Income Tax Return For Pensioners Simplified

(Last Updated On: March 30, 2018)


It was time of month again, when pension will be credited to Mr Sharma’s account. While being delighted of the thought…suddenly he realised, he skipped filing ITR for AY 2016-17 and AY 2017-18. And, the last date of filing has approached quite close (i.e. 31st March 2018).

Mr. Sharma didn’t forgot to file his return by the due date, rather, he kept on delaying because he was unsure about the manner one should file Income Tax Return for Pension Earners.. Through this blog post we try to help Mr. Sharma and all those stuck in same situation. Lets decode the return filing for pension earners today

Are Pensioners required to file Income Tax Return?

Yes, pension earners are required to file Income Tax Return if their total income (before claiming deductions under section 80C to 80U) exceeds

  • Rs.2.5 lakhs (age of pensioner being less than 60 Years)
  • Rs. 3 lakhs   (age of pensioner being 60-80  Years)
  • Rs. 5 lakhs   (age of pensioner being above 80  Years)

We are talking about total income and not just your pension income. In case you have earnings from any house property like rental income or other sources like interest etc, your aggregate income from all sources should be considered in checking above limits.

Pension income should be disclosed under which head of income?

To find an answer to this, we need to divide our discussion in two parts

  1. If pensioner himself is receiving pension

  2. When family members are receiving the pension amount

In the first instance, income should be disclosed

  • At par with salary income and shown in form ITR-1

  • As income received in hand of pensioner is mostly routed through the bank and not from the employer, while claiming TDS (if any) TAN of issuer i.e. bank shall be quoted.

  • A confusion arises in the minds of tax filers that what shall be the credentials to entered if income is shown as salary income. The employer details shall be the details of your last employer.

(The tax implications arising in case of pensioner receiving the amount has been explained below)

In case where family members receive the pension, after demise of pension holder,  it shall be shown as Income From Other Sources. The reason being the pension does not accrue because of any service rendered to employer by the family members.

Commuted i.e. lump sum pension received by family members is EXEMPT from tax.
Uncommuted pension i.e. pension received periodically by family members is exempt minimum of

Rs.15,000/- or 1/3rd of pension amount


What are the tax implications if pension is received by pensioner himself?

For understanding the tax implications here, first we need to understand that pension can be categorised into two parts

  • Commuted pension

    Commuted pension means amount of pension received in lump sum. It can be the complete pension or a specified part of total pension.
    If Sharma ji is eligible for total pension of say Rs.10 lakhs, he can opt to seek complete amount of Rs. 10 lakh in lump sum as commuted pension. Otherwise he can also, seek any part of it say Rs. 01 lakhs or  02 lacs or 05 lakhs in one go and rest in periodic installments.

  • Uncommuted Pension

    Uncommuted pension is pension received periodically, and this period is normally fixed at monthly rests.

“The golden rule of pension says that UNCOMMUTED PENSION is ALWAYS TAXABLE”

Taxability of commuted pension

Commuted pension when received by government employees OR employees retiring form defence services it is FULLY EXEMPT from levy of taxes.

For Non Government employees (if 100% pension is commuted), the exemption granted is partial depending upon whether a person also receives gratuity.

  • In case a person earns both PENSION + GRATUITY -> 1/3rd of amount received as pension is exempt from levy of taxes
  • In case a person earns only PENSION -> 1/2 of amount received as pension is exempt from levy of taxes

Receiving pension gives us a sigh of relief but thinking about tax filing frightens. But no any more!! For any further information desired post your comments below and if you are looking for any help with filing your return and managing taxes Contact us now!!


Team Tax2Win