The Union Government introduced the “Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme” in 1972 for freedom fighters and their dependents who need financial assistance. In 1980, the government liberalized the scheme to grant monthly pensions to all freedom fighters. Recently, Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana is extended up to FY 2025-26. The scheme provides a Dearness Allowance of 36% of monthly pension income since July 2022.
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Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana is a monthly pension scheme that offers financial net and social security to Indian freedom fighters, their wards, or dependent family. The scheme helps the freedom fighters to become self-dependent and lead a respectable life.
A quick overview of the timeline of the freedom fighter pension scheme is as follows:
1972: In the 25th Year of India’s Independence, the Government of India Introduced a central pension scheme only for needy freedom fighters and their dependents.
1980: Renamed it to “Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension Scheme”, extended the pension scheme for all freedom fighters
2017: Decided to continue the scheme even after the end of the Twelfth Five-Year Plan (12th FYP), renamed it as “Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY)”
2021: Extended the scheme up to 2025-26
2022: Increased the Dearness Allowance (DA) from 32% to 36% of monthly pension income from 1 July 2022
The Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana honours the contribution of the freedom fighters/ martyrs of the Indian Freedom Struggle.
Let us have a look at the features of the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana in the table below:
|Ministry of Home Affairs (Government of India)
The Government of India revises the monthly pension amount payable under the SSSY scheme periodically. In April 2022, the government increased the DA from 32% to 36% of the Basic Pension Amount (w.e.f. 01/07/2022).
The updated pension provided to various categories of freedom fighters and their dependents is tabulated below:
|Freedom Fighters Category
|Monthly Basic Sum of Pension
|Dearness Allowance (36% of the Basic Amount per month from 01/07/2022)
|Total Pension Amount with Dearness Allowance
|Ex-Political Prisoners/ Spouses form Andaman
|Freedom Fighters who fought outside British Indian Territory/ Spouses
|Other Freedom Fighters/ Spouses (includes INA)
|Dependent Unmarried Daughters (3 daughters maximum) / Parents
|50% of Basic Sum provided to the freedom fighters
i.e. Between Rs. 13,000- Rs. 15,000
|50% of DA provided to the freedom fighters
i.e. Between Rs. 4,680- Rs. 5,400
|50% of Total Pension provided to the freedom fighters
i.e. Between Rs. 17,680- Rs. 20,400
*As per the policy guidelines, the Central Samman Pension is not applicable for TDS taxation.
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Let us have a look at the categories of freedom fighters and documents required to check the eligibility to get the Central Samman Pension:
|Category of Pensioner
|Dependents of the Martyr
|Martyr: a person who died during participation in the Indian freedom struggle
|Imprisonment/ detention accounts from the relevant officers or jail authority
|Underground during Freedom Struggle
|Damage to Property
|If the property was damaged, confiscated, or sold because of participation in the freedom struggle and never got restored
|Confiscation/ sale of property orders
|Permanent Handicap/ Incapacitation
|If the person is permanently incapacitated or handicapped due to a lathi charge or bullet injury
|Loss of Employment under Government
|Orders of dismissal/ removal from employment
|Punishment by Whipping
|If the person was punished with 10 strokes of whipping/ flogging/ caning due to participation
|Official records or orders from the competent authority
If the freedom fighter is not alive, the government grants a pension to their dependents in an order of preference. Only one dependent is applicable for the pension at a time.
The dependents who are eligible to get Central Samman Pension are listed in sequence of priority:
Unmarried daughters (maximum 3 daughters)
Note: On the demise of the freedom fighter, his dependents will not get the pension automatically. They will have to apply again to the scheme with a fresh application and proof of death of the pensioner.
Here is a list of various facilities offered to the Central Samman Pensioners:
Free Railway Pass for Lifetime: To freedom fighters/spouses along with one companion
Free Medical Facilities under Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS): Free medical treatment to freedom fighters and their dependents in government-empanelled hospitals or hospitals run by Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs).
Telephone Connection: Subjected to feasibility, a landline telephone connection is provided without any installation charges, with payment of half of the rental amount.
4% Reservation for Allotment of Petrol Pumps/ Gas Agencies: Reservation is provided by the Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies under the “Combined Category” for Physically Handicapped (PH), Outstanding Sportsperson (OSP), and Freedom Fighters (FF).
General Pool Residential Accommodation in Delhi: It offers accommodation to the freedom fighters within the Discretionary Quota of 5%. The spouse can retain the accommodation up to 6 months after the demise of the freedom fighter.
Freedom Fighters’ Old Age Home: The freedom fighters are also offered a fully furnished, old-age home in New Delhi. The Samman Pensioners can also avail of transit accommodation (stay plus meals) in these facilities.
Free Air Travel Facility to ex-Andaman Freedom Fighters/ Spouses: The Samman Pensioners (along with a companion) can access a free air travel facility once a year, to visit Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
The process of applying for the Freedom Fighters Pension Scheme is as follows:
Step 1: Visit the Freedom Fighters Division at the Ministry of Home Affairs and attain the application form for “Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana”.
Step 2: Fill in 2 copies of the application form with all the relevant details.
Step 3: Send a copy of your filled application to the Chief Secretary of the concerned State Government/ Union Territory (UT).
Step 4: Send a second copy to the Deputy Secretary, Freedom Fighters Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (Government of India), 1st Floor, NDCC-II Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi.
Step 5: The State Government/ Union Territory administration with State Advisory Committee scrutinises the application.
Step 6: Once verified, the State/ UT Government sends Entitlement to Pension Report to the Central Government, which scrutinizes the claim for eligibility.
Step 7: Upon verification and approval, the Home Affairs Ministry issues formal sanction order to the Pay & Accounts Office.
Let us understand the way a grant of pension is issued to the freedom fighter by the Central Government:
Step 1: Ministry of Home Affairs sends an approval order along with the requisite documents of the applicant to its Pay & Accounts Office.
Step 2: The Pay and Accounts Division issues a Pension Payment Order (PPO) to the Samman Pensioner.
Step 3: The Samman Pensioner approaches the concerned Public Sector bank with their PPO and draws their pension amount.
The Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana offers the following benefits to Indian freedom fighters:
Regular Monthly Income: The scheme provides regular monthly Central Samman Pension to the freedom fighters and their eligible dependents of family.
Financial Support to the Dependents: It has the provision to provide the monthly income to the spouse, daughters, or parents of the freedom fighters.
Self-Dependent Life: The SSSY scheme helps the Central Samman Pensioners to live an honourable, self-dependent life with improved standards of living.
Honouring the Contribution of Freedom Fighters: Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana is a token of respect, honouring the sacrifices of freedom fighters during the Indian Freedom Struggle.
The government is continuing the Swatantrata Sainik Samman Yojana (SSSY) as a tribute to our freedom fighters who made their contributions to the independence of India. The scheme is a token of respect to commemorate the glory of our freedom fighters and the great sacrifices made by them.
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*Tax benefit is subject to changes in tax laws. Standard T&C Apply
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