The subscribers of Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), the public retirement fund body under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India would not need to file transfer claims on change of the job. The automation would be implemented from the next fiscal year. “The EPFO is testing the automation of EPF transfer on changing jobs on pilot basis. The facility for all subscribers is expected to be launched any time next year,” said an official from labor ministry. “The EPFO had engaged the C-DAC to study its operating systems to achieve the goal of becoming paperless organisation. At present, 80 per cent of the work is being done online. The automated transfer of EPF on changing jobs is one of the tools to be used to achieve that objective,” he added.
As of now, subscribers are required to file transfer claims on changing job despite having Universal Account Number (UAN). More than 8 lakh people file for transfer claims every year. Now the transfer will be done automatically with the help of UAN. “After the automation of the EPF transfer on changing jobs, the subscribers would be benefitted immensely as the UAN would be like a bank account. No matter a subscriber changes place or employer, his or her social security benefits would be accessed through the UAN. That would remain the same throughout his or her life.” said the official.
Earlier lakhs of people used to leave the previous EPF claims due to time-consuming process of filing transfer claims. The money and time of workers will be saved from this decision of the Modi government. EPFO is now being used as a source of data on jobs in the formal sector. The automation would reduce any leakage or inconsistency on jobs data. EPFO has more than 120 offices across the country and 6 crore people have subscribed to its provident fund scheme.
Earlier, EPFO had asked all of its subscribers to link their Aadhaar numbers to track jobs growth. Aadhaar linking will also solve the problems of duplication, time lagging in service delivery and help in the detection of fraudulent claimers. “Other than the jobs record, the move will speed up service delivery like payment of pension and faster settlement of PF claims. PF number portability will be smoother with Aadhar linkage with subscribers ID already having the bank account and PAN linked to it,” said a government official.
After seven decades of independence, we do not have any strong mechanism to estimate the number of jobs and employed people in the country. This leads to unsubstantiated claims by the government that many jobs are being created and at the same time opposition complains of jobless growth. Therefore due to lack of data both government and opposition shoot in the dark on job creation and unemployment. “More than a lack of jobs, the issue is a lack of data on jobs. “Our opponents will naturally exploit this opportunity to paint a picture of their choice and blame us,” said PM Modi in an interview with Swarajya magazine.