The pension paying banks plays a vital role with the life of the pensioners. The facilities offered by the modern banking environment is really commendable. At the same time, when the question of the quality of service specific to the pensioners is taken out for analysis, it is not satisfactory.
The facility offered and the quality of service rendered are different from each other. The facility available in a bank cannot be compromised for the quality of service.
A facility is provided by use of advanced technology. But the quality of service is provided by the active participation and understanding of the personnel working in the bank. Today it is very easy to get ATM Card. But it is not that easy to get correct amount of revised pension and arrears from the banks. It is reported that some banks are compelling the customers to use ATMs for drawing their monthly pension, thus avoiding the pensioners to visit the bank to voice their grievances.
The bankers must understand one thing that none of the pensioner will like to compromise a short payment on his monthly pension for having an ATM card. The banks should understand the importance of quality of service as compared to offering of facility.
Accuracy of pension payment involves the understanding of pension rules and regulations, by the personnel working in the bank. Whereas the advanced facilities offered to the customers depends upon the technology used in the bank. Today, technology is available in the banks, but a matching customer service is missing in most of the public sector banks. The private sector banks making enormous charges for every service.
The Reserve of Bank of India simply issue instructions to the banks, but does not monitor the implementation. Accountability is not at all fixed on the erring officials.
Some banks have introduced centralized pension payment system for their accounting convenience, disregarding the convenience of the pensioners. This has resulted in utter confusion and complaints are mounting with centralized pension payment cells. The CPPCs are finding it very difficult to attend all the complaints within a short time.
Orders for implementing the 6th CPC recommendations for defence pensioners were issued as early as 11.11.2008. Still some pensioners have not received their revised pension and arrears. Earlier banks were asked to provide a copy of Annexure IV (Details of the revised pension and arrears paid) to the pensioners. But none of the banks have issued a copy of Annexure IV.
Banks should understand the difficulties of pensioners and make all efforts to pay their correct revised pension and arrears without any delay. If they cannot do it, they can take help from welfare associations by out sourcing their work.
The SBI's CPPC, Chennai is keeping large number of defence pensioners' complaints pending without knowing how to solve.