Today, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued another circular, under the category of Banking Conduct and Consumer Protection Department. The circular is based on the pension payment through Direct Credit System (DCS). Addressed to all the banking officials and the circular refers to another BC and CPD circular letter issued back in 2016. Related to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for DCS issued by the Finance Division of the Government of Pakistan.

As the issued circular states:

To work on the transparency and reduce the difficulty in the pension payment process. Therefore, the government has made the following amendments to the SOPs for DCS: –

a. Pensioner shall be required to undergo biometric verification from any branch of a bank maintaining his/ her pension account, every year in March and September. If the pensioner is unable to undergo biometric verification due to incapacitation by bodily illness, infirmity, or if his/ her fingerprints do not exist due to old age or a genetic condition, he/she will provide a life certificate as per the SOPs.

b. In case of family pension, Non-Marriage declaration as required under para 4 and 9(xiii) of SOPs shall be obtained from pensioners on or before 30th September of each year instead of March and September.

c. Submission of the above-mentioned Non-Marriage declaration will be dispensed with after the widow/ daughter/ sister of the pensioner (family pension recipient) attains the age of sixty years.

d. If a pensioner fails to submit a life certificate or fails to undergo biometric verification during March and September or a pensioner does not draw a pension for consecutive six months, the account shall become dormant.

e. The requirement of submission of indemnity bond by a pensioner, as laid down in para 3(f) and 9(xii) of the SOPs is discontinued.

In accordance with the above-mentioned instructions, the following clarifications have also been issued by Finance Division:

i. The Pension shall be paid through a bank account either current or PLS maintained in the pensioner’s name.

ii. A pension account shall not be a joint account.

iii. A bank account dedicated to pension transactions only shall not be mandatory for the pension.

All banks are advised to disseminate the instructions widely to branches and ensure compliance in letter and spirit. Any violation of the instructions would be dealt with under the relevant provisions of the Banking Companies Ordinance, 1962.

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Source: SBP


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