DR hike for pensioners: Who will get it? When?

Dearness relief (DR) has been increased by 4% to 50% for the central government pensioners. The revised rates have been effective from January 1, 2024. Who will be eligible for the increased DR and how will it be calculated? In an Office Memorandum dated March 13, 2024, the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW) said that the increased DR will apply to the following categories:

i) Civilian Central Government Pensioners/Family Pensioners including Central Govt. absorbee pensioners in PSU/Autonomous Bodies in respect of whom orders have been issued vide this Department’s OM No. 4/34/2002-P&PW(D)Vol.II dated 23.06.2017 for restoration of full pension after expiry of commutation period of 15 years.

ii) The Armed Forces Pensioners/Family Pensioners and Civilian Pensioners/Family Pensioners paid out of the Defence Service Estimates.

iii) All India Service Pensioners/Family Pensioners.

iv) Railway Pensioners/Family Pensioners.

v) Pensioners who are in receipt of provisional pension.

vi) The Burma Civilian Pensioners/Family Pensioners and Pensioners/families of displaced Government Pensioners from Burma/ Pakistan, in respect of whom orders have been issued vide this Department’s OM No. 23/3/2008-P&PW(B) dated 11.09.2017.

“Other provisions governing grant of DR in respect of employed family pensioners and re-employed Central Government Pensioners will be regulated in accordance with the provisions contained in Rule 52 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021 and this Department’s OM No. 45/73/97-P&PW (G) dated 2.7.1999 as amended from time to time. The provisions relating to regulation of DR where a pensioner is in receipt of more than one pension will remain unchanged,” the department added.

In the case of retired Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, necessary orders will be issued by the Department of Justice separately, DoPPW said.

How much DR will pensioners, and family pensioners get?

The Office Memorandum said, “Dearness Relief admissible to Central Government Pensioners/Family Pensioners shall be enhanced from the existing rate of 46% to 50% of the basic pension/family pension (including additional pension/family pension) w.e.f 01st January 2024.”

Dearness relief has been increased by 4%. With a hike in DR, the monthly pension of retired central government employees will also rise. For instance, a central government pensioner gets a basic pension of Rs 40,100 per month. At 46% dearness relief, the pensioner used to get Rs 18,446 as DR. After the latest hike, he will get Rs 20,050 every month as DR. So, his pension will rise by Rs 1,604 per month.

“The payment of dearness relief involving a fraction of a rupee shall be rounded off to the next higher rupee,” said DoPPW.

Keep in mind that it will be the responsibility of the pension disbursing authorities, including the nationalised banks, etc. to calculate the quantum of DR payable in each case.

When will the pensioners get the hiked DR?

The offices of Accountant General and authorised Pension Disbursing Banks are requested to arrange payment of Dearness Relief to Pensioners/Family Pensioners on the basis of these instructions without waiting for any further instructions from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Reserve Bank of India in view of letter No. 528-TA, II/34-80-II dated 23/04/1981 of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India addressed to all Accountant Generals and Reserve Bank of India Circular No. GANG No. 2958/GA-64 (ii) (CGL)/81 dated the 21′ May, 1981 addressed to State Bank of India and its subsidiaries and all Nationalised Banks.

“The payment of arrears of dearness relief shall not be made before the date of disbursement of pension/family pension of March 2024,” it added.

As DoPPW asked the banks to immediately start disbursing DR for pensioners and family pensioners without waiting for any further order, the pensioners and family pensioners are likely to get their hike dearness relief soon.

Roy Walsh

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