The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has taken the decision to accept PF withdrawal claims of over Rs. 10 Lakhs now via the offline process (physical form) as well. Earlier, the EPFO in a circular had passed instructions to its offices to allow submission of Provident Fund claims of over Rs. 10 Lakh– only online. The decision has been taken in a meeting chaired by the Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) in order to resolve the problems faced by its members.
In its 13th April 2018 circular, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had issued revised instructions to settle claims for Provident Funds (PF) and Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) withdrawals. According to this circular, all the Provident Fund claims which are above Rs. 10 Lakh will now also be sorted through offline submission of forms. This also in regard to Employees’ Pension Scheme withdrawals settlement which is above Rs. 5 Lakh. Earlier, in a bid to become a paperless organization as well as to simplify the process of filing PF withdrawal claims, the EPFO in February 2018 had made it compulsory to make PF withdrawal claims of more than Rs. 10 Lakh online. It had also instructed that PF withdrawal claims of above Rs. 5 Lakh (under Employees Pension Scheme 1995) should be made online.
The order to accept PF withdrawal claims of over Rs. 10 Lakhs has been passed via offline procedure, due to the considered problems faced by members and claimants, while submitting their claims online. This includes international workers. Due to the grievances raised by members, the stipulation will be kept in reserve. So that offline claims can also be accepted in all cases concerned.
Also in that earlier February circular, members and claimants were instructed that all claims above the stipulated limits would not be accepted in their physical forms.
In the recent circulars dated 13th April 2018, instructions have been given to field offices to send the claim forms via the online process to the employers for further authentication. This is for those claim forms that are received online from the claimants. This step has been taken to minimize the risk of fraud, and to increase security. The employers have to return the claim form in 3 days to the EPFO office, specifying whether it is accepted or rejected.
What Is Provident Fund?
Provident Fundis is a compulsory, government-managed retirement savings scheme. In this, the workers contribute a portion of their salaries into a provident fund. Meanwhile, employers must contribute on behalf of their employees. The money is then paid out to retirees. In some cases, it is paid out to the disabled who can’t work.