Friday, January 12, 2018
Clarifications regarding use of Form No. 16 for pensioners where pensioners are drawing their pensions through banks – CBDT Circular No.761, dated 13.1.1998
1184. Clarifications regarding use of Form No. 16 for pensioners where pensioners are drawing their pensions through banks
1. The attention of the Board has been drawn to certain difficulties being faced by pensioners drawing their pensions through banks where the tax deduction at source certificate in the prescribed Form No. 16 is some-time denied to them on the ground that no employee-employer relationship exists between the banks and the pensioner. At times, objections have also been raised by the banks on the premise that Form No. 16 relates to deductions from salaries and not from pensions. In other cases, the certificates have been denied on the ground that the bank was not aware of any other income which the pensioner may have had.
2. The matter has been considered by the Board. It is hereby clarified that :—
(a) as per section 17(1)(ii) of the Income-tax Act, 1961, the term ‘salary’ includes pension;
(b) once tax has been deducted under section 192 of the Income-tax Act, 1961, the tax-deductor is bound by section 203 to issue the certificate of tax deducted in Form 16. No employee-employer relationship is necessary for this purpose;
(c) the certificate in Form No. 16 cannot be denied on the ground that the tax deductor is unaware of the payees’ other income.
3. These clarifications may be brought to the notice of all concerned, especially the banks in your region.
Circular : No. 761, dated 13-1-1998
Authority: Income Tax Department
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Payment of Pension to Government Pensioners
(Updated as on December 22, 2017)
Scheme for Payment of Pension to Central Government Pensioners by Authorised Banks
Pension schemes/rules are formulated by the respective Central Government Ministries/Departments. A link to some of such schemes are available at www.rbi.org.in under Notifications> Master Circulars>Banker to Banks>Disbursement of Pension by Agency Banks. The Reserve Bank of India (the Reserve Bank) oversees disbursement of pension by its agency banks in respect of all Central Government Departments. In the process, it receives queries/complaints from pensioners in regard to fixation, calculation and payment of pension including revision of pension/Dearness Relief, transfer of pension account from one bank branch to another, etc. The Reserve Bank has analysed the queries/complaints, and put them in the form of answers to Frequently Asked Questions here. It is hoped that these will cover most of the queries/ doubts in the minds of pensioners.
1. Can the pensioner draw his/ her pension through a bank branch?
Yes. Even the Government employees earlier drawing their pension from a treasury or from a post office have the option to draw their pension from the authorized bank’s branches.
2. Who is the pension sanctioning authority?
The Ministry/ Department /Office where the Government servant last served is the pension sanctioning authority. The pension fixation is made by such authority for the first time and thereafter the refixation of pay, if any, is done by the pension paying bank based on the instructions from the concerned Central/ State Government authority.
3. Is it necessary for the pensioner to open a separate pension account for the purpose of crediting his/ her pension in authorized bank?
The pensioner is not required to open a separate pension account. The pension can be credited to his/her existing savings/ current account maintained with the branch selected by the pensioner.
4. Can a pensioner open a Joint Account with his/ her spouse?
Yes. All pensioners of the Central Government Pensioners can open Joint Account with their spouses.
5. Whether Joint Account of the pensioner with spouse can be operated either by ”Former or Survivor” or “Either or Survivor”.
Yes, the Joint Account of the pensioner with spouse can be operated either as ‘‘Former or Survivor” or “Either or Survivor”.
6. Whether a Joint Account can be continued for family pension after death of a pensioner?
Yes, the banks should not insist on opening of a new account in case of Central Government pensioner if the spouse in whose favour an authorization for family pension exists in the Pension Payment Order (PPO) is the survivor and the family pension should be credited to the existing account without opening a new account by the family pensioner for this purpose.
7. What is the minimum balance required to be maintained in the pension account maintained with the banks?
RBI has not stipulated any minimum balance to be maintained in pension accounts by the pensioners. Individual banks have framed their own rules in this regard.
8. Who sends the Pension Payment Orders (PPOs) to the authorized bank?
The concerned pension sanctioning authorities in the Ministries /Departments/ forward the PPOs to bank branches wherefrom the pensioner desires to draw his/her pension. However, on implementation of CPPCs, pension sanctioning authorities have started sending PPOs to the CPPCs of the bank instead of bank branch.
9. When is the pension credited to the pensioner’s account by the paying branch?
The disbursement of pension by the paying branch is spread over the last four working days of the month depending on the convenience of the pension paying branch except for the month of March when the pension is credited on or after the first working day of April.
10. Can a pensioner transfer his/ her pension account from one branch to another branch of the same bank or to the branch of another bank?
Pensioner can transfer his/ her pension account from one branch to another branch of the same bank and from one authorized bank to another authorized bank within the same centre or at a different centre;
11. Whether the paying branch has to maintain a detailed record of pension payments made by it in the prescribed form?
Yes. The pension paying branch/ CPPC is required to maintain a detailed record of pension payments made by it from time to time in the prescribed form duly authenticated by the authorized officer.
12. Can the pension paying bank recover the excess amount credited to the pensioner’s account?
Yes. The paying branch before commencement of pension obtains an undertaking from the pensioner in the prescribed form for this purpose and, therefore, can recover the excess payment made to the pensioner’s account due to delay in receipt of any material information or due to any bonafide error. The bank also has the right to recover the excess amount of pension credited to the deceased pensioner’s account from his/her legal heirs/nominees.
13. Is it compulsory for a pensioner to furnish a Life Certificate/Non-Employment Certificate or Employment Certificate to the bank in the month of November? If so, how can this requirement be complied with?
Yes. The pensioner is required to furnish a Life Certificate / Non – Employment Certificate or Employment Certificate to the bank in the prescribed format in the month of November every year to ensure continued receipt of pension without interruption. The pensioner can also present himself / herself at any branch of the pension paying bank for being identified for issue of life certificate. In case a pensioner is unable to obtain a Life Certificate on account of serious illness / incapacitation, bank official will visit his / her residence / hospital for the purpose of obtaining the life certificate.
There have been complaints that life certificates submitted over the counter of pension paying branches are misplaced causing delay in payment of monthly pensions. In order to alleviate the hardships faced by pensioners, agency banks were instructed to mandatorily issue duly signed acknowledgements. They were also requested to consider entering the receipt of life certificates in their CBS and issue a system generated acknowledgement which would serve the twin purpose of acknowledgement as well as real time updation of records.
A pensioner having Aadhar number can alternatively submit Jeevan Pramaan, a digital life certificate introduced by the Government of India. For obtaining this, he / she will have to enrol and biometrically authenticate himself / herself by downloading the application generating digital life certificate from the website jeevanpramaan.gov.in or other means described on the website. Once digital life certificates in the form of Jeevan Pramaan are fully implemented, pension paying branches will be able to obtain information about the digital life certificate of their pensioner customers by logging on to the website of Jeevan Pramaan and searching for the certificate or by downloading through their Core Banking Systems. Pensioners will also be able to forward to their bank branches by email/sms the relative link to their digital life certificate.
14. Who is responsible for deduction of Income Tax at source from pension payment?
The pension paying bank is responsible for deduction of Income Tax from pension amount in accordance with the rates prescribed by the Income Tax authorities from time to time. While deducting such tax from the pension amount, the paying bank will also allow deductions on account of relief to the pensioner available under the Income Tax Act. The paying branch, in April each year, will also issue to the pensioner a certificate of tax deduction as per the prescribed form. If the pensioner is not liable to pay Income Tax, he should furnish to the pension paying branch, a declaration to that effect in the prescribed form.
15. Can old, sick physically handicapped pensioner who is unable to sign, open pension account or withdraw his/ her pension from the pension account?
A pensioner, who is old, sick or lost both his/her hands and, therefore, cannot sign, can put any mark or thumb/ toe impression on the form for opening of pension account. While withdrawing the pension amount he/she can put thumb/toe impression on the cheque/withdrawal form and it should be identified by two independent witnesses known to the bank one of whom should be a bank official.
16. Can a pensioner withdraw pension from his/ her account when he/she is not able to sign or put thumb/toe impression or unable to be present in the bank?
In such cases, a pensioner can put any mark or impression on the cheque/ withdrawal form and may indicate to the bank as to who would withdraw pension amount from the bank on the basis of cheque/withdrawal form. Such a person should be identified by two independent witnesses. The person who is actually drawing the money from the bank should be asked to furnish his/her specimen signature to the bank.
17. When does the family pension commence?
The family pension commences after the death of the pensioner. The family pension is payable to the person indicated in the PPO on receipt of a death certificate and application from the nominee.
18. How the payment of Dearness Relief at revised rate is to be paid to the pensioners?
Whenever any additional relief on pension/family pension is sanctioned by the Government, the same is intimated to the agency banks for issuing suitable instructions to their pension paying branches for payment of relief at the revised rates to the pensioners without any delay. The orders issued by Government Departments are also hosted on their websites and banks have been advised to watch the latest instructions on the website and act accordingly without waiting for any further orders from RBI in this regard.
19. Can pensioners get pension slips?
Yes. As decided by the Central Government (Civil, Defence & Railways), pension paying banks have been advised to issue pension slips to the pensioners in prescribed form when the pension is paid for the first time and thereafter whenever there is a change in quantum of pension due to revision in basic pension or revision in Dearness Relief.
20. Which authority the pensioner should approach for redressal of his/ her grievances?
Branch/CPPC is the point of referral for the pensioner. Pensioners can approach the nodal officer(s) designated by the respective banks who would be holding regular meetings at different locations in their jurisdiction on lines of Pension Adalat. They can also contact the bank through toll free dedicated pension line of the respective bank to seek information related to their queries/complaints. In case of deficiency in service offered by the bank, pensioner can approach the concerned Consumer Education and Protection Cell at respective Regional Office of RBI and Banking Ombudsman under whose jurisdiction the bank branch, where the pensioner holds the account, falls.
21. Where can a pensioner get information about the changes in the pension/Dearness Relief or any pension related issue?
The pensioner can visit the Official Website of the concerned Government Department as also Reserve Bank of India Website (www.rbi.org.in) to get the information about pension related issues.
22. Whether a pensioner is entitled for any compensation from the agency banks for delayed credit of pension/ arrears of pension?
Yes. A Pensioner is entitled for compensation for delayed credit of pension/arrears thereof at the fixed rate of 8% per annum (since October 1, 2008) and the same would be credited to the pensioner’s account automatically by the bank on the same day when the bank affords delayed credit of such pension / arrears etc. without any claim from the pensioner.
These FAQs are issued by the Reserve Bank of India (The Reserve Bank) for information and general guidance purposes only which cannot be quoted in any legal proceeding and will have no legal purpose. It is not intended to be treated as legal advice or legal opinion. The Reserve Bank will not be held responsible for actions taken and/or decisions made on the basis of the same. For clarifications or interpretations, if any, readers are requested to be guided by the relevant circulars and notifications issued from time to time by the Reserve Bank and the Government.
Tenure of the deposit account
5 years, which can be extended by 3 years.
Rate of interest
8.3 per cent per annum
Frequency of computing
Interest is fully taxable.
Whether TDS is applicable
Yes. Tax will be deducted at source.
Investment to be in multiples of
Maximum investment limit
Rs 15 lakh
Minimum eligible age for investment
60 years (55 years for those who have retired on superannuation or under a voluntary or special voluntary scheme). The retired personnel of Defence Services (excluding Civilian Defence Employees) will be eligible to invest irrespective of the age limits subject to the fulfillment of other specified conditions
Premature closure/withdrawal facility
Permitted after one year of opening the account but with penalty.
Nomination facility is available.
Modes of holding
Accounts can be held both in single and joint holding modes. Joint holding is allowed only with spouse.
Application forms available with
Post Offices and designated branches of 24
Nationalised banks and one private sector bank
Applicability to NRI, PIO and
Non Resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian
Origin (PIO) and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) are not eligible to open an account under the Scheme.
Transfer from one deposit
office to another
Transfer of account from one deposit office to another is permitted.
1. What are the salient features of the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, 2004?
The salient features of the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme, 2004 are given below.
2. Can a joint account be opened under the scheme with any person?
Joint account under the SCSS, 2004 can be opened only with the spouse. [Rule 3 (3)]
3. What should be the age of the spouse in case of a joint account?
In case of a joint account, the age of the first applicant / depositor is the only factor to decide the eligibility to invest under the scheme. There is no age bar/limit for the second applicant / joint holder (i.e. spouse). [Rule 3 (3)]
4. What will be the share of the joint account holder in the deposit in an account?
The whole amount of investment in an account under the scheme is attributed to the first applicant / depositor only. As such, the question of any share of the second applicant / joint account holder (i.e. spouse) in the deposit account does not arise. [Rule 3 (3)]
5. Whether both the spouses can open separate accounts in their individual capacity with separate limit of Rs.15 lakh for each of them?
Both the spouses can open individual and / or joint accounts with each other with the maximum deposits up to Rs.15 lakh each, provided both are individually eligible to invest under relevant provisions of the Rules governing the Scheme. (Rules 3 and 4 )
6. Whether any income tax rebate / exemption is admissible?
No income tax / wealth tax rebate is admissible under the Scheme. The prevailing Income Tax provisions shall apply.
7. Is TDS applicable to the scheme?
Yes, TDS is applicable to the Scheme as interest payments have not been exempted from deduction of tax at source.
8. Whether any minimum limit has been prescribed for deduction of tax at source?
Tax is to be deducted at source as per the minimum limit prescribed by the Government.
9. What is the rate at which TDS is to be deducted from the account holder?
The rate for TDS for a financial year is specified in Part II of Schedule I of the Finance Act for that year.
10. Whether TDS should also be recovered from the undrawn interest payable to the legal heirs of the deceased depositors?
Tax shall be deducted at source even from any interest paid / payable to the legal heir of the account holder.
11. Whether TDS on interest payments will be applicable with retrospective effect or prospective basis?
TDS is applicable from the very first day when SCSS, 2004 was made operational regardless of the fact that the Central Government or Reserve Bank of India or any authority might have issued any Notification / circular / clarification at a later stage. \
12. Whether only one person or number of persons can be nominated in the accounts opened under the Scheme?
The depositor may, at the time of opening of the account, nominate a person or persons who, in the event of death of the depositor, will be entitled to payment due on the account. [Rule 6 (1)]
13. Can a nomination be made after the account has already been opened?
Yes, nomination may be made by the depositor at any time after opening of the account but before its closure, by an application in Form C accompanied by the Pass book to the deposit office. [Rule 6 (2)]
14. Can a nomination be cancelled or changed?
Yes, the nomination made by the depositor may be cancelled or varied by submitting a fresh nomination in Form C to the deposit office where the account is being maintained. [Rule 6 (3)]
15. Can nomination be made in joint account also?
Nomination can be made in joint account also. In such a case, the joint holder will be the first person entitled to receive the amount payable in the event of death of the depositor. The nominee’s claim will arise only after the death of both the joint holders. [Rule 6 (4)]
16. Can a person holding a Power of Attorney sign for the nominee in the nomination form ?
No, a person holding a Power of Attorney cannot sign for the nominee in the nomination form.
17. In case of a joint account, if the first holder / depositor expires before maturity, can the account be continued?
In case of a joint account, if the first holder / depositor expires before the maturity of the account, the spouse may continue the account on the same terms and conditions as specified under the SCSS Rules. However, if the second holder i.e. spouse has his / her own individual account, the aggregate of his/her individual account and the deposit amount in the joint account of the deceased spouse should not be more than the prescribed maximum limit. In case the maximum limit is breached, then the remaining amount shall be refunded, so that the aggregate of the individual account and deceased spouse’s joint account is maintained at the maximum limit. [Rules 6 (4) and 8 (3)]
18. What happens to the accounts if both the spouses are maintaining individual accounts and not any joint account and one of them expires?
If both the spouses have opened separate accounts under the scheme and either of the spouses dies during the currency of the account(s), the account(s) standing in the name of the deceased depositor/spouse shall not be continued and such account(s) shall be closed. The account can be closed by making an application in Form ‘F’. Annexures II & III to Form ‘F’ can be attested by the Oath Commissioner or Notary Public [Rule 8].
19. Whether any fee has been prescribed for nomination and / or change / cancellation of nomination?
No fee has been prescribed for nomination and / or change / cancellation of nomination(s) in the accounts under the SCSS, 2004.
20. What is the age limit in the case of retired Defence Personnel for investment in the scheme?
The retired personnel of Defence Services (excluding Civilian Defence Employees) will be eligible to subscribe under the scheme irrespective of the age limit of 60 years subject to the fulfillment of other specified conditions. (The Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (Amendment) Rules, 2004 notified on October 27, 2004)
21. What is the meaning of ‘retirement benefits’ for the purpose of SCSS, 2004?
"Retirement benefits" for the purpose of SCSS Rules have been defined as 'any payment due to the depositor on account of retirement whether on superannuation or otherwise and includes Provident Fund dues, retirement / superannuation gratuity, commuted value of pension, cash equivalent of leave, savings element of Group Savings linked Insurance scheme payable by employer to the employee on retirement, retirement-cum-withdrawal benefit under the Employees’ Family Pension Scheme and ex-gratia payments under a voluntary retirement scheme'. (Rule 2 (a) of the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (Amendment) Rules, 2004 notified on October 27, 2004)
22. Can deposits under the SCSS scheme be made only from amounts received as retirement’s benefits?
In case an investor has attained the age of 60 years and above, the source of amount being invested is immaterial [Rule 2 (d)(i)]. However, if the investor is 55 years or above but below 60 years and has retired under a voluntary scheme or a special voluntary scheme or has retired from the Defence services, only the retirement benefits can be invested in the SCSS. [Rule 2(d) (ii)].
23. Is there a period prescribed for opening deposit account under the SCSS scheme, by the senior citizen, from the retirement benefits?
If the investor is 60 years and above, there is no time period prescribed for opening the SCSS account(s). However for those below 60 years, following time limits have been prescribed.
(a) Who has attained the age of 55 years or more but less than 60 years, and who has retired on superannuation or otherwise on the date of opening of an account under these rules, subject to the condition that the account is opened by such individual within one month of the date of receipt of the retirement benefits and proof of date of disbursal of such retirement benefit(s) along with a certificate from the employer, indicating the fact of retirement on superannuation or otherwise, retirement benefit, employment held and period of such employment with the employer.
(b) the persons who have retired at any time before the commencement of these rules and attained the age of 55 years or more on the date of opening of an account under these rules, will also be eligible to subscribe under the scheme within a period of one month of the date of the notification of the SCSS, 2004 i.e. 27th October
2004, subject to fulfillment of other conditions. [Rule 2 of the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (Amendment) Rules, 2004]
(c) the retired personnel of Defence Services (excluding Civilian Defence Employees) will be eligible to subscribe under the scheme irrespective of the above age limits subject to the fulfillment of other specified conditions. [Rule 2 of the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme (Amendment ) Rules, 2004]
24. Can an account holder obtain loan by pledging the deposit / account under the SCSS, 2004?
The facility of pledging the deposit / account under the SCSS, 2004 for obtaining loans, is not permitted since the account holder will not be able to withdraw the interest amount periodically, defeating the very purpose of the scheme.
25. Is premature withdrawal of the deposits from the accounts under the SCSS, 2004 permitted?
Premature withdrawal / closure of the deposits from the accounts under the SCSS,
2004 has been permitted after completion of one year from the date of opening of the account after deducting the penalty amount as given below.
(i) If the account is closed after one year but before expiry of two years from the date of opening of the account, an amount equal to one and half per cent of the deposit shall be deducted.
(ii) If the account is closed on or after the expiry of two years from the date of open ing of the account, an amount equal to one per cent of the deposit shall be deducted.
However, if the depositor is availing the facility of extension of account under Rule 4 (3), then he/she can withdraw the deposit and close the account at any time after the expiry of one year from the date of extension of the account without any deduction. [Rule 9 (1) (a) (b) and (2)]
26. Are Non-resident Indians, Persons of Indian Origin and Hindu Undivided Family eligible to invest in the SCSS, 2004?
Non resident Indians (NRIs), Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) are not eligible to invest in the accounts under the SCSS, 2004. If a depositor becomes a Non-resident Indian subsequent to his/her opening the account and during the currency of the account under the SCSS Rules, the account may be allowed to continue till maturity, on a non-repatriation basis and the account will be marked as a Non-Resident account. [Rule 13)
27. Can an account be transferred from one deposit office to another?
A depositor may apply in Form G, enclosing the Pass Book thereto, for transfer of his account from one deposit office to another. If the deposit amount is rupees one lakh or above, a transfer fee of rupees five per lakh of deposit for the first transfer and rup ees ten per lakh of deposit for the second and subsequent transfers shall be payable. [Rule 11)
28. Can an SCSS account be extended?
A depositor may extend the account for a further period of three years by making an application to the deposit office within a period of one year after maturity.
29. Does an account, which is not extended on maturity, earn any interest?
In case a depositor does not close the account on maturity and also does not extend the account, the account will be treated as matured and the depositor will be entitled to close the account at any time subject to the condition that the post maturity interest at the rate as applicable to the deposits under the Post office Savings Accounts from time to time will be payable on such matured deposits upto the end of the month preceding the month of the closure of the account.
30. What happens if an account is opened in contravention of the SCSS Rules?
If an account has been opened in contravention of the SCSS Rules, the account shall be closed immediately and the deposit in the account, after deduction of the interest, if any, paid on such deposit, shall be refunded to the depositor. (Rule 12)