IN CASE OF OVERPAYMENT OF PENSION – KNOW THE DEFENCE PENSION RULES

over payment of pension

Regulation 95 of Pension Regulation for the Army Part-II and equivalent Air Force / Naval Pension Regulations has clearly defines the rules and orders regarding consequences of over payment of pension to a defence pensioner including family pensioners.  In many instances, you may receive extra amount of pension pension than you are entitled.  In such cases, what will be the course of action ? should it be recovered at once ? or no recovery will be done- since you have not done any  mistake ? Lets know the reality here.

Regulation 95  of PRA 2008 part – II provides the following related to the  overpayment of pension :-

(a) Overpayment due to an error in law, including those due to misinterpretation of Regulation:

(i) Overpayment of pension due to an error in law (including those due to misinterpretation of Regulations and orders), shall not be recovered, but shall be reported by the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) to the Central Government through the Controller General of Defence Accounts for orders.

(ii) Any case in which there is a doubt or a difference of opinion between the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) and the Controller General of Defence Accounts as to whether the overpayment was due to an error in law, or due to mis-interpretation of Regulation and orders, shall be submitted to the Central Government by the Controller General of Defence Accounts for orders.

(b) Overpayment due to any other reason (including those involving fraud or grave misconduct) shall be dealt with as follows:

(i) Those challenged in audit within 12 months from the date of payment:

(1)   If a pension is payable, further payments shall be made at the correct rate and the overpayments recovered in instalments of one-third of the net (pension plus dearness relief) payable each month, unless the pensioner concerned gives his consent to pay suo moto a higher amount of instalment.

(2)   If the circumstances leading to overpayment disclose fraud or grave misconduct, and in the opinion of the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) warrant the stoppage of the pension in full or recovery of overpayments in instalments of more than one-third of the pension plus dearness relief, a report shall be submitted to the Central Government through Controller General of Defence Accounts, who shall decide each case on its merits and communicate his decision to the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions). Further adjustment as may be necessary, shall be carried out by the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions) on receipt of such orders. 

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(3) If no pension is admissible, payment shall cease immediately the error is detected and a report of the circumstances leading to the overpayment shall be submitted to the competent authority. (ii) Those not challenged in audit within 12 months from the date of payment (including those where payments were made partly within 12 months and partly at a date(s) or dates more than 12 months anterior to the date of challenge):

(i) If a pension is payable, further payments shall be made at the correct rate and a report of the circumstances leading to the overpayment shall be submitted to the Central Government through Controller General of Defence Accounts. Pending the orders of that authority, no recovery of the overpayment shall be made. 

(ii) If no pension is payable, payment shall cease immediately the error is detected and a report of the circumstances leading to the overpayment shall be submitted to the Central Government through Controller General of Defence Accounts. 

(c) Action to be taken by the Central Government: 

(I) On receipt of the reports specified in clause (b) above, the Central Government shall decide, whether the whole or any portion of the overpayment shall be recovered or written off, or in cases involving fraud and misconduct, whether the pension shall be withheld wholly or reduced, and if so, permanently or temporarily, as the case may be, and communicate his decision to the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions). Any amount withheld under this Regulation shall be adjusted against the overpayment to the extent necessary. 

(II) Overpayment made during the 12 months preceding the date of challenge in audit, shall not be written off unless it is absolutely impossible to effect recovery.

 (d) Mode of recovery-

 If the competent authority decides that the overpayment should be recovered, recovery shall normally be effected in instalments of one-third of pension plus dearness relief unless otherwise specified in the orders. If no pension is payable, the method of recovery shall be decided by the competent authority in consultation with the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (Pensions).  

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