Indians working abroad can now exempt themselves from their host country’s social security scheme and get covered by retirement fund body EPFO, Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) V P Joy said today. An online facility to avail the benefit has been made functional, he said at a national seminar on ‘Fraud Risk Management-The New Initiatives’ here. The scheme allows Indian employees the option of not being part of their host country’s social security scheme and saves employers from double social security contributions. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, which manages the money in employees provident fund accounts, has entered into an agreement with 18 countries.
“We have made the whole process employee friendly. Employees going abroad to work can get a certificate of coverage (CoC). They can apply for the CoC online and can get it too,” he told PTI. Joy said there is a simple one-page application form available on the EPFO’s website for the purpose. “The scheme is of great help for Indian workers going overseas for a limited period of time. The biggest benefit they get from opting for the CoC is that their money is not blocked for a long time in the host country,” he said, explaining the benefits of the scheme.
India has operational social security agreements with Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, Austria, Canada, Australia, Japan and Portugal. EPFO is one of the largest social security providers in the world, covering 9.26 lakh establishments with more than 4.5 crore members. It provides pension to 60.32 lakh pensioners every month.