Nearly 7.2 million EPFO pensioners will no longer need to visit pension disbursing bank branches or common service centres to produce digital life certificate (DLC), mandatory to avail the facility continously each year. A pensioner can now produce such certificate from anywhere using the face authentication technology, the retirement fund body launched Saturday.
The new facility will immensely help the pensioners who face difficulty in getting their bio-metrics (fingerprint or iris) capture due to old age or health related issues. Bio-metrics are a must to produce DLC. EPFO disbursed nearly Rs 13,000 crore pension last fiscal.
“Under the new system, one pensioner can produce the DLC from her home or any other place. She just needs to open one particular app from an android mobile phone, take a snap and upload it which will prove that she is still alive. This will ensure pension for here,” an EPFO official said.
Pensioners living abroad can also submit their DLC in the new system from wherever they are now.
So far, all pensioners drawing pension under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 are required to give life certificate attested by the bank manager after 12 months from the month in which the pension was sanctioned. Physical life certificate is to be submitted to the bank through which the pension is being paid. Failure to submit life certificate after one year will result in stoppage of pension after 12 months from the date of submission of last life certificate or sanction of pension in case of new pensioners.
In place of physical life certificate, DLC was introduced in 2015-16 using bio-metrics.
However, it has been found that in many cases bio-metrics do not always match for the same person. This is because either the finger print does not match or iris do not match after cataract surgery. As a result, the pensioners had to go through the physical process which is again cumbersome.
“The launch of the face authentication technology for DLC will help those pensioners who face difficulties in getting their bio-metrics captured due to old age,” labour minister Bhupender Yadav said launching the programme following a meeting of the central board of trustees (CBT), the highest decision-making body of the EPFO.
The minister said the CBT also gave in-principal approval for centralized disbursal of pension for further improving the EPFO services for pensioners. The roll out stages and modalities will be further evolved.
Yadav also launched pension and employee’s deposit-linked insurance (EDLI) scheme calculator which will provide online facility to pensioner and family members to calculate the benefits of pension and death-linked insurance benefit they are eligible. Pension and EDLI calculators are easy-to-use online tools designed to calculate how much pension benefits her family members may get and how much insurance benefit her family member may be eligible for.