As per current norms established by Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), 20 days is the stipulated time taken by them to settle Provident Fund claims and to deposit the money into the employee’s bank account. But things are changing, and changing fast. Last year EPFO unveiled the new facility to employees by which they can withdraw their funds without employers permission if the Aadhaar is updated in the system. This is because emerging, EPFO is all set to embrace technology in a major way, which will not only bring down the time required to settle claims but also enable online withdrawal of PF funds.
Improvement in IT Infrastructure
The decision taken requires up to the mark IT infrastructure which will be used to remit the money to account holders. With the digital India campaign Indian government is taking it seriously to improve its IT infrastructure and earlier it also revamped the NIC which is an IT wing of GoI.
Right now, EPFO receives close to 1 crore applications per year from employees for settling PF claims. And this huge exercise is done manually. But this would changes after enabling an Aadhaar card based online system, which will enable direct online withdrawal of the PF claim from the bank account, and the whole process would be settled in 3 hours, compared to 20 days which is the standard.
As per EPFO’s Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy, they are right now integrating a complete IT infrastructure, connecting all their field offices (there are 123 of them) spread across the nation with one central server for instant verification of the claim and for allocating the funds to the respective bank accounts within 3 hours which is expected to be completed by May this year with go live from the same month.
Aadhaar Card Enabled PF Withdrawal and You
Aadhaar is now becoming the one stop solution to accept and send payments to any one in India, which is also vision of government and for the same they have taken various initiatives like linking with BHIM, Ration Cards , Mobiles and other government documents. EPFO is right now requesting Aadhaar cards for all their users (employees, pensioners, company owners etc) and integrating it with their central servers. For enabling complete software based solution, EPFO is linking PF Accounts, pension accounts, bank accounts and Aadhaar numbers with the main database, so that verification becomes faster and easier.
March 31 is the last date for linking Aadhaar card for every PF account holder, and once it is done, then online withdrawal of PF funds would become live effective May 2017.