Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Reforms: Online PF Withdrawal/Settlement
Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is planning launch the online PF withdrawal facility by August,’16 end. It will not only reduce the paperwork for the statutory body but will also ensure faster settlement of claims. Individuals will be able to withdraw their PF online and won’t need to wait for months to get their dues. EPFO has currently got over 5 crore subscribers and the manual process is pretty time consuming. It has been trying to move to a digital platform for quite some time now and launch of Unique Identification Number (UAN) last year was a significant step towards the same. EPFO is already in the process of digitizing and setting up Central Data centres to facilitate the process.
EPFO has also introduced two new Forms 19 (UAN) and 10C (UAN) and Form31 (UAN) which may be downloaded from the EPFO portal. The forms may be directly submitted to EPFO without attestation from your previous employer, provided your Aadhar has been linked with your EPF account. The entire withdrawal process will be completed by EPF office within 1 to 3 weeks.
Employees will now be relieved from the pains of the following up with their ex Employers to facilitate the clearance process.
EPFO is hopeful that with the launch of Online Application/Withdrawal facility it can settle the claims within few hours and transfer the fund into the respective bank account of the subscriber as against the mandated 20 days.
Subscribers will be required to seed their Aadhaar Card and Bank Account details with the UAN to facilitate the online transfer of Funds. EPFO is already in the process of linking the Aadhaar ID with the UAN. The subscribers will be required to complete their KYC in order to be eligible for online settlement.
Online transfer of Funds will not only reduce the turnaround time for the Body but the subscribers will also be benefitted as their claims will be processed quickly without any hassles.
Presently, Subscribers have the option to check their PF Balance online and also get to download their respective PF passbook.
EPFO has launched their mobile application to make it easy for the subscribers. EPF pensioners can also use the application to view their pension disbursement details.
Government has also removed the inoperative account clause (applicable for accounts wherein no deposit has been made in last 36 months) which means all such accounts will be paid interest from 1stApril,2016.
EPFO is also investing in Equity Market through Exchange Traded Funds (ETF’s) and will invest up to 5% of the incremental deposits which would be managed by SBI Mutual Funds. Going forward I hope the investment in equities will be increased as this will ensure better return on deposits for the subscribers.
The online withdrawal and claim settlement will not only speed up the process but will also remove the various hassles faced by the Subscribers faced under the existing manual format. Please refer to the link provided below.
This will benefit crores of EPF subscribers and will provide huge relief to many of subscribers who were facing difficulty in getting their dues.
I will posts updates on the related topic in the coming months. You can also read more about it in the links provided below:-