GIPF launches a new biometric enrollment and verification system
The Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) launched a new biometric enrollment and verification system, which officially went live on 1 August and will run until 28 February 2023.
According to the Fund, this new system will require that all qualifying annuitants are enrolled to have their biometrics data captured, which caters to more than 50,000 active recipients of the GIPF.
Evans Maswahu, the Fund’s Chairperson of the benefits and administration committee, said the verification process will only commence once the enrollment period has been concluded.
“Biometric enrollment will be done at all fully fledged GIPF offices nationwide,” he said, adding that this involves capturing their biometrics data which includes both fingerprint and facial capturing into an Automated Biometrics Identification System (ABIS).
However, Maswahu emphasised that satellite offices at Grootfontein, Opuwo, and Nkurenkuru will not be enrolling during this initial phase.
“These offices will be served by our mobile teams and those schedules will be announced in due course. Be rest assured that additional equipment is being procured to cater to our members in the above-mentioned towns and once received, our pensioners and annuitants will be informed via the media,” he said.
Beforehand, the Fund was heavily reliant on fingerprint identification, and the new system has an added security feature of facial scanning, which has liveliness detection.
“This is especially critical where we have members with disabilities in respect of their hands, or damage to fingers which may be difficult to scan,” he explained.
This period is, however, subject to review and the Fund said it will communicate any changes to all stakeholders timeously.
“The GIPF thus implores all qualifying annuitants to enroll. Kindly note that the term qualifying refers to all annuitants receiving an income from the GIPF, and not to be mistaken with those receiving any Government grants,” he revealed at the launch.
Maswahu added, “The GIPF will communicate extensively to our members via multiple media platforms in respect of the required documents the annuitants need to bring along. The Fund will require annuitants to periodically verify as proof of life so they may continue to receive their benefits.”
Meanwhile, the Fund will also deploy mobile teams to remote areas to conduct such verification during the verification period, as the majority of people still do not have access to internet services.
As a result, before verifying, a member is required to be enrolled, and failure to register will result in benefits being discontinued as the Fund has no proof of life.
“I reiterate that the Fund places great emphasis on sustainability, and therefore needs to ensure benefits are only paid out to correct beneficiaries, thus annuitants are encouraged to enroll to make sure their benefits continue to be paid timeously.”
Maswahu urged GIPF members to be vigilant of unscrupulous characters that may attempt to mislead or defraud them during this process through false information.
“The Fund will shortly also introduce self-help kiosks like those found in various petrol stations where members can verify themselves,” he concluded.