Portable permanent PF account number, which will enable over five crore EPFO members to get rid of the process of transferring their accounts on changing jobs, will be a reality in 2014-15.
The permanent PF account number would also help provide social security benefits to workers in sectors like construction where they change contractors and place of work frequently.
According to the ‘Action Plan’ handed over by the Labour Ministry to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the body has to put in place a system for unique employee number which would eventually make its facilities at par with core banking service.
“The EPFO is working on the system to provide permanent account numbers to its subscribers. It is not difficult to provide this facility in 2014-15,” a top EPFO official said.
To provide permanent PF account numbers to subscribers, EPFO will have to set up a central server which would be connected to its all 123 field offices.
At present, the EPFO subscribers have to apply for transfer of PF accounts on changing jobs. They are provided a new PF account number every time they change jobs.
The retirement fund body has recently started the facility of online transfer of PF account on changing jobs in October last year.
However, there are a sizable number of PF transfer claims, which are filed manually because all firms covered by EPFO have not registered their digital signatures, which is a prerequisite for the online facility.
The facility of online transfer of PF accounts has reduced the work load of EPFO substantially as over 13 lakh applicants are filed for such claims every year.
The EPFO expects 1.2 crore claims in 2013-14, including around 13 lakh PF transfer claims. During 2012-13, it settled 107.62 lakh claims, 88 per cent of which were processed within 30 days, as prescribed by the body’s citizen charter.