Banks Can No Longer Deny Pensions For The Lack Of Aadhaar
In a major relief to senior citizens, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has informed all the pension-disbursing banks to not turn away pensioners for the want of Aadhaar. According to the official data that has been collected, there are total 61.17 lakh central government pensioners in the country.
A resident of Ahmednagar Nirmala Nishikant Dhumane was refused the pension when she was asked to bring her Aadhar card by the Central Information Commission (CIC). In fact, many other pensioners residing in the country were reported to be denied their pension from banks for not having an Aadhaar card.
Additionally, there were several reports of complains unsuccessful Aadhaar fingerprint authentication of the pensioners, due to technical reasons or due to a poor fingerprint of the beneficiary. Only due to these problems EPFO decided to take this action and asked all banks that senior citizen without an Aadhaar card will not be denied pension.
EPFO has also issued circular to the heads of all banks regarding the dispersal of the pension. In the circular, the organisation stated that in case of any issue in dispersing the pension all banks should provide the senior citizens with alternatives of identification if needed.
According to the circular released by EPFO, the banks should also make sure that they have some special arrangements for the pensioners who do not have their Aadhaar card with them and not be in a position to travel to the bank or an Aadhaar enrolment centre because of health issues or old age.
The circular added that in case of such situation instead of asking for the pensioner’s Aadhar card ‘a paper life certificate’ must be accepted after collecting the Aadhaar enrolment application receipts.
According to the EPFO suggestions, every bank in the country needs to install iris scanners and fingerprint authentication mechanism for identity authentication and if somehow the iris or even the fingerprint authentication does not work, then banks must record the details of the pensioner in an ‘exception register.’
The details of exception granted along with paper life certificate, Aadhaar number or Aadhaar enrolment ID etc will be contained in the exception register and nowhere else. It may be reviewed and audited periodically by bank’s senior management later.
Meanwhile, the Central Information Commission (CIC) also noted today that pensioners can’t be turned away with the reason of Aadhaar linking. CIC made this observation on the plea filed by an Ahmednagar resident who complained that she was denied pension when could not provide the copy of her Aadhaar card.