Provident Fund Multi-Location Withdrawal Facility: The multi-location claim facility will improve service delivery and ensure social security for its more than 6 crore subscribers during the time of crisis, the statement said.
Provident Fund Multi-Location Withdrawal Facility: Here’s good news for Provident Fund (PF) subscribers. The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has launched a multi-location claim settlement facility. In an official statement, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the new facility will allow EPFO offices to settle online claims from any of its regional offices, across the country. “All types of online claims i.e. provident fund, pension, partial withdrawal and claims and transfer claims can be processed under this novel initiative,” the statement said.
The ministry said that COVID-19 crisis has affected 135 regional offices of EPFO with different levels of severity depending on their location. The ministry observed that though many offices in Mumbai, Thane, Haryana and Chennai zones operate with less staff on account of COVID-19 crisis, there has been a disproportionate increase in claim receipt due to recently introduced COVID-19 advance. The claim pendency in these offices has gone up, leading to a delay in claim settlement cycle.
However, other offices, working with 50 per cent workforce and with the help of recently introduced auto settlement mode, have been able to bring the claim settlement period down to three days for COVID-19 advances.
New PF withdrawal facility: What has changed
The EPFO has moved away from the existing system of geographical jurisdiction for claim processing by rolling out the multi-location claim settlement facility. The new facility will allow offices with a lesser workload to share the burden of offices that have accumulated a higher level of pendency, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
EPFO said the new facility enables “fast-tracking of settlement process through most appropriate engagement of EPFO’s workforce in all its regional offices across the country.”
Here are some key points to know about the new initiatives, according to the Ministry of Labour and Employment:
- First batch of multi-location claims under this path-breaking project was settled for Gurugram Region on 10th June 2020.
- Claims of employees pertaining to the regional office of Gurugram Region were settled by EPFO staff in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Jalandhar offices.
- After settlement, the payment was made from the Gurugram office to the bank account of the individual member.
- EPFO said that since the launch of the facility, claims belonging to offices falling in containment zones have been distributed to offices in other locations for expeditious processing.
- The new facility will help usher faceless claims processing and bring greater levels of transparency, efficiency, reduction of member grievances and expeditious settlement of online claims.
EPFO said that its officers and staff have been settling more than 80,000 claims amounting to Rs 270 crore per working day since April 1, 2020.
The multi-location claim facility will improve service delivery and ensure social security for its more than 6 crore subscribers during the time of crisis, the statement said.