New Delhi: The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) revealed on Tuesday that employees can now quickly avail themselves the benefit of EPF provided important details such as Aadhaar unique identity number and bank account number are linked to the universal account number (UAN). Also, the employer must have done the know-your-customer (KYC) verification.
The new development is expected to come in effect soon as the state-run retirement fund manager has issued an order on Tuesday to implement the rule across all its field offices in India at the earliest.
Lately, EPFO has been striving to become a subscriber-friendly organization. The retirement fund manager had reduced the role of an employer from the process, central provident fund commissioner K.K. Jalan said.
Employees have complained that employers have had an upper-hand in the EPF process due to which organizations have taken undue advantage and harassed the employees.
Until now, employees had to take the approval of their employers to withdraw their EPF corpus, which often led to delays.
“As a retirement fund body, we are now focusing on our subscribers. We are turning subscriber-friendly and hope more people can take benefit from it,” said central provident fund commissioner K.K. Jalan, adding that as the corpus and the subscriber base grows, EPFO will continue to adopt new practices.
“Employees whose details like Aadhaar number and bank account number have been seeded into their UAN and whose UAN has been activated, may submit claims in Form 19, Form l0C and Form 31 directly to the commissioner without attestation of their employers, in such form and manner as may be specified by the central provident fund commissioner, for fast settlement of claims,” the EPFO order dated 1 December said.
Since October 2014, the government has permitted EPF number portability through UAN.
According to the data provided by labour ministry, of the over 40 million active subscribers, only 21 million have activated their UAN.
Sharad Patil, secretary general of Employers Federation of India, said that the development looks “logical”. “If the withdrawal happens through Aadhaar and bank account, it will reduce the settlement period and also cut down the chance of corruption in the EPFO,” Patil said.