New Delhi: As a pensioner, you need to ensure that your bank records the Pension Payment Order (PPO) number in the passbook. PPO is a 12 digit number in which the first five digits indicate the code number of PPO Issuing Authority, next two digits indicate the year of issue, and after this, the four digits indicate the sequential number of the PPO while the last digit is a check digit for the purpose of the computer.
PPO number is unique for each pensioner/family pensioner and it works as a reference number for any communication made to Central Pension Accounting Office (CPAO). Pensioners can check the status of their pension and lodge grievances through the 12 digit PPO number only because CPAO database recognizes only 12 digit PPO numbers.
It may be noted that CPAO was established on in 1990 and, therefore, does not have a record of pensions sanctioned prior to 1990 by various government offices. In order to create a record of such pensioners in CPAO computer database, information of such pensioners can be provided by PAO of pensioners parent office or the concerned CPPC duly supported with attested photocopies of old pension papers and get 12 digit PPO number allotted.
Sometimes, banks do not update the PPO in the passbook of the pensioner or the family pensioner which may lead to unnecessary delays. The Department of Expenditure of CPAO under the Ministry of Finance has issued an Office Memorandum (OM) regarding marking of PPO number in the bank passbook of pensioners or family pensioners.
Such OMs have also been issued several times in the past wherein banks were asked to record the PPO Number in the passbook of the pensioners. However, as per the OM, grievances were still being received from the Pensioners Welfare Association and individual pensioners that their PPO is not being recorded in their passbook.
Not having the PPO number updated in the passbook may also lead to problems during the transfer of pension account from one bank or branch to another. It might also delay the process of applying for a duplicate Pension Payment Order (PPO) in case of missing of original PPO. The crucial period could be during the commencement of family pension to the spouse or dependent children after the death of a pensioner, etc. in the absence of ready availability of PPO numbers.
If the PPO number is not updated in the passbook, you may have to find out using a bank account. Pensioners are required to submit Life Certificate in the month of November. This certificate acts as evidence that the individual is alive. Along with other details required to be submitted, Pension payment order (PPO) number is also required to be provided by the pensioner.
It is worth mentioning that in the event of a loss or damage to the PPO, there are rules in place for the issue of a duplicate PPO. Even if the Life Certificate which is supposed to be submitted to the pension disbursal bank once a year in November carries the PPO, it is better the same is recorded in the passbook as well for meeting any future requirements.