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Monday, July 27, 2015

EPFO to launch online PF withdrawal facility in 3 months

NEW DELHI: Retirement fund body EPFO  is likely to launch the online PF withdrawals facility in next three months for  the benefit of its over six crore subscribers.

After the launch of this  facility, subscribers will be able to apply online for withdrawal of the
provident fund which will be transferred directly to their bank  accounts.

The details of the online PF withdrawal facility will be  discussed at a meeting of EPFO trustees from workers' side called by the Labour Ministry on  July 24, a senior Labour Ministry official said.

At present, the  subscribers who wish to settle their accounts with the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) are required  to apply manually for withdrawing PF.

The official said that for  launching the facility, at least 40 per cent of the Unique (portable PF) Account  Numbers (UANs) should be seeded with the Aadhaar  number and bank account details of the subscribers.

 At present, there are only 12 per cent subscribers whose Aadhaar number has been  seeded with UANs activated by them.

In order to push the online  facilities for subscribers, EPFO has become the registrar of Unique  Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI) for enrolment. It is also an online authentication  user agency of the Authority.

This would help EPFO verify the  credentials of an applicant by using the Aadhaar database.

EPFO had issued over four crore portable UANs in July last year. EPFO has been  seeding various KYC details with UANs like bank account and Aadhaar for  improving the delivery of its services.

Tthe issue of capping premature  provident fund withdrawals will also come up for discussion during the meeting  on Friday, the official said.

It is proposed that the premature PF  withdrawals should be capped at 75 per cent for EPFO subscribers at any given  time till the age of 58.
Under the existing provisions, the subscribers can withdraw the entire amount by  showing 'not employed anywhere' for a period of two months.

For  implementing the proposal, the government would have to amend the scheme by  scraping the provision of inoperative accounts, the official added.

Under this provision, a subscriber's account becomes inoperative if no  contribution is made for 36 months. The EPFO does not credit interest on  inoperative accounts.

If EPFO retain 25 per cent of a subscriber's PF till he attains the age of 58,  his account has to be credited with due interest because it will become  inoperative due to new provision, he added.

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