The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is all set to make life easier for its nearly 4 crore members with a comprehensive plan to improve services from May 1. The aim would be to ease the process of withdrawals and loans by putting on fast track the move to link members’ Universal Account Number (UAN) to their Aadhaar number and bringing all EPF accounts under a centralised platform.
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Speaking to FeMoney, Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC), V P Joy said that the plan is to offer state-of-the-art services. “We want to present ourselves as a service organisation. Our services should encourage members to stay invested with EPFO,” he said.
He said bringing all EPF accounts across the country under a central platform would do away with the need to transfer accounts with change of job. “At present, when a person changes a job, the EPF account needs to be transferred. However, once our services are upgraded and all accounts brought under a central data base there will be no need to transfer,” Joy said.
However, said EPFO does not plan to impose any move to discourage withdrawals from next month. “All withdrawal process will remain the same. The report that we would initiate moves from May 1 to discourage withdrawal is not correct. What we want to do is to improve our services and increase communication with members so that they stay with the fund for long,” Joy said.
He said that the EPFO wants to step up efforts to link UAN with a member’s Aadhaar number since the law on Aadhar has now been passed. Linking UAN with Aadhar will help EPFO to offer better services and dentification of members. The UAN is issued to all members of EPFO and acts as an umbrella number when a member changes jobs and opens a new account under the new employer.
Joy said that once the new centralised data base is in place, it will be easier for a member to withdraw the accumulation of to seek a loan against the amount.
The EPFO has been in news recently due to Government’s decision to place restrictions on withdrawals which was later withdrawn and the payment of interest rate on EPF corpus where the Finance Ministy differed with the proposal forwarded by the Central Board of Trustees and reduced the rate to bepaid for 2015-16 by 10 basis points to 8.7 per cent. The rate has not yet been notified.