Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all central government pensioners can submit life certificate from November 1 to December 31, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday.
Earlier, life certificate used to be submitted only in November for maintaining continuity of pension, he said.
Mr Singh said the decision was taken in view of the pandemic and the vulnerability of the elderly population to COVID-19.
"All central government pensioners can submit life certificate from November 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020," the minister of state for Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions said.
"However, the pensioners in the age group of 80 years and above can submit life certificate from October 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. During this extended period, the pension will be continued to be paid by the pension disbursing authorities (PDAs) uninterrupted," according to a statement issued by the Personnel Ministry.
Mr Singh said the government's decision to relax the existing timeline for submission of life certificate will act as a major relief to elderly persons.
Pension disbursing banks have also been asked to explore video-based customer identification process (V-CIP) for obtaining a life certificate from the pensioner to the extent permitted by the RBI's guidelines to avoid the rush at the branches, the statement said.
The central bank had on January 9 issued a notification permitting V-CIP as an alternate method of establishing customer's identity, the statement added.
Pensioners can submit life certificate by visiting the bank branches, however, the Department of Pension & Pensioners' Welfare has been promoting the digital life certificate which can be given from the comfort of one's home, the statement said.
The department had last year issued orders enabling pensioners in the age group of 80 years and above to submit life certificate from October 1 onward instead of November 1 so that they could avoid the general rush, it added.