Track the status on EPFO website: You can visit the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) website and track the status of your request by selecting the state of the PF office, the regional PF office where the account is maintained, the establishment code and the account number. The extension code field is normally left blank.
E-Passbook to be generated for old and new accounts: A new initiative of the EPFO, enabling generation of E-Passbook, will help give you the exact status of the PF transfer. There may be a delay in receiving the passbook, but this will be intimated to you via SMS when it is ready for download. You will not be able to download the passbook for more than one account with the same organisation.
Find out where the transfer is stuck: In a PF transfer, normally the new employer, the sending PF office and the receiving PF office are involved. In some cases, the sending and receiving offices will be the same.
When you applied for a transfer, you would have submitted Form 13 to your new employer. Ask for an acknowledgement of this form submission to the receiving PF office from your new employer. You can use this to follow up with the receiving PF office. Sometimes, your PF may have been with the old companys PF Trust. In this case, you should follow up with your old employer.
Document your grievance: The EPFO has an online tool for raising grievances called the Grievance Management System. If you are unsure about the status of your PF transfer, you must raise separate grievances with both the sending PF office and the receiving PF office.
You will be provided with a grievance number, which you must carefully preserve. Although the track record for this online process hasnt been good, it is recommended that this is done as the first step. If you do not get a response, you can send a letter in physical form to the concerned PF office with details of your grievance and reference to the online grievance reference number through speed post. Inform both the new and old employers about this process.
Use RTI Act: As the next step, you can use RTI and send an application to the Public Information Office under the concerned PF office. The application must be accompanied by a postal order for R10 favouring the respective accounts office. As there is no fixed format for the application, you can briefly explain the background of your case as well as give references to all your previous complaints. Attach copies of such earlier correspondence, wherever possible. If there is no response within 30 days of filing the application, you can opt for an appeal process under the RTI.
There are many employees who prefer to withdraw their PF balance when they shift jobs. This is not recommended, as you will be losing out on the compounding benefit of the balance that has already been accumulated.
However, if you choose to withdraw the amount, and face problems with this too, you may follow the same steps as above. The EPFO is taking positive steps by computerising the processes in phases. However, remember that these facilities are of no use unless you personally take interest in tracking your money.
The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com