The retirement fund manager EPFO plans to replace PF account number with unique identification number, a move which will help in speedy transfer of subscribers’ funds in case of job change and allow them to track their accounts online. At present when a subscriber changes job, it takes months to transfer provident fund money from one account to another, as the records are required to be transferred from one office to the other.
Under these circumstances, a large number of subscribers often withdraw the entire money in their account and go for a fresh account with the new employer. The replacement of PF account number with the UID number will be done after inter-connecting all regional and sub offices of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) by March 2012.
“We are in the process of digitizing and inter-connecting all our offices. We are planning to use unique identification number as the subscribers account number after that,” Labour Secretary P C Chaturvedi told PTI. He said, “Besides expediting the transfer of funds from one office to another, it would help reducing the number of withdrawals. Moreover, every subscribers would be able to track his account online.”
EPFO has set a target of digitalizing the entire data in its regional and sub office by March this year in the first phase. In second phase all offices would be inter-connected. Digitalization and use of UID as PF A/c number would also facilitate the subscriber to apply for transfer and withdrawal online.
In a pilot study conducted at EPFO’s Karnal office, it was found that over 30.2 per cent of subscribers withdraw their PF within a year of joining service while 54.3 per cent do so by the end of the second year. EPFO having a subscribers’ base of about 4.7 crore, processes over 60 lakh claims every year. It manages about Rs three lakh crore of funds and receives an incremental deposit of over Rs 25,000 crore every year.