The government has done away with the requirement for widows to present themselves before two gazetted officers to ‘verify’ their status for getting family pension in certain cases.
The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions has received representations from various quarters to do away with the condition of applying for family pension through 'Form 14' as it was causing inconvenience to widows, who find it difficult and ‘embarrassing’ to present themselves before two gazetted officers or persons of repute for attestation.
"The matter has been examined and it has been agreed that in case the pensioner and spouse are holding a joint account, the possibility of claim for family pension from someone else does not arise.
“Therefore, in such cases, there is no requirement of Form 14.
"The spouse may inform the bank of death of the pensioner and request the bank for commencement of family pension, through a simple letter.
“He or she may enclose a copy of death certificate of pensioner, pension payment order, proof of his or her own age or date of birth and an undertaking for recovery of excess payment," the Ministry said in an order.
In other cases, like where pension is not being credited to the joint bank account of the pensioner and his or her spouse, Form 14 will be continued to be obtained by the banks.
"However, the condition of attestation of form 14 has been done away with and witnessing by two persons has been considered as sufficient," it said.
Before commencement of family pension, personal identification details of the spouse, such as specimen signature, mark of identification and left hand thumb impression, proof of age or date of birth of spouse and an undertaking from him or her for recovery of excess payment are to be obtained by the bank.
Form 14 serves as a standard processing sheet, which defines and delineates the exact requirement of information to be given to the pension disbursing bank.
There are about 30 lakh (3 million) central government pensioners.