The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on Saturday introduced a new facility for pensioners to submit their digital life certificate. With the new ‘face recognition facility’, over 73 lakh pensioners can now easily submit their digital life certificate on the EPFO portal. Face authentication will allow pensioners to avail benefits from home.
The EPFO said the face recognition facility will help pensioners who face difficulties in getting their bio-metrics (fingerprint and iris) captured because of old age for submitting digital life certificate.
Union Minister of Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav, who heads Central Board of Trustees (CBT), launched the face authentication technology. He also said that the organisation is working on expanding the convergence of the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation scheme with the Ayushman Bharat scheme to bring the unorganised sector into the social security net and provide cashless medical facilities across the country. Currently, the convergence facility is limited to a few states.
The CBT also cleared a new central payment system for pensioners and proposed a detailed legal framework to minimise litigation. The board also discussed ways to allow self-employed and unorganised people to enrol with the EPFO.
Decision on equity investment limit deferred
The CBT of the EPFO deferred a decision on increasing the equity investment limit from 15 per cent to 20 per cent at a meeting on Saturday, citing the volatile market situation.
The board agreed in principle to the idea of higher equity allocation to improve returns, but will discuss the issue further after September, officials said.
EPFO is currently allowed to invest up to 15 per cent of its incremental inflow in equity. Its Finance Audit and Investment Committee had approved the proposal to revise the limit to 20 per cent, reasoning that higher exposure to stocks may yield better returns.
Trade unions have been opposing any investment in stock markets as these are not backed by government guarantees. They cited the slump soon after the pandemic took hold, when the return from equity was a negative 8.29 per cent. The EPFO started investing in equities through exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in August 2015.