Defence Pension Scheme

The Defence Pension Scheme in India is a social security program for retired personnel of the Indian armed forces and their families. It is an important initiative to provide a sense of financial security and stability to the brave men, women and their families who dedicate their lives to serving the country. This article will help you to learn the details and benefits of this scheme in detail. 

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What is a Defence Pension Scheme?

Defence Pension Scheme is an initiative of the Government of India to ensure the well-being of retired military personnel and their families by offering a monthly pension scheme and other benefits.

This pension plan recognizes the sacrifices and services rendered by military personnel in the defence of their nation.

Features of the Defence Pension Scheme

The key features of a defence/ army pension scheme are as follows:

Features Details
Launched By Government of India
Administered By Ministry of Defence
Beneficiaries The scheme offers pensions to the following personnel and their families:
  • Ex-Servicemen of the Indian Army
  • Retired Sailors of the Indian Navy
  • Veteran Airmen of the Indian Air Force
Pension Benefits Provides a regular defence/ army pension to retired military personnel based on:
  • Rank
  • Length of Service
  • Other Criteria
Disability Pension To the injured or disabled ex-servicemen while serving in the defence services
Family Pension To the spouse or dependent family members of the retired personnel in case of their death
Gratuity Provides a lump-sum payment as a gratuity to the veterans upon retirement
Commutation Allows the retired personnel to commute a portion of their defence/ army pension in exchange for a lump-sum payment
Medical Benefits Provides medical benefits to retired personnel and their dependents under the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)
Pension Revision Offers periodic revision of pension to ensure that the pension amount keeps up with inflation

Types of Defence Pension Schemes

Let us have a look at the major types of defence pension schemes from the table mentioned below:

Type of Defence Pension Scheme Details
Service Pension
  • Minimum Pension: Rs. 9,000 per month
  • Maximum Pension: Provides a defence/ army pension at the higher of:
  • 50% of the last drawn emoluments, or 
  • 50% of the average of the last 10 months’ emoluments
  • Eligibility Criteria:
  • Minimum 20 years of service as a Commissioned Officer, or
  • Minimum 15 years of service as a Personnel Below Officer Rank
Family Pension/ Vidhwa Pension In case of absence of the personnel due to natural death, a pension to their family is provided at:
  • 30% of last drawn emoluments
  • Minimum pension of Rs. 9,000 per month
Special Family/ Vidhwa Pension In case of death of the personnel attributed to/ aggravated by the Military Service:
  • A regular special pension for their family is granted
  • Provision of 60% of last drawn emoluments by the deceased veteran
Liberalized Family/ Vidhwa Pension
  • A pension to the families of personnel killed in the following situations:
  • War
  • War like operations
  • Counter-insurgency operations
  • Encounter with terrorists, etc.
  • Pension Amount: Equal to the last drawn emoluments by the deceased personnel
Disability Pension
  • Pension in cases that were invalided due to a disability attributed to/ aggravated by Defence Service.
  • Elements of disability pension:
  • Disability Element: 
  • In proportion to the level of disability
  • Up to a maximum of 30% of last drawn emoluments if a complete disability
  • No disability element if the disability is less than 20%
  • Service Element: Retirement pension at 50% of last drawn emoluments
War Injury Pension Pension of War Injury Element is provided in case of 100% disability:
  • Equal to last drawn emoluments for invalided cases
  • 60% of last drawn emoluments for discharge cases
  • Pension reduces in proportion to the disability
Invalid Pension The pension for invalided cases due to disability is Neither Attributable Nor Aggravated (NANA) type:
  • To all the Armed Forces Personnel who are in service from 04 January 2019*
  • If the personnel is invalided out from service due to NANA-type bodily harm or mental infirmity, and
  • If the permanently incapacitated from military service and re-employment in private
Reservist Pension A pension is provided for:
  • Completion of prescribed combined Colour and Reserve Service of at least 15 years
  • Provides 2/3rd pension of minimum pension granted to a Sepoy

Note: The earlier criteria of a minimum of 10 years of service in the armed forces is not required from 16 July 2020.

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Defence Pension Regulations

The list of regulations under which the Air Force, Navy, and Army pension is provided is as follows:

  • Pension Regulations for the Army (PRA), 1961 [Revised PRA in 2008]
  • Pension Regulations for the Air Force, 1961
  • Navy (Pension) Regulation, 1964
  • Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pensionary Awards, 2008

Pension Disbursement Agencies

The scheme of disbursement of defence pensions by government agencies is mentioned below:

  • Defence pension is granted to approximately 28 lakh Armed Forces pensioners or family pensioners
  • Every year almost 55,000 pensioners are added to the scheme
  • Pension is disbursed by: 
    • 21 Public Sector Banks, and

    • 3 Private Sector Banks (HDFC/ ICICI/ Axis Bank)

  • 308 Treasuries (Active) in India
  • 64 Defence Pension Disbursing Offices (DPDOs) are in India
  • 01 Post Office
  • 5 Pay Accounts Offices (PAOs) are placed in India
  • For the Armed Forces Pensioners who are residents of Nepal: 03 Pension Paying Offices (PPOs)
  • Issuance of PPOs: PCDA (Allahabad) and PCDA (Pune)

Grievance Redressal for Defence Pension

Here is the grievance Redressal procedure for the aggrieved pensioners on denial of entitlement: 

Grievance Redressal Procedure
Defence Pension Adalat
  • 175 Defence Pension Adalats across India
  • Redresses the grievances of the ex-servicemen in their nearby places
  • Representatives of the concerned government agencies and organisations are available in these Adalats
  • Disseminates the latest information on related orders, procedures, circulars, formats, and forms
Appeal for Disability Pension Grievances First Appeal:
  • Submit an appeal within 6 months to Record Office/ Service Headquarters
  • Appellate Committee considers the grievance for First Appeal as per the provisions of Clause (I)(a) of the Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pensionary Awards to the Armed Forces Personnel (2008)
  • Appellate Committee either upholds or rejects the appeal by consensus
Pensioners aggrieved by First Appeal may file for a Second Appeal
Second Appeal:
  • Submit a Second Appeal within 6 months of the declaration of a decision by the First Appellate Committee
  • Second Appellate Committee is constituted under Clause (I)(b) of the Entitlement Rules for Casualty Pensionary Awards to the Armed Forces Personnel (2008)

Documents Required

The important documents required to join the Defence Pension Scheme are as follows:

Documents Required Details
ID Proof Passport/ Aadhar Card/ Driving License
Address Proof Utility Bill/ Bank Statement/ Rent Agreement
Service Records PPO
Bank Account Details Bank Passbook/ Account Number/ IFSC Code/ Branch Name & Address
Nomination Form Nominees Details

Benefits of Defence Pension Scheme

The Defence Pension Scheme in India offers various benefits to retired personnel of the Indian Armed Forces and their families. Some of the key benefits are:

  1. Regular income

    The defence/ army pension scheme provides a regular income to retired personnel to ensure financial security and stability for the pensioner and their family.

  2. Inflation-proof 

    The pension amount is adjusted periodically to account for inflation, which ensures that the pension retains its purchasing power over time.

  3. Medical benefits 

    Retired personnel and their dependents are eligible for various medical benefits, including medical facilities, hospitalization, and treatment expenses, under the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS).

  4. Housing benefits 

    Retired personnel are eligible for various housing benefits, including allotment of houses, land, and loans for house construction, under various schemes, such as:

    • Armed Forces Flag Day Fund
    • Army Welfare Housing Organization (AWHO)
    • Navy and Air Force Housing Boards
  5. Travel concessions 

    Retired personnel are eligible for various travel concessions, including free rail/ air/ bus travel, under various schemes such as the Indian Railways, Air India, and State Transport Undertakings.

  6. Post-retirement benefits 

    Retired personnel are eligible for various post-retirement benefits, including:

    • Canteen facilities
    • Educational assistance to children
    • Scholarships for higher education

Wrapping It Up

The Defence Pension Scheme is a vital support system for the armed forces personnel and their families. It provides financial security to the retired or deceased members of the defence forces and their dependents through various defence/ army pension schemes.


  • What is the new pension scheme of Defence?

    The new pension scheme for Defence personnel in India is known as the National Pension System (NPS). It is a defined contribution pension system, which was introduced in 2004 and applies to all new entrants to the Central Government service, including Defence personnel, who joined on or after January 1, 2004. Defence personnel who joined the service before January 1, 2004, are covered under the old pension scheme. This pension plan is based on the Pay Commission recommendations and the Defence Pension Regulations.
  • How much pension does a soldier get?

    The defence/ army pension amount for a soldier in the Indian Armed Forces depends on several factors such as:

    • length of service

    • rank held

    • last pay drawn

    The pension amount is calculated based on a percentage of the last pay drawn, and this percentage varies based on the rank and length of service.

  • How much is the family pension for Defence?

    The family pension provided under the Defence Pension Scheme varies depending on the rank and service of the deceased pensioner. The pension is calculated as a percentage of the pension that the pensioner would have received if they were alive. The rates of family pensions are revised from time to time based on the recommendations of the Pay Commissions.
  • How is the Defence pension calculated?

    The pension calculation formula for Defence Pension Scheme varies based on the following two schemes: 
    • Old Pension Scheme 

    • Defence Pension= Average emoluments drawn in last 10 months of service × Percentage factor

    • Percentage Factor (PF): Determined by the relevant Pay Commission Recommendation and Pension Regulations

    • PF is determined based on the length of service and rank of the pensioner

    • New Pension Scheme: National Pension System (NPS)

    • Calculated based on the contributions made by the employee and the employer in the NPS, along with the investment returns generated by the pension fund

    • Investment Options: Equities/ Government Securities/ Corporate Bonds

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