The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has passed a circular to banks, asking them to refrain from denying pension to people for want of biometric or Aadhaar verification. According to the circular, there are other alternate means of identity verification.
The EPFO circular to all heads of pension disbursing banks and postal services stated an alternate way of handling pensioners. Basically for those who don’t possess Aadhaar or those who identity can’t be verified due to wear-out fingerprints. The banks have been asked to ensure that pensioners are made possible for Aadhaar enrollment. It further elucidated that a paper life certificate would be accepted in place of a digital generated one for Aadhaar enrolled pensioners.
Alternative Ways Of Authentication
It further said that banks will make provisions for iris scanner along with fingerprint scanner in its branches. This is due to worn-out fingerprints which make authentication difficult. EPFO further stated that the agreement it signed with banks for pension disbursement laid down the duties of banks. The duties consisted of collecting life certificate/ non-re-marriage certificate in November every year from pensioners. Then forwarding the same to field offices of EPFO for necessary action.
Bank branches concerned have been doing this by collecting paper life certificates. But from 2016, due to Jeevan Pramaan, life certificates are being taken digitally. The UMANG app has been facilitating the submission of Jeevan Pramaan digitally.
The circular said, “Some complaints have been received from pensioners who are being turned away and denied pensions for want of Aadhaar or Aadhaar fingerprint authentication not being successful due to a poor fingerprint of the beneficiary or due to network/connectivity or other technical reasons. Because of this, pensioners are not able to get and submit Jeevan Pramaan.”
The EPFO asked banks to ensure that pensioners are processed for Aadhaar enrollment, as some of them cannot get and submit Jeevan Pramaan on account due to not possessing Aadhaar. Till such time, a paper life certificate may be accepted after enrolment of Aadhaar application receipts from such pensioners.
“After due verification through alternate identification documents as deemed necessary by the bank, pensions may be disbursed,” it said.
EPFO asked banks to make iris scanner and fingerprint scanner available in its branches. This is due to failure of fingerprint authentication. It has been seen that many times that when fingerprint authentication has failed, iris authentication has been successful. This has happened particularly for senior citizens.
The circular said that in cases when fingerprint or iris authentication is not feasible, an entry should be made in the exception register. This will enable the pension to be provided on the basis of paper life certificate, physical or e-Aadhaar card after due verification.