In a bid to become a paperless organisation as well as to simplify the process of filing PF (provident fund) claims, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had in February this year made it mandatory to make PF claims online for withdrawals of more than Rs 10 lakh. Similarly, it had instructed that PF claims of above Rs 5 lakh, under the Employees Pension Scheme 1995, should also be made online.
However, reversing its earlier stand, the retirement fund body has said that PF withdrawal claims of over Rs 10 lakh, submitted offline via physical forms, will also be accepted now. PF withdrawal claims of above Rs 5 lakh, in case of EPS, can also be submitted offline.
In a circular dated 13.04.2018, EPFO has said that instructions issued on the earlier Circular No. WSU/17(1)2017/ Frauds/ 20514 dated 27.02.2018 (at SI.No. 677 of Office orders/Circulars’ for 2017-18) regarding ‘Submission of claims through online mode in case of settlement amount is above Rs 10 lakh’ have been revisited in a meeting chaired by CPFC, in view of the problems faced by members/ claimants (including International Workers) in filing online claims.
“Considering the grievances raised by members, this stipulation will be kept in abeyance so that offline claims will also be accepted in all cases,” it said, adding that “however, in view of the need to step up security, claims received online from claimants will be sent online to employers for further verification, only after which the claim will be settled. The employer should return the claim within 3 days to the EPFO office either accepting or rejecting the claim.”
Thus, you can now make a claim for PF or EPS withdrawal of above Rs 10 lakh and Rs 5 lakh, respectively, both online and offline, depending upon your convenience.