To counter the rising incidence of fraudulent payments of pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has directed its field offices to entertain request from members on change or bank details and date of birth only if backed by an Aadhar-linked Universal Account Number (UAN).
It has also specified that any request for change in date of birth must have approval of Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) in charge of the region.
In a communcation to all its field offices, EPFO has said that rising incidence of fraudulent payments are being probed. “Investigations are being made for all such reported fradulent payments by concerned divisions and necessary actions will be taken against all concerned by the competent authority. Steps are also being undertaken to examine the reasons for occurance of such fraudulent payments for making changes/improvement in the existing system, Additional Central Provident Fund Commissioner, S K Thakur, has said.
EPFO’s preliminary investigations have suggested that fradulent payments could be due to straying away from standard rules. “The Central Provident Fund Commissioner has taken a strong view on the cases of fraudulent payments in some offices. Prima facie it has been observed that the reported fraudulent payments have taken place due to non-adhering of the existing instructions and manual of accounting procedures of Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995, in settlement and disbursement of pension. It has also been observed that it is the failure on the part of officer-in-charge of the concerned field offices who have failed to monitor and ensure strict compliance of the instructions issued on procedures for settlement and disbursement of pension leading to such fraudulent payments,” the communication has said.
It has also specified that the officer-in-charge of the field office in question will be held responsible for such fraudulent payments. “Officer-in-charge of field offices are advised to have frequent check at all levels of process flow on the settlement and disbursement of pension and ensure that shortcomings found are rectified immediately. If any fraudulent payment on disbursement of pension takes place, henceforth, officer-in-charge of the office will be held primarily responsible for such lapses,” EPFO has said.