17 - 01 - 2019

Pensioners’ at ease with Annual Identification

The other day one senior citizen was criticizing banks for giving Life Certificate to pensioner. The Term Life Certificate is quite inappropriate and that should have been called Annual Identification.As per 7th CPC, there are 51.96 lakhs central govt pensioners excluding state government pension.

When November comes, pensioners are to submit Life Certificate to bank to continue receiving pension for another 12 months. While senior citizen find it hard to be physically present in the banks due to old age and infirmity or medical ailment. 

They have to stand in queue for hours to proof of their existence. The entire process is very tedious after having toiled all their life; they want dignity in golden years. That leads to denial of their right of receiving pension. The government has taken steps to make this process at ease. However, many pensioners and their care-givers are uninformed of it. Pensioners can submit a physical copy of their Life Certificate at any branch of the same bank across the country or use an Aadhaar-based online Digital Life Certificate through the Jeevan Pramaan website. A successful authentication generates Digital Life Certificate that can be accessed by the Pension Disbursing Agencies (PDA) on-line. 253.7 lakhs pensioners already submitted digital life certificate till 1st Nov 2017.

Pensioners who are unable to visit their bank branch, can submit a Life Certificate, duly signed by a Magistrate, a Registrar or sub-Registrar, a Gazetted Officer, a Police Officer no below the rank of Sub-Inspector, a postmaster, a class I officer of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a pensioned officer who before retirement exercised powers of a Magistrate, a Justice, a Block Development Officer or Munsif or Tehsildar or Naib Tehsildar, a Head of Village Panchayat, a Member of Parliament or State Legislature or a Treasury Officer. The Officer of the bank can sign the Life Certificate for pensioners receiving pension through their savings account in a public sector bank. Pensioners, who are not in a physical condition to visit the branch, can request an officer from the bank to visit their home for signing the certificate. Also the pensioner is required to submit such Life Certificate and Doctor's Certificate within 30 days of signing the same by Designated Officer and the Doctor. 

Getting a digital Life certificate is hassle free and can be obtained through various Jeevan Pramaan Centres, banks, and government offices or by using an application on computer, smart phone with fingerprint scanning facility or tablet. After downloading the app, the pensioner has to provide Aadhaar number, Pension Payment Order (PPO), bank account, bank name and mobile number. The pensioner then needs to authenticate herself through fingerprint scanner or iris scanning. After a successful authentication, an SMS acknowledgement is sent to the pensioner's mobile number including her Jeevan Pramaan Certificate ID. The pensioner can also download a PDF copy of her Life Certificate from the Jeevan Pramaan website. If both biometrics do not work, bank should accept a physical copy of the certificate to avoid any harassment.

A pensioner living abroad / NRI pensioner can send the Life Certificate signed by the authorised officer of Indian High Commission/Consulate/Embassy of the country where he/she lives. Also it can be forwarded from the same bank if available abroad. The format of the Life Certificate can also be downloaded from website. A defence pensioner suffering from illness can send a Life Certificate to Defence Pension Disbursing Office (DPDO) by obtaining a certificate from a Registered Medical Practitioner who treats him/her. A defence pensioner re-employed in a Govt Department or PSU or autonomous body can send a Life Certificate to the DPDO by obtaining it from the Head of the Office where he/she is re-employed.

In case of widowed / divorced / unmarried daughter a certificate regarding her marital status and income certificate (only for unmarried daughter) are required to be submitted yearly along with the Life Certificate. A Non Employment Certificate is to be furnished only by retired Group ‘A’ Officers. A re-employment / non-employment certificate for Judges is required for availing allowances like Domestic Help and Dearness Allowance. Certificate of Re-marriage / Marriage once in a life time is to be declared by widow recipient of family pension. Declaration by MPs/MLAs for drawal of pension are to be furnished. Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension to freedom fighters and their eligible dependents where freedom fighters have already expired are to submit income certificate also. Gurkha Retirement / Service / Disability / Family Pension is to be forwarded to concerned bank / bank in Nepal for processing at Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas, Robertson House, Camberley Surrey England.

PDA receiving Life Certificates from EPFO (EPF 1952, EPS 1995, EDLIS 1976)  / Tea Board / Coal India / Meghalaya Electricity / ASEB / AG / Treasury / RBI / Bank / India Post / BSNL / other PSU pensioners are to send to its respective department for continuing pension. A minor pension is getting stopped after reaching major (18 years) for boy and for girl after getting marriage. Pension is deposited to the account of care taker for differently able pensioner or a minor pension. In that case, both are to present Life Certificate. Only either spouse can have joint account for pension other than minor or differently able pensioner. In case of difficulties, a pensioner can put thumb impression for signature after enclosing a medical certificate.

PDA sometimes failed to forward the same to their CPPCs in time, resulting in stoppage of pension which causes undue financial hardship to the pensioners. However it is always advisable for pensioners to submit Life Certificate well in advance for smooth processing at PDA. As per CPAO directive, bank must provide the acknowledgement of Life Certificate to the pensioner without fail. Getting a digital life certificate is easy and friendly. Enrol and share the experience of biometrically authenticate with Jeevan Pramaan ID if pensioners want to sit and relax and not get hassled in a bank.


Kamal Baruah