State Bank of India can be lodged on its official website i.e. www.sbi.co.in. Pensioners /account holders of SBI may lodge their complaints directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or through SMS to type ‘UNHAPPY’ in its message box and send it to 8008202020. Within 48 hours, an official from your nearest SBI branch will contact you to know about your problem and he will refer your case to appropriate agency for action. SBI has also started its 24X7 call centre to help its customers. They provided toll free number 08026599990(from mobile) and 18004253800(from landline and mobile). If issue still remains unresolved after the complaints then the Defence Banking Advisors (DBA) of SBI, who are specialists on Defence pensions may be approached at dba.army.sbi.co.in
»» RBI, Ombudsman Scheme-2006.
The Banking Ombudsman appointed by RBI is a quasi-judicial authority. The aggrieved person is required to file his/her complaint on a plain paper to any of the 15 Banking Ombudsmen appointed by RBI. Online complaints can be filed at www.bankingobmudsman. rbi.org.in. Pensioners can file complaints related to non-receipt/ delay of their pension related dues.