Govt plans to get rid of 'ghost pensioners'

By: News Desk      Published: 08:51 PM, 29 Jan, 2021
Govt plans to get rid of 'ghost pensioners'
–File photo

The federal government has decided to get rid of ghost pensioners through their biometric verification twice a year. 

As part of this effort, every pensioner would have to go through the biometric verification process twice a year. 

According to a notification detailing amendments to the Federal Treasury Rules issued by the Finance Ministry, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will do biometric verification of every pensioner twice a year, in March and October every year. 

According to the notification, account of the pensioner who would not provide his life certificate and undergo biometric verification would be suspended. Accounts of the pensioners who would not receive their pensions for six consecutive months would be suspended. 

However, there would be some relaxation for the pensioners who would not be able to have their biometric verification done due to unavoidable reasons. Pensioners would have to submit the life certificate in case of illness or any other unavoidable reason. 

Testifying to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue, the National Bank president had said a couple of years ago the bank had discovered at least 600,000 ‘ghost’ pensioners who had for long been collecting pension amounts they were not entitled to receive, thus causing huge loss to the public exchequer.

Some NBP branches, he said, were dealing with up to 80,000 pensioners in the first few days of every month which resulted in further delays. Ostensibly, some heirs of deceased pensioners had chosen not to inform the bank of the latter’s demise and continued collecting on their behalf.