In what is certainly a sigh of relief for senior citizens and pensioners across the country, the EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) has instructed banks across the country not to halt the disbursement of pension if the senior citizen or the pensioner has failed to link his/her Aadhaar card to their bank account. This comes subsequently to the Government of India’s push to make citizens across the country link their Aadhaar card to their bank account, saving schemes accounts, insurance, mobile connections, and so on. In fact, the Government of India set a deadline of 31 March, 2018, for all citizens to link their Aadhaar card to the aforementioned services to avoid disconnection. This however was overturned by the Supreme Court and the deadline has been extended indefinitely.
To ensure that senior citizens are not inconvenienced by the bank’s stringent measures with regard to linking one’s Aadhaar card to avail banking facilities, the EPFO has sent out a circular to banks across the country that are disbursing pensions to allow senior citizens and pensioners to withdraw their pension whether or not they have linked their Aadhaar card to their bank account. The move by the EPFO will be pleasantly received by more than 61 lakh central government pensioners in the country. In addition, the EPFO has asked banks to offer provisions for pensioners that are not physically able to visit the bank to withdraw their pension. Apart from the EPFO, even the Central Information Commission (CIC) has ordered postal services across the globe not to turn away pensioners if they have not linked their Aadhaar card to their account, and allow them to make pension withdrawals without any hassle.