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Jeevan Pramaan: The Digital Solution for Annual Life Certificate for Pensioners

India’s pension system is complex and fragmented, offering various schemes to different population segments. Public pensions provide a limited safety net for the elderly poor, with the most developed part catering to civil servants. Workers in the organized private sector are covered by mandatory plans operated by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. Employers can opt out and establish Exempted Funds, and there are also voluntary pension schemes, known as superannuation funds, in the organized sector. Voluntary private pensions are available for the self-employed and workers in both organized and unorganized sectors.

India’s pension system is complex and fragmented, offering various schemes to different population segments. Public pensions provide a limited safety net for the elderly poor, with the most developed part catering to civil servants. Workers in the organized private sector are covered by mandatory plans operated by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. Employers can opt out and establish Exempted Funds, and there are also voluntary pension schemes, known as superannuation funds, in the organized sector. Voluntary private pensions are available for the self-employed and workers in both organized and unorganized sectors.

Regions with the Highest Pensioners Count
Region State Number of Pensioners
Kolhapur Maharashtra 174179
Nasik Maharashtra 172724
Ahmedabad Gujarat 164250
Kolkata West Bengal 149919
Pune Maharashtra 148136
Thane (Mumbai-II) Maharashtra 142440
Nagpur Maharashtra 139341
Tirunelveli Tamil Nadu 137685
Muzaffarpur Bihar 137645
Delhi (North) Delhi 129784
*Data compiled from (as on 8th Nov 2023)
Exhibit 1: Regions with the highest pensioners count (Full Exhibit in Annexure)

India’s pension landscape includes public pensions with limited coverage, mandatory schemes for civil servants, and a growing New Pension System to modernize the pension framework. The challenge lies in extending coverage to the unorganized sector and ensuring the acceptance of these schemes, making it a significant agenda item for India’s pension policy in the years to come.

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is one of the world’s largest social security organizations, maintaining approximately 27.74 crore member accounts (as of the Annual Report 2021-22). Established in 1951 through the Employees’ Provident Funds Act, it administers a provident fund, pension scheme, and insurance scheme for India’s organized sector workforce. The EPFO operates under the guidance of the Central Board of Trustees, consisting of government, employer, and employee representatives. It offers financial security through schemes like the EPF Scheme 1952, allowing accumulation with interest, partial withdrawals for various purposes, and support for housing initiatives. The Pension Scheme 1995 provides monthly benefits for retirement, disability, survivors, and children, ensuring financial stability for the organized sector employees. The Employee Provident Fund system currently holds assets worth 3,410.5 billion INR, and it is anticipated to experience a yearly growth rate of at least 14.9% until 2050. As for the New Pension System, future projections indicate a swift increase in assets, with an asset volume estimated to range between 1,496 billion INR and 1,944.5 billion INR by 2015.

Indian Demographic Scenario

Indian Demographic Scenario

India is home to a staggering one-sixth of the world’s population, securing its rank as the second most populous country globally. Looking ahead, India’s demographic landscape is set to undergo significant changes. By 2030, the country is projected to house over 1.5 billion people, which is expected to swell to 1.7 billion by 2050. This comes after a shift from decades of high population growth to a declining rate, with the population growth rate registering at 0.98% in 2017, ranking 112th globally. Contrastingly, between 1972 and 1983, India experienced an annual population growth rate of 2.3%.

Another noteworthy trend on the horizon is the increasing elderly population in India. By 2031, the country is expected to have 194 million individuals aged 60 and over, a substantial increase from the 138 million recorded in 2021. Based on data from the National Statistical Office (NSO), this projection suggests a 41% rise over a decade, with almost 34 million more elderly persons in 2021 compared to 2011. The number of elderly citizens is anticipated to grow by 56 million. Consequently, the percentage share of the elderly population within the total population is predicted to climb from 8.6% in 2011 to 10.1% in 2021, with expectations of reaching 13.1% in 2031.

India has an immense population and one of the youngest populations globally. This unique demographic profile has positioned India to harness the ‘demographic dividend’ in the 21st century. This dividend, as defined by the United Nations Population Fund, refers to the economic growth resulting from a shift in the age structure of a population, particularly when the number of working-age individuals surpasses the number of dependents. The vast pool of young citizens entering the workforce is expected to substantially contribute to the country’s economic activities.

The Indian population makes up a sixth of the world’s population, making it the second most populated country. By 2030, India will be home to more than 1.5 billion people, and by 2050, it will have 1.7 billion. India started recording a declining population growth rate after several decades of a high growth rate. In 2017, the population growth rate was 0.98%, ranking 112th worldwide. In contrast, from 1972 to 1983, India’s population grew at an annual rate of 2.3%.

By 2031, India’s elderly population (aged 60 and over) will reach 194 million, up from 138 million in 2021. According to the National Statistical Office (NSO)’s report, a 41 percent increase is expected over a decade. The report shows an increase of nearly 34 million elderly persons in 2021 compared to 2011 (when the elderly population was 104 million). Over the next decade, this number is expected to grow by 56 million. The percentage share of the elderly population in the total population is said to rise from 8.6 percent in 2011 to 10.1 percent in 2021 and is projected to touch 13.1 percent in 2031.   

Exhibit 2: Elderly population growth in India based on MOSPI 2021 data

One of the world’s youngest populations lives in India. India is reaping the ‘demographic dividend’ in the 21st century as the vast pool of young citizens enter the economic activity and start offering productive contributions to the country. According to the United Nations Population Fund, a demographic dividend refers to economic growth resulting from a shift in the age structure of a population, mainly when the number of working-age individuals outnumbers the number of dependents.

The Pensioner’s Ecosystem in India

The Pensioner’s Ecosystem in India

More than One Crore families in India can be classified as pensioner families, where the pension disbursed by the various government bodies forms the basis for their income and sustainability. After retirement, an annuity is one important financial tool that supports senior citizens in caring for their lives in their older days or during emergencies. One of the main requirements for pensioners after retirement is to provide yearly life certificates. A Life certificate is essential to make sure that the pensioner is alive. The pensioner should submit the life certificate yearly to continue the pension disbursement.

Exhibit 3: Performance dashboard of pensioner’s portal
Why Life Certificates?

Why Life Certificates?

The scheme of pension payment to central government civil pensioners by authorized banks was introduced in stages on 1st July 1976. It was made applicable throughout the country with effect from 1st February 1977; as per the older scheme for government pension payments, a pensioner needed to furnish a Life Certificate every year in November. To generate life certificates, the pensioner should be physically present before the Pension Disbursing Agency or have the life certificate issued by the authority where they served and delivered to the disbursing agency. Several pensioners find it difficult to submit a life certificate for several reasons. It has been noted that it causes a lot of hardship and unnecessary inconvenience, particularly for the aged and infirm pensioners. The latter cannot always be able to present themselves in front of a particular authority to secure their life certificate. In addition, many government employees, after retirement, choose to move to a different location to be with their family or for other reasons, causing a huge logistical issue when accessing their rightful pension amount.

The main aim of implementing life certificates for pensioners is to ensure proper channeling of welfare measures. As of the end of 2022, central government pensioners account for around 70 lakhs, with civil servants, defense personnel, telecom, railway, and postal departments accounting for most of the pensioners. The total pension amount paid during the last financial year, 2022, was approximately two lakh seventy thousand crores. For a country like India, the total budget is around forty lakh crores. The agencies want to ensure that the intended beneficiaries are receiving this amount. During the audit, many fraudulent practices were identified in the system where the beneficiary was not receiving pension amounts. Avoiding the proliferation of Government funds can be achieved by implementing life certificate submission as a procedure for receiving the pension. After implementing the seventh pay commission, the quantum of pension is very high. The number of pensioners is more than the number of serving employees. The number of serving employees of the central government is approximately forty-five lakhs, and the number of pensioners is seventy lakhs.

A life certificate is essential to make sure that the pensioner is alive. The pensioner should submit the life certificate yearly to continue the pension disbursement.

The Transition to Digital Solutions

The Transition to Digital Solutions

The Government of India introduced a series of administrative reforms to ease the way people partake in government services. While Government Citizen (G2C) services are the most focused ones of the e-governance initiatives, the Government pursued addressing the challenges of government employees too.  Among the difficulties the government retired employees face, the most teasing and stressful issues relate to post-retirement livelihood challenges. Many retired employees look forward to their monthly pension for their self-esteem and self-reliance to be independent, even after retirement.  The government’s social security net through pension requires a pensioner to declare their existence through an annual life certificate. Due to various social difficulties, submitting this annual requirement is a challenge to many retired persons. To ease the difficulties of pensioners, the Government of India launched a digital solution named Jeevan Pramaan.  Jeevan Pramaan provides the solution of submitting the annual life certificate in a digital format, relieving individual pensioners from presenting themselves physically to get the life certificate issued, thus allowing for a renewal of the pension for the next year using the virtual platform for verification. 

The Jeevan Pramaan, a Digital Life Certificate (DLC), is produced after successful authentication and is maintained in the Life Certificate Repository, a centralized database that the pension disbursing agency can access online and download to validate the pensioner’s information. The Jeevan Pramaan -DLC method has provided convenience, quick processing, prompt distribution of pension benefits, reduced corruption, and low risk of fraud. Digital India aims to streamline processes through digital monitoring and assessment technologies, facilitate quicker and simpler access to government services, reduce the amount of human contact between the government and its citizens, and increase the openness of government operations. In the future, pensioners can submit the life certificate using the Doorstep Banking Alliance of 12 public sector banks or the Doorstep Service of the postal department to submit the DLC. SBI is also facilitating a process for video life certificates. NPS pensioners must also submit Life Certificates every November, which can be done through Jeevan Pramaan.

Top Regions with Highest LC Saturation
Region State Total pensioners Total LC received (2023) Total LC not received (2023) Pension stopped* LC Saturation (%) LC not received (%)
Thane (Mumbai-II) Maharashtra  142170 129236 11026 88 90.90 7.76
Kannur Kerala 73250 66002 5862 973 90.11 8.00
Malad (Kandivali) Maharashtra  106600 95962 9652 80 90.02 9.05
Tirunelveli Tamil Nadu 137511 123435 11421 2137 89.76 8.31
Vatwa Gujarat 17282 15094 1816 21 87.34 10.51
Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 128615 112314 13141 838 87.33 10.22
Vashi Maharashtra  77916 67976 8785 341 87.24 11.27
Karimnagar Telangana 90026 78478 10302 1149 87.17 11.44
Nizamabad Telangana 101723 88622 10432 1164 87.12 10.26
Rajahmundry Andhra Pradesh 59308 51607 6222 730 87.02 10.49
*Pension stopped due to court/ other reasons
Data compiled from (as on 8th Nov 2023)
Exhibit 4: Regions with the highest LC saturation (Full Exhibit in Annexure)
Regions with less LC coverage
Region State Total Pensioner Total LC Received (2023) Total LC not received (2023) Pension stopped* LC Saturation (%) LC not received (%)
Shillong Meghalaya 5668 3843 1761 375 67.80 31.07
Jalpaiguri West Bengal 90289 61737 27576 2631 68.38 30.54
Port Blair Andaman and Nicobar Islands 3902 2495 1165 57 63.94 29.86
Guwahati Assam 45114 31277 13162 2212 69.33 29.17
Muzaffarpur Bihar 137221 96487 39165 9810 70.32 28.54
Jammu Jammu and Kashmir 616 450 163 0 73.05 26.46
Allahabad Uttar Pradesh 59105 42336 15622 2811 71.63 26.43
Gorakhpur Uttar Pradesh 108405 79813 26844 5084 73.62 24.76
Bareilly Uttar Pradesh 29762 21661 7350 971 72.78 24.70
Agartala Tripura 10452 7761 2522 332 74.25 24.13
* Pension stopped due to court/other reasons
Data compiled from (as on 8th Nov 2023)
Exhibit 5: Regions with less LC coverage (Full Exhibit in Annexure)
Simplifying Pension Certification with Jeevan Pramaan: A Digital Transformation

Simplifying Pension Certification with Jeevan Pramaan: A Digital Transformation

On November 10, 2014, the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, formally launched the DLC under the name “Jeevan Pramaan.” This Aadhar-based initiative was aimed at simplifying the process for pensioners to provide their life certificate, eliminating the need for an attested certificate by a Gazetted Officer or a Banker. The central goal was to make it hassle-free for retired pensioners to submit their life certificates from the comfort of their homes.

The Department of Pension was pivotal in implementing Jeevan Pramaan, working closely with all stakeholders, including pensioners, banks, and the Jeevan Pramaan team from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). This initiative aimed to empower and benefit the common man by streamlining the certification process and embracing self-certification as a more convenient and efficient method.

Jeevan Pramaan Timeline

Jeevan Pramaan Timeline

Exhibit 6: The timeline of Jeevan Pramaan

Jeevan Pramaan – The Digital Intervention

Jeevan Pramaan – The Digital Intervention

The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) introduced the Jeevan Pramaan portal as part of the Digital India initiative, aimed at simplifying pensioners’ life certificate submission process. With the implementation of this portal, pensioners are no longer required to physically visit the Disbursing Agency’s offices. Instead, they can utilize Aadhaar-enabled biometric authentication to generate a DLC. The advantages of DLCs are multifaceted, including the ability to generate them from the comfort of one’s home, provided they have a Windows or Android-based device with internet access and an STQC-certified biometric device connected to it. The system also offers automatic SMS notifications to pensioners, ensures the seamless transfer of DLCs to Pension Disbursing Agencies, and facilitates SMS communication by the Pension Disbursing Agency after processing. It is essential for pensioners that their Pension Sanctioning Authority issues an order regarding the acceptance of DLC and onboard themselves on the portal alongside their Pension Disbursing Agency. This streamlined process represents a significant advancement in simplifying pension-related administrative tasks and enhancing the overall experience for pensioners in India.

thetThe Jeevan Pramaan (JP) or DLC consists of three essential components that work together to streamline the pension verification process:

A. The Pension Sanctioning Authority (PSAs): These authorities approve and authorize an individual’s pension. The pension is allocated to the specific Pension Account mentioned in the Pension Payment Order (PPO). PSAs ensure that pensions are accurately sanctioned and disbursed to the intended beneficiaries.

B. The Pension Disbursing Agency (PDAs): The Pension Disbursing Agencies are responsible for processing the DLC of pensioners. PDAs, which can include banks and post offices, have the option to register on the Jeevan Pramaan Portal. This registration enables them to access Life Certificates online, creating a more efficient and convenient system for processing pension orders. PDAs can securely log in to view and download a PDF copy of a pensioner’s DLC for further processing.

C. Pensioners: Pensioners are an integral part of the JP system as they utilize the Aadhaar platform for biometric authentication. To generate their DLC, pensioners must have access to the internet, a compatible biometric device (a list of supported devices is provided on the JP portal), and the JP Windows/Android Client Application Software for PC, mobile, or tablet. This application can be downloaded from the official Jeevan Pramaan portal ( By actively participating in this process, pensioners contribute to the efficiency and accuracy of pension disbursement.

In the realm of the Sanctioning Authority, several entities are eligible for onboarding, ensuring comprehensive coverage. These include apex offices such as the Offices of the Hon’ble President of India and the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, central government offices, state/union territory (UT) government offices, autonomous bodies, statutory organizations, and societies affiliated with Central Government Ministries, Departments, or Offices. Additionally, autonomous bodies operating under State Government Ministries, Departments, and Offices, central and state government public sector undertakings (PSUs), and bodies established through Parliament or State Legislation are also eligible for onboarding. This inclusive list further extends to judicial organizations, ensuring the wide-ranging participation of entities within the system.

In the context of Disbursing Agencies, which serve as the life certificate processing agencies for pensioners, the eligibility criteria encompass various categories of organizations. These include banks, post offices, government treasuries within states and union territories, central government offices, autonomous bodies, statutory organizations, and PSUs affiliated with the Central Government. Similarly, organizations that fall under the purview of State Governments, including autonomous bodies, PSUs, and those created through Parliament or State Legislation, can also participate as Disbursing Agencies. Judicial organizations represent another eligible category within this framework, allowing diverse entities to contribute to the efficient functioning of the Jeevan Pramaan portal. A range of eligible entities are included in this framework. This encompasses Central Government Offices, Autonomous bodies, Statutory Organizations, and PSUs associated with the Central Government. Moreover, Autonomous bodies and PSUs operated by State Governments and entities created through Parliament or State Legislation and Judicial Organizations are also eligible for onboarding. The sanctioning Authority is tasked with sharing an order indicating their acceptance of DLC by their respective Disbursing Agencies. Subsequently, onboarding agencies must upload duly signed forms on the portal to initiate the process of creating user accounts. This process enables Sanctioning and Disbursing Agencies to obtain accounts for viewing and monitoring DLCs. In the case of banks, they will be provided with SFTP accounts on the Jeevan Pramaan SFTP servers. Banks are further required to complete additional forms specifying the IPs to be whitelisted, to access these facilities.

As for the Responsibilities of Disbursing Authorities, those successfully on-boarded onto the system have the critical role of regularly downloading DLCs from the portal. These downloaded DLCs must be processed promptly, ensuring the efficient management of pensioners’ life certificates. Additionally, Disbursing Agencies may need to send status-related updates to pensioners via SMS, enhancing communication and transparency in the process. This comprehensive system enables a seamless and digitized approach to pensioner services, offering convenience and efficiency.

The Government of India has instituted the Aadhaar Act, 2016, which mandates that sanctioning authorities and disbursing agencies must adhere to its provisions. Under this act, the data related to DLC cannot be shared with any agency other than the pensioner’s designated Sanctioning and Disbursing Agency, as specified in the consent obtained from the pensioners. It’s important to note that the DLC is an additional facility to the existing method of submitting life certificates. The government retains the flexibility to periodically review these guidelines to address evolving needs and requirements, ensuring the continued effectiveness of the system.

Pre-Requisites for DLC Generation

i) The pensioner must have an Aadhaar number

ii) The pensioner must have an existing mobile number

iii) Registration of the Aadhaar number with Pension Disbursing Agency (bank Post Office etc) should have been done already.

iv) Biometric device (list of supported devices is given on the JP portal)

v) PC with Windows 7.0 and above, Android Mobile/Tablet 4.0 and above

vi) Internet Connectivity

Pensioners can generate their DLC independently or seek assistance from others. The options available for pensioners to register and obtain a JP/DLC are:

i) Self-Generation: Pensioners can independently generate their DLC by downloading the JP application from the JP Portal ( They can install this client application on their Android-based smartphone or tablet and on a Windows PC or laptop to create their DLC.

ii) Assistance from Centres: Alternatively, pensioners can visit the nearest centers with digital service facilities. These centers include Citizen Service Centres (CSCs), designated Government Offices, and Banks specifically authorized for DLC generation. At these locations, pensioners can register online using the services provided. There might be a nominal fee associated with this service. The JP portal contains a comprehensive list of all such CSCs, including their names and addresses, across various states in India.

The process of generating a Life Certificate through the Jeevan Pramaan (JP) system involves several simple steps:

A) Life Certificate Generation: To begin, one can download the PC/mobile application or visit the nearest Jeevan Pramaan Centre for registration. During this process, one must provide essential information, including UID number, Pension Payment Order, Bank Account details, Bank Name, and Mobile number.

B) Aadhaar Authentication: Once registered, the individual must authenticate identity using biometrics, either a fingerprint or iris scan. Jeevan Pramaan utilizes the Aadhaar Platform for online biometric authentication.

C) Life Certificate Issuance: The individual will receive an SMS acknowledgment after successful biometric authentication. This message will also include Jeevan Pramaan’s Certificate ID. The generated Life Certificates are securely stored in the Life Certificate Repository, making them accessible anytime and anywhere for the pensioner and the Pension Disbursing Agency.

D)Access Certificate: To access the certificate, the individual can download a PDF copy from the Jeevan Pramaan website by providing the Jeevan Pramaan ID.

E) Pension Disbursing Agency Access: The Pension Disbursing Agency can access the Life Certificate directly from the Jeevan Pramaan website and download the same for further processing.

F) Electronic Delivery: Alternatively, the Life Certificates can be electronically delivered to the Pension Disbursing Agency without manual intervention. The Pension Disbursing Agency can contact the Jeevan Pramaan team to enable this electronic delivery facility.

This streamlined process ensures efficient and hassle-free certification for pensioners and simplifies the verification process for Pension Disbursing Agencies.

Exhibit 7: Sample of a DLC
Exhibit 8 : Process flow of Jeevan Pramaan

According to the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare, Pensioners can submit their Jeevan Pramaan Patra or life certificates through multiple platforms. Doorstep banking services in India provided through an alliance of twelve public sector banks known as PSB Alliance, offer pensioners the convenience of submitting DLC. Pensioners can book this service via the DSB App, Web Portal, or Toll-Free Numbers, and a DSB Agent will visit their doorstep to collect the online Life Certificate using the Jeevan Pramaan  App. Alternatively, pensioners can submit life certificates through the Jeevan Pramaan portal, where biometric information like fingerprints or iris scans is used for authentication. Common Service Centers (CSCs) enable rural pensioners to utilize this service without software or internet access. India Post Payment Banks also offer a doorstep service for pensioners. Additionally, pensioners can submit life certificates through designated officials or use Face Authentication Technology. SBI has introduced video life certificates for pensioners to submit certificates from their homes, excluding family pensioners. These services aim to simplify the certification process for pensioners, promoting digital inclusion and accessibility.

The Impact

The Impact

Since its inception, the Jeevan Pramaan initiative has made significant strides, generating 7.08 Crore DLCs. Notably, in April 2023 alone, around 2.3 lakh DLCs were successfully created. Originally launched in 2014, the initiative facilitated DLC submission using biometric devices. However, recognizing the importance of enhancing accessibility and affordability, the Department collaborated with MeitY and UIDAI to introduce a groundbreaking Face Authentication technology system based on the Aadhar database. This innovation, introduced in November 2021, allows pensioners to conveniently submit their DLCs through facial recognition using any Android-based smartphone, reducing their dependence on external biometric devices.

A major milestone was achieved in November 2022 when a highly successful nationwide campaign was conducted in 37 cities across India, issuing over 35 lakh DLCs for Central Government pensioners. Building on this success, the Nationwide DLC Campaign 2.0 will run from November 1st to 30th, 2023. This ambitious campaign aims to reach 50 lakh pensioners in 500 locations spanning 100 cities, with the participation of 17 pension disbursing banks, various government ministries and departments, Pensioners’ Welfare Associations, UIDAI, and MeitY.

Comprehensive guidelines have been meticulously devised to ensure that this campaign extends its benefits to the country’s remotest corners. These guidelines delineate the roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders, including government ministries/departments, pension disbursing banks, and Pensioners’ Associations. The guidelines promote DLC/Face Authentication technology through various means, including awareness campaigns and home visits for bedridden pensioners, making the process incredibly accessible and convenient for all pensioners. The primary objective of this initiative is to elevate the ‘Ease of Living’ for Central Government pensioners by encouraging the widespread adoption of DLC.

Exhibit 9: Implementation of Jeevan Pramaan in different states
The Benefits of Jeevan Pramaan

The Benefits of Jeevan Pramaan

The pensioners need to physically appear before a disbursing agency or obtain a life certificate, which has often posed a significant obstacle to the seamless distribution of pension funds. This requirement has proven to be particularly burdensome for elderly and infirm pensioners, who may find it challenging to visit a specific authority for their DLC. Furthermore, this requirement presents substantial logistical challenges in accessing their rightful pension amount for retired government employees who opt to relocate after retirement, often to be closer to their families or for other personal reasons.

To address these issues, the digital filing process of Jeevan Pramaan has been introduced for retired employees. This method aims to simplify the entire procedure and offers numerous advantages. The Jeevan Pramaan – DLC approach brings convenience by eliminating the need for physical presence, ensures swift processing, facilitates the prompt distribution of pension benefits, reduces the risk of corruption, and minimizes the potential for fraudulent activities.

a) The benefit of virtual verification:

The Jeevan Pramaan Patra initiative now allows pensioners to submit DLC simplifying the verification process and preventing them from running from office to office to receive their pensions. This contributes to further enhancing the convenience of seniors, particularly those in remote areas. To file paper-based life certificates, people living in remote locations must travel great distances to access EPFO offices or banks. They can now go to neighboring neighboring Common Service Centers (CSC).

b) Reduction in processing time – timely payment of pension:

The physical life certificate, requiring verification and endorsement by a gazetted officer or a bank official, was traditionally expected to be submitted to the pension disbursing agency every November. The process is very time-consuming. The new procedure needs a quick trip to the neighbourhood Common Service Centre where the Aadhaar information and biometric credentials for the DLC process must be submitted. This eliminates the need for any authorized officer to certify the pensioner’s existence in person. The UIDAI server’s biometric credentials are used for system authentication to complete this certification. As a result, processing a life certificate takes less time, and the pensioner receives money on schedule.

c) Reduction in corruption:

A person’s dependence on other specific people to do a job may always be identified as the root of corruption. There is hardly any room for corruption because the DLC submission process has done away with manual intervention and dependence on authorized officials to acquire the life certificate.

d) Minimal Chances of Fraud:

Numerous instances exist where non-eligible individuals fraudulently drew old-age payments. This was made feasible since the beneficiaries provided the relevant social welfare departments with the erroneous date of birth information. When the government looked into 800 cases in one particular instance, the investigation led to the suspension of the pension. According to The Tribune, at least ten people have been identified as submitting false claims for pension benefits, and 24% of Chandigarh, India’s pension plan beneficiaries, are following the association of Aadhaar numbers with the pension program; these facts came to light. The Social Welfare Department said that pensioners out of the 21,092 recipients had not arrived.

The Initial Success Factors of Jeevan Pramaan

The Initial Success Factors of Jeevan Pramaan

One of the crucial factors that helped Jeevan Pramaan’s success during its implementation was the nationwide campaigns and awareness programs. The Department of Pensioners is associated with Fifty pensioner welfare organizations across the country, they have large memberships. DLC campaigns were conducted in association with these organizations. Also, the team utilized the possibilities of social media to reach out to the public. Advertisements, infographics on DLC submissions, videos, etc were provided to the public. The DOP, in an effort of public outreach, The Department collected almost forty-five lakh phone numbers of pensioners from banks, and an SMS was sent to them in November. The SMS contains a reminder to submit a life certificate and a URL that links to the video of face authentication. Approximately two crore SMS were sent. They also provide awareness against cybercrimes relating to Jeevan Pramaan

Addressing the Digital Divide

Addressing the Digital Divide

The Digital divide had less impact on Jeevan Pramaan. Most central Government pensioners who retired during the past ten or fifteen years are already familiarised with the computer operations during their service period.  They have the basic computer literacy. Their pension amount is adequate for the required infrastructure, such as a smartphone and internet connection. So, the DLC was accepted widely. The common Service Centers also have a huge role in addressing the digital divide.

Challenges in the Implementation of the DLC

Challenges in the Implementation of the DLC

The DLC concept is to help extend the virtual pensioner verification process to nongovernment pension schemes. While government departments, quasi-governmental organizations, and public sector enterprises do not foresee problems in implementing the DLC, the social security schemes offering pensions to non-employees and common people covered in social welfare schemes may find difficulties implementing the DLC.  The major rejection reasons for DLC are highlighted in Exhibit 10, and regions with maximum rejection in Exhibit 11.

Top 10 DLC Rejection Reasons

Reason Count
Duplicate Life certificate in the same file 202998
The Aadhaar Number does not match the currently received Aadhaar No 45773
Date of Birth mismatch 8720
Name and date of birth mismatch 6825
Bank account mismatch 6245
Name mismatch 5126
Name, bank account, and date of birth mismatch 4327
The PPO has been already canceled/Transfer out the case 3453
No data is shown in the system 3343
Date of birth and bank account mismatch 1325
Name and bank account mismatch 833
Not an active pensioner 569
Last Pension paid status is not available 88
*Data compiled from (as on 8th Nov 2023)
Exhibit 10: Top 10 rejection reasons for DLC (Full Exhibit in Annexure)

Top 10 Regions with Rejection

Region State Count
Muzaffarpur Bihar 8539
Aurangabad Maharashtra 7232
Gorakhpur Uttar Pradesh 6320
Raipur (Chhattisgarh) Chhattisgarh 6052
Tirunelveli Tamil Nadu 5821
Hyderabad Telangana 5771
Kochi (Cochin) Kerala 5510
Nizamabad Telangana 5444
Jalpaiguri West Bengal 5419
Coimbatore Tamil Nadu 5276
*Data compiled from (as on 8th Nov 2023)
Exhibit 11: Top 10 regions with high rejection of DLC (Full Exhibit in Annexure)

Some of the challenges are discussed in brief.

A) Reluctance of pensioners due to multiple pension benefits:

Adopting Aadhaar-based DLCs is relatively low due to the system’s ability to monitor the multiple sources of pension benefits beneficiaries receive. In many cases, individuals are ineligible to receive pension benefits from one scheme if they already receive benefits from another. For example, government programs like the Old-Age Samman Pension Yojna and Widow Pension Yojna in the Indian state of Haryana exclude retirees already beneficiaries of other pension schemes, such as provident funds.

As a result, pensioners often opt for manual life certificate submissions to avoid being flagged by different pension disbursement institutions. This practice contradicts the intended goal of offering a more convenient and transparent method for filing life certificates. The challenge lies in reconciling these disparities to ensure that pensioners can benefit from a simplified and streamlined pension system while adhering to eligibility requirements.

B) Mismatch in beneficiary details:

Studies of various cases revealed discrepancies between the beneficiary information on pension documents and UID records. This incongruity raises concerns about the authenticity of individuals submitting a DLC, as it may be attributed to inaccurate information, such as discrepancies in names, birthdates, or other details during the initiation of pension benefits or Aadhaar enrolment.

More significantly, this situation raises the prospect that some pensioners may have obtained benefits under pretenses, potentially by misrepresenting their age to qualify for benefits they might not be eligible for. This underscores the importance of ensuring the accuracy and consistency of beneficiary information to prevent fraudulent claims and uphold the integrity of the pension system.

C) Privacy issues: 

Growing concerns are emerging regarding disclosing information to parties beyond the official authorities. The potential financial consequences of selling such data to third parties raise significant privacy issues. The UIDAI, the Unique Identification Authority of India, received a report from the Data Security Council of India highlighting numerous security risks associated with centralized databases containing biometric personally identifiable information. Moreover, these databases may become attractive targets for hackers and malicious actors seeking to exploit vulnerabilities. There is also a considerable risk of biometric data being intercepted, copied, or tampered with while in transit over networks, often without detection.

In a significant privacy breach in 2017 affecting over a million citizens, a programming error on a website maintained by the Jharkhand Directorate of Social Security inadvertently exposed the digital identities of beneficiaries of the state’s old-age pension scheme. The glitch led to the disclosure of sensitive information, including names, addresses, Aadhaar numbers, and bank account details of pension recipients. This breach is particularly concerning as it coincides with ongoing debates regarding the government’s policy to make Aadhaar mandatory for accessing various government schemes and services, raising questions about data security and privacy. The publication of Aadhaar numbers on the website violates Section 29 (4) of the Aadhaar Act, leading to concerns about data protection and misuse.

D) Infrastructure issues:

The use of fingerprint authentication for beneficiary pensioners during the biometric data capture process for DLCs faced challenges compared to the effectiveness of Iris-based biometric readers. The limitations of fingerprint authentication became evident, particularly when Iris-based scanners proved more reliable. However, the widespread availability of Iris-based biometric scanners, especially in rural areas, remains a significant infrastructure challenge that needs to be addressed to ensure the successful implementation of the DLC process.

Furthermore, connectivity issues have been observed intermittently between the touch points where pensioners submit their DLCs and the UIDAI servers responsible for authentication. These connectivity disruptions can cause delays in the DLC submission process, inconveniencing elderly pensioners who rely on this service. Addressing these technical challenges is crucial to providing senior citizens with a smoother and more efficient experience.

E) Low digital literacy level of the pensioners:

Due to the low level of digital literacy, implementing the DLC for pension disbursement in rural areas presents significant difficulty for the government. Using this program still presents several challenges for many elderly. They lack the aptitude for technology and the self-assurance to use smartphones, networks, and internet connectivity. Pensioners are not even aware that Common Service Centers (CSC) exist, although the Indian government has urged them to assist Government Pensioners with registering DLCs utilizing Aadhaar authentication, according to an Indian

Case Authors tried to understand the significance of DLC on common people. They attempted to understand the same by way of meeting people at various DLC service centers such as Aadhaar Enrollment Centers, Banks and PFO offices, and other locations where pensioners present themselves to get their annual Jeevan Pramaan verification completed. Some of the salient findings of such field visits and a survey show the perspectives below.

Citizen’s Views and Perceptions of Jeevan Pramaan

Citizen’s Views and Perceptions of Jeevan Pramaan

Submitting life certificates poses challenges for pensioners, encompassing physical mobility issues, health considerations, technological barriers, procedural complexities, lengthy queues, and insufficient awareness. Addressing these hurdles would significantly improve the pensioner experience. Changes in submission policies can also be problematic for those not staying updated. Mismatches in bank details and Aadhaar and discrepancies in date of birth often lead to life certificate rejections. Some pensioners, lacking trust in online submissions, prefer the traditional manual method, visiting offices personally. They also took this as an opportunity to meet with their colleagues.  Doorstep services by banks and post offices provide crucial assistance, especially for bedridden individuals and those with severe health issues.

Conceptualization and Operationalization of Digital Life Certificate, Insights from the Director of Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare

Conceptualization and Operationalization of Digital Life Certificate, Insights from the Director of Department of Pension and Pensioners Welfare

The case authors had a very insightful interaction with Shri Ruchir Mittal, Director, Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare. He elaborated on the conceptualization and operationalization of DLC and the significance of addressing the needs of the pensioners of the government.

Shri Mittal detailed the strategic intent of developing DLC as a Digital India Initiative.

Jeevan Pramaan primarily aims to ensure the proper channelization of welfare measures. With around seventy lakh central government pensioners and a total pension disbursement of approximately two lakh seventy thousand crores, agencies are keen on verifying that the intended beneficiaries receive their due pension amounts. Audits are conducted rigorously post-pension disbursement to combat fraudulent practices, with authorities implementing stringent checkpoints to prevent fund misuse. Submitting a life certificate is one such checkpoint, preventing duplication and fraud. Currently, over twenty-seven states, as well as EPFO pensioners, utilize the Jeevan Pramaan portal. The technical advancement done in Pension disbursement mitigated procedural delays and this enhanced ease of living of senior citizens. The Bhavishya portal plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth operation of pension sanctioning. It collects pensioner details one year before retirement and automatically transmits them to the respective departments. Previously, there were substantial procedural delays in pension availing, but now the process has become seamless. Departments are now issuing ePPOs (electronic Pension Payment Numbers) with the added convenience of DigiLocker services. Banks seamlessly capture the ePPOs without the need for manual intervention. The rapid adoption of technology was facilitated by the wholehearted acceptance of change by all stakeholders. Central Government pensioners who retired in the past decade already possess computer literacy, and many are adept at using smartphones and the internet, eliminating concerns about a digital divide. The government’s proactive approach to enhancing citizens’ quality of life is evident, with extensive nationwide awareness campaigns playing a crucial role in Jeevan Pramaan’s success. To ensure widespread participation, the government initiated efforts to individually reach out to pensioners by collecting their phone numbers from banks. This involves sending SMS messages with URL links to remind pensioners about the seamless submission of life certificates through Jeevan Pramaan. A Single Integrated Pensioners’ Portal was recently launched aimed at “Ease of Living” for the Central Government Pensioners. In the future, Jeevan Pramaan can explore PPP Models (Public-private partnership models) to enhance the digital infrastructure. The NPS Pensioners can also be brought under the Jeevan Pramaan facility.

He further discussed the vision of the Ministry and Department in reaching out to the pensioners, especially during distress times, and offered an assurance that the department works for the welfare of not only its current employees but also pensioners, as their services are valued in their entirety.

Role of Jeevan Pramaan during COVID-19

Role of Jeevan Pramaan during COVID-19

During the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jeevan Pramaan played a pivotal role in providing relief to pensioners. The digital platform proved instrumental in ensuring pensions continued and hassle-free disbursement, even amidst lockdowns and restrictions. With the conventional methods of physical documentation and in-person verification being disrupted, Jeevan Pramaan emerged as a savior by allowing pensioners to submit their life certificates online.

This not only eliminated the need for pensioners, especially the elderly, to visit government offices physically but also contributed to the overall safety and well-being of the vulnerable population during the pandemic. Jeevan Pramaan’s relief in remote life certificate submission helped maintain the regular flow of pension funds, ensuring financial stability for retired individuals.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government extended the deadline for submission of life certificates to provide relief to pensioners and safeguard their health. The initial extension was granted until December 31, 2021, and was subsequently extended to February 28, 2022.

The adaptability and efficiency of Jeevan Pramaan in the face of unprecedented challenges underscored its significance as a resilient and technology-driven solution, providing much-needed support to pensioners during a critical period.

Digital Innovation and Road Ahead

Digital Innovation and Road Ahead

The Department of Pension & Pensioners’ Welfare, in collaboration with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India) and MeitY (Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology), has introduced a pioneering digital innovation known as Face Authentication technology to facilitate the submission of DLC for Central Government Pensioners. Face Authentication Technology was launched in November 2021.  This innovation, which is aimed at enhancing the “Ease of Living” for approximately 70 lakh Central Government Pensioners, is built on the Aadhaar platform and leverages Android-based smartphones. The process involves several key steps, and pensioners, or their representatives, can seamlessly complete this process using their smartphone in the initial steps, pensioners need to download and install specific applications, such as the “Aadhaar Face RD Application” from Google Play Store, along with the “Jeevan Pramaan ” application. Once these applications are installed, pensioners can proceed to submit their DLCs. The process includes entering personal details, submitting a One-Time Password (OTP), and conducting a face scan for authentication. This innovative approach reduces the reliance on external biometric devices and provides pensioners with a convenient and accessible way to secure their DLCs. Pensioners receive a DLC on their mobile screen upon completing these steps, along with the Pramaan ID and PPO details. This digital transformation represents a significant stride in simplifying and modernizing the Life Certificate submission process for Central Government Pensioners, aligning with the government’s commitment to enhancing pensioners’ quality of life.



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