Pensioners at ease with life certificates

When November comes, pensioners are to submit their LCs (life certificate) to the bank to continue receiving pension.
Pensioners at ease with life certificates

Kamal Baruah

(The writer is a former air warrior and currently working for SBI. He can reached at

When November comes, pensioners are to submit their LCs (life certificate) to the bank to continue receiving pension. Senior citizens find it hard to be physically present due to old age and infirmity or medical ailment. They have to stand in queue for hours to prove 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.

In view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, 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 physical copies of their LCs at any branch of the same bank across the country or use an Aadhaar-based Digital LC through Jeevan Pramaan /UmangApp. A successful authentication generates DLC that can be accessed by the PDA online. This year, pensioners may submit from 1st November onwards, till 31st December. However, the pensioners in the age group of 80 years and above can submit from 1st October.

Pensioners who are unable to visit their bank, can submit LCs, duly signed by a Magistrate, a Registrar or sub-Registrar, a Gazetted Officer, a Police Officer not below the rank of SI, a postmaster, a class I officer of the RBI, a pensioned officer who before retirement exercised powers of a Magistrate, a Justice, a BDO or Munsif or Tehsildar or NaibTehsildar, a Head of Village Panchayat, an MP, an MLA or a Treasury Officer.

The officer of the bank can sign LCs 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 LC and doctor's certificate within 30 days of signing the same by Designated Officer and the Doctor.

A pensioner living abroad /NRI can send LC signed by the Indian High Commission/Consulate/Embassy. Also it can be forwarded from the same bank if available abroad. The format of the LC can be downloaded. A defence pensioner suffering from illness can send his/her LC 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 Government Department or PSU or autonomous body can send an LC to the DPDO by obtaining it from the Head of the Office where re-employed.

In case of widowed/ divorced/ unmarried daughter a certificate regarding her marital status and income certificate (unmarried daughter) are required to be submitted yearly along with the LC. 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. Declarations by MPs/MLAs for drawl of pension are to be furnished. Swatantrata Sainik Samman Pension to freedom fighters and their eligible dependants where freedom fighters have already expired are to submit income certificate also. Gurkha Retirement / Service / Disability / Family Pension are to be forwarded to bank concerned / bank in Nepal for processing at HQ Brigade of Gurkhas, Robertson House, Camberley Surrey England.

PDA receiving LC from EPFO / Tea Board / Coal India / Treasury / RBI / Bank / India Post / BSNL / PSU pensioners are to send to its respective departments 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 caretaker for differently-able pensioner or a minor pensioner. In that case, both are to present LC. 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 update the same to their CPPCs in time, resulting in stoppage of pension which causes undue financial hardship to pensioners. However, it's always advisable to submit LC well in advance for smooth processing at PDA. Bank must provide the acknowledgement to the pensioner without fail. Getting a DLC 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.

SBI is taking precautionary measures while obtaining LCs. To maintain social distancing, adequate arrangements of seating and sanitization are arranged. Further, in order to avoid rush at the branches, an advisory issued to pensioners through SMS to visit the branch in a staggered manner. The last digit of their account number will be the criteria such as 1&2 for Monday, 3&4 for Tuesday, 5&6 for Wednesday, 7&8 for Thursday, 9&0 for Friday and all numbers for working Saturday. However, in case of need, pensioners are free to visit branches on any other days also irrespective of their turn. SBI is also giving doorstop facility for obtaining LCs for keeping in view of the vulnerability of elderly to Coronavirus.

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