Up until now, this was not allowed; the senior citizen would have to visit the post office branch to make withdrawals/close accounts, make premature withdrawals from post office schemes. The Department of Posts made this announcement via a circular dated August 4, 2021.
“This office is receiving various representations from the depositors that due to old age or illness they are unable to attend post offices for withdrawal or loan or closure or premature closure of their accounts. Keeping in view of difficulties faced by the Senior Citizens or people suffering with illness, the issue was taken up with Ministry of Finance and keeping the provisions in Rule 11 of ‘Government Savings Promotion General Rules-2018′ in mind, competent authority has decided that in case of extreme exigencies (i.e’ Senior Citizens or illness of account holder or suffering from physical infirmity or is with differently-abled conditions) the withdrawal or loan or account closure or premature closure may be allowed through authorized person,” said the circular.
The authorized person will be allowed the operation of the post office scheme accounts which includes withdrawals, loan, closure and premature closure of accounts.
There are certain procedures to be followed by the senior citizen to authorize the person who can make the withdrawals. As per the Department of Posts circular, given below is the procedure that needs to be followed by the senior citizen to nominate an authorized person on their behalf:
Step 1: The account holder will submit a duly filled application using form SB-12 to the post office branch for operation of account viz. withdrawal, loan, closure or premature closure of account etc. The Form 12 allows the account holder to authorize the person for operation of his/her account without the physical presence. As per the circular, the authorized person should be literate. The SB-12 form can be accessed
In case of jointly operated account, all the account holder(s) will be required to attest the signature of the authorized person. However, if the account is operated on the basis of the either or survivor account, then any account holder can attest the signature of authorized person.
Step 2: The account holder will fill and sign the form as required by him. For instance, in case of withdrawal form SB-7 will be required, for closure of account form SB-7B will be used etc. Self-attested copy of ID and address proof of both the account holder and authorized person will be submitted along with the form. If there is more than one transaction, then only one set of KYC documents along with photo can be obtained, however, there must be SB-12 form for every transaction.
Step 3: The authorized person shall submit passbook, authority letter, i.e., SB-12 form, requisite transaction form (SB-7/SB-7B etc.), and the KYC documents of account holder and authorized person.
Step 4: The post office branch officials will match the signature of the account holder from the form vis-à-vis available in their system. This needs to be further approved by the supervisor. Once the supervisor is satisfied with the signature and documents of the account holder, only then the payment will be released. If he is not satisfied with the genuineness of the request of the account holder, then physical verification of the request of the account holder can be done for withdrawal from the account before effecting the payment.
The payment will be made via either via a cheque or credit into post office savings account or bank account. Cash payments will be allowed only in case of withdrawal from savings account.
Do keep in mind that the authorized person cannot be an agent or an employee working in a post office branch.