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Dearness Relief hiked to 50% – What does it mean for central government pensioners – know eligibility and payment details here

Dearness Relief hike

: The central government has recently announced a 4% hike in Dearness Relief (DR) for


, effective from January 1, 2024. This adjustment will increase the DR to 50% for eligible pensioners. Eligibility and calculation details are provided in a March 13, 2024 Office Memorandum from the Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare (DoPPW).

Here’s what you need to know about who qualifies for this increase and when they can expect to receive it.
Eligibility criteria
As per an ET report, the increased DR applies to various categories of pensioners, including:

  1. Civilian Central Government Pensioners/Family Pensioners, including those absorbed in PSU/Autonomous Bodies, eligible for full pension restoration after a 15-year commutation period, as per DoPPW’s OM No. 4/34/2002-P&PW(D)Vol.II dated 23.06.2017.
  2. Armed Forces Pensioners/Family Pensioners and Civilian Pensioners/Family Pensioners paid from Defence Service Estimates.
  3. All India Service Pensioners/Family Pensioners.
  4. Railway Pensioners/Family Pensioners.
  5. Pensioners receiving provisional pension.
  6. Burma Civilian Pensioners/Family Pensioners and Pensioners/families of displaced Government Pensioners from Burma/Pakistan, as per DoPPW’s OM No. 23/3/2008-P&PW(B) dated 11.09.2017.

The department clarified that the grant of Dearness Relief (DR) for employed family pensioners and re-employed Central Government Pensioners will follow the regulations outlined in Rule 52 of CCS (Pension) Rules, 2021, and Department’s OM No. 45/73/97-P&PW (G) dated 2.7.1999, subject to amendments. Additionally, the rules governing DR for pensioners receiving multiple pensions will remain unchanged.
For retired Judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts, the

Department of Justice

will issue separate orders as necessary, as stated by the DoPPW.
ALSO READ | Dearness relief (DR) hiked by 4% to 50% for central govt pensioners: Who are eligible, when will they get it? Govt answers
Calculation method
The Office Memorandum stated that Dearness Relief for Central Government Pensioners/Family Pensioners will be increased from the current rate of 46% to 50% of the basic pension/family pension (including additional pension/family pension), effective from January 1, 2024.
The recent 4% increase in Dearness Relief (DR) means that retired central government employees will see a rise in their monthly pension.
For example, if a central government pensioner receives a basic pension of Rs 40,100 per month, previously at 46% DR, they received Rs 18,446 as DR. With the latest hike, they will now receive Rs 20,050 every month as DR. Consequently, their pension will increase by Rs 1,604 per month.
Payment procedure
DoPPW has stated, “The payment of dearness relief involving a fraction of a rupee shall be rounded off to the next higher rupee.” Pension disbursing authorities, including nationalized banks, are responsible for calculating the DR payable in each case.
ALSO READ | Dearness Allowance hiked to 50%: Top things central government employees should know about DA hike, change in HRA
When to expect payments
The offices of the

Accountant General

and authorized

Pension Disbursing Banks

are urged to proceed with the payment of Dearness Relief to Pensioners/Family Pensioners based on these instructions. They should do so without awaiting further directives from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the Reserve Bank of India. This request is made in accordance with letter No. 528-TA, II/34-80-II dated April 23, 1981, from the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to all Accountant Generals, and

Reserve Bank of India

Circular No. GANG No. 2958/GA-64 (ii) (CGL)/81 dated May 21, 1981, addressed to

State Bank of India

, its subsidiaries, and all Nationalized Banks.
It’s important to note that the payment of arrears of Dearness Relief will not be made before the date of disbursement of pension/family pension for March 2024.
However, the DoPPW has instructed banks to promptly initiate the disbursement of DR for pensioners and family pensioners without waiting for further orders. This means that pensioners and family pensioners can expect to receive their increased Dearness Relief soon.