SOME INTERESTING FAQs ON FAMILY PENSION
ANSWERED BYAIR FORCE RECORD OFFICE
Frequently Asked Questions
Following are the common questions, which are received by this office: -
My husband has been declared as a deserter. However I feel.................
Q.1. I am the mother of the late airman, why should the wife get the pension when my son was not happy with her. Why can’t I get the pension?
ANS. As per Pension Regulation, wife is the highest eligible heir for receiving family pension. How happy / un-happy your son was with your daughter in-law could have been an issue for divorce had your son been alive. However, after his death the only issue is the legality of marriage, your son’s happiness/un-happiness has no direct bearing on her legal eligibility to family pension. Mother is the highest eligible heir only for a bachelor airman.
Q.2. Since the first wife is dead, why can’t I get the pension as second wife?
ANS When you got married the first wife was alive, therefore in legal terms your marriage had become null and void ab-initio and will remain null and void through out. The mere death of first wife does not change the null and void status of your illegitimate marriage.
Q.3. My husband and his first wife were under the process of mutual divorce; I met the first wife and took her clearance for my marriage. After six months of my marriage legal divorce was granted between the first wife and my husband. Therefore, I fail to understand as to what the problem is and why I am being denied my family pension?
ANS. Your actions may appear to be socially correct but they are wrong from the legal point of view. You should have married only after divorce of first wife. Till the divorce order by a court of law was issued to the first wife she continued to be the legal wife of your late husband. Since you married six months before the date of divorce, therefore, your marriage has become null and void and will remain so. The consent of first wife does not provide legality to your marriage. Since your marriage is null and void ab-initio, you are not eligible for family pension.
Q.4. I am the mother of the late airman. His minor children from first wife are with me. After the death of his first wife my son had married another lady who does not look after the children born from my first daughter in law. Can I get pension on behalf of minor children of my first daughter in law?
ANS. Pension Regulations provide for division of pension between the children of first legal wife and the second legal wife (i.e. marriage after legal divorce / death of first wife). If after verification it is proved that you had been keeping the minor children with you from the first wife of the late airman then you can produce a guardianship certificate and as a legal guardian of the minor child you will get 50% of the entitled pension till the child is 18 years of age there after the child himself can receive his pension. The other 50% will go to the legal second wife. After the first child from first wife attains the age of 25 years of age then the pension will go to the second child till he/she attains the age of 25
Years of age. After both the children have reached 25 years of age full pension will be restored to the second legal wife.
Q.5. My daughter in law is suspected of murdering my newly married son in connivance with her lover. She is pregnant and in police custody. She is a blot on the name of woman-hood. Please make sure that no pension is paid to her and I am paid pension as mother.
ANS. As per Pension Regulations when an eligible heir is suspected of murder she will not be paid with any pensionary benefits till the final decision of the court. However, as per law every accused is innocent till proved otherwise in the court of law. Therefore, as per Pension Regulation family pension will remain frozen and will not be paid to any other eligible heir including you till the final court judgment. Even if your daughter in law is convicted, since she is pregnant her child will be the next highest eligible heir for family pension. Since you are alleging that the child belongs to the lover and not to your son, you are at a liberty to request for a DNA test and get a suitable order from a court of law in this matter. No family pension will be disbursed in this case till the court gives an order on either convicting or releasing your daughter in law. Further, in case the daughter in law is convicted the onus of proving your allegation that the child belongs to her lover and not to your late son squarely rests on you. If you fail to get a suitable court order the pension will go to the legal guardian of the child.
Q.6. My husband has died recently and I went to collect my family pension to the bank as per joint notification. However, there is a difference of my name in the joint notification and the account I have with the bank. The bank has refused to pay me family pension. Please advice me and help me.
ANS. Family Pension has a history of conflict between the legal and the illegal wife for grabbing family pension. Since only the legal wife is entitled for family pension therefore, the checks and balances at every Govt. agency in terms of correct name of the widow and her correct identity are very critical for commencing family pension. Your husband should have been very careful in ensuring that your name has been written correctly in his service records. We have instances of widows who have fought for ten to twenty years in a court of law to prove their status as a legal wife. Now we will carry out a
investigation through our Air Force Police and thereafter based on the emerging facts we will give you a suitable advice on future course of action.
Q.7. My husband left Air Force as a bachelor and married me after two years of retirement. Since you have written that as per the records at AFRO he was a bachelor. Please advice me and help me.
ANS. Your husband was drawing pension and therefore he must be aware that his wife will be entitled for family pension. Not informing about his marriage and birth of children after his discharge to this office was a grave error on his part. Now you will have to satisfy certain legal and procedural formalities to prove that you are his legally wedded wife and that your children were born out of marriage with him. In addition, we will do our own enquiry on this matter. Please wait for our detailed letter.
Q.8. My husband has been declared as a deserter and dismissed from service. However, I feel that he is missing and has probably died in un-fortunate circumstances. I have no money and no one is there to look after me. Please advice and help me.
ANS Desertion is a serious offence for any fighting force. Therefore, till your husband is a deserter no financial benefits can be given to you. Since you feel that he is not a deserter and he might have died under un-fortunate circumstances. We will write to the last parent unit of your husband to carry out a fresh Court of Inquiry into this matter in accordance with Air HQ letter No Air HQ/40295/PA-III dated 08 Sep 99. If based on this inquiry it emerges that your husband is not a deserter but a missing presumed dead person then your case for family pension would be considered. In addition to this
provision you also have the option to go to a court of law (after seven years of your husband presumably being missing) under section 108 of Indian Evidence Act. If the court declares your husband as a missing presumed dead person then again your case for family pension could be considered. However, please be informed that any deliberate attempt by you for wrongful financial gains by willfully hiding the fact of his desertion can subsequently result in criminal proceedings against you.
Q.9 I am an employed lady with State / Central Govt., my husband has expired, since I am earning a handsome salary, will I get family pension or not?
ANS. Yes, you are entitled for Family Pension of your deceased husband along with applicable rate of Dearness Relief irrespective of your pay scale. This is a privilege given to all legally wedded wives.
Q.10. What is the procedure for withdrawing pension of an insane /physically handicapped pensioner?
ANS. The procedure for such an eventuality is given in PPI Para 38. In order to protect the interest of the pensioner certain checks and balances are there in this procedure. Please write to AFRO for a detailed advice on this matter.
Q.11. If 50 % DA is merged with basic pay or a new pay commission is implemented then will my pension get revised?
ANS. The decision as to whether the pension is to be revised or not has to be taken by the Govt. If the Govt. decides to revise the pension, then going by the past experience it is expected that revision orders with revision table (old rate versus new rate) will be forwarded to Pension Disbursing Offices (Banks, Treasury and D PDO) who will responsible for automatic revision of pension. This office will have no direct role on this matter however, if a representation is received at this office, suitable advice
will be given to pensioner.
COMMENT: Even though the questions are answered by Air Force Record Office, but it
is equally applicable to other services also.