November is the month for all pensioners to provide life certificates to their bank so that they would continue to receive their pension. While most the these senior citizen visit bank branches during November and sign on the register as proof of living, some find it difficult to be physically present for this. This usually means a lot of trauma for elders who are not in good health or too old to make it physically to their bank branches.
The government has taken steps to end the pain of this process, however, many pensioners and their care-givers are unaware of it. Therefore, here is what you can do.
Pensioners who are unable to go to bank branches themselves can submit a physical copy of their life certificate or use a digital certificate that is issued by Jeevan Pramaan website https://jeevanpramaan.gov.in/
. A pensioner can submit Aadhaar-based online life certificate through the Jeevan Pramaan website. A successful authentication generates digital life certificate that gets stored in the Life Certificate Repository, which can be accessed by the pension disbursing agencies on-line. But more about it later.
An office memorandum, issued by the Central Pension Accounting Office, under the Ministry of Finance
, clearly says, "...the pension account holding branches of all authorised banks may be instructed to strictly adhere to the existing norms and do not harass the pensioners/family pensioners by insisting upon presenting themselves physically in the bank if their life certificate is submitted duly signed by the authority specified in Correction Slip No.14..."
This means, 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.
For pensioners receiving pension through their savings account in a public sector bank, the Officer of the bank can sign the life certificate. However, many a times, such pensioners or their family members find it difficult to submit physical copy of the life certificate.
(Sample of Life Certificate)
"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 such pensioners should get a similar certificate from their doctor and attach it with the life certificate while submitting to the bank branch. Also note 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," says Abhay Datar, a retired banker and expert at Moneylife Foundation's Helpline.
Devidas Tuljapurkar, Joint Secretary of All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), also says that pensioners are not required to be physically present at bank branch if they have health related issues. "An official from the bank branch should ideally visit such pensioners and sign the life certificate. However, due to the manpower shortage, this is not possible for the officials to visit homes of pensioners. But they can certainly make the visit after banking hours, in cases, where the pensioner is bed-ridden or not in a condition to move around," he added.
Coming back to the Jeevan Pramaan digital life certificate, which can be obtained through Jeevan Pramaan Centres, banks, government offices or by using an application on computer, mobile (smart phone with fingerprint scanning facility) or tablet.
After downloading the app, the pensioner has to provide necessary information like Aadhaar number, pension payment order, bank account, bank name and mobile number. The pensioner then needs to authenticate herself through fingerprint scanner.
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.