Retirement fund body EPFO is expected to launch online facility for settlement of claims, including EPF withdrawal and pension fixation, by May this year to put an end to tedious paper work by its members. At present, the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) receive close to 1 cr. applications manually for settlement of EPF withdrawal claim, pension fixation or getting group insurance benefit by deceased persons. EPFO has an ambitious plan to settle the claims within few hours after filing of application.
For instance, it has plans to settle the EPF withdrawal claim within three hours of filing of online application. As per the scheme, EPFO is required to settle all claims within 20 days from filing of the application for settlement of pension or EPF withdrawal. Under the pilot, the EPFO has already connected its around 50 field offices with the central server. EPFO has made it mandatory for all subscribers as well as pensioners to submit their Aadhaar number.
This will help linking EPF account, pension account, bank account and Aadhaar number which would eventually facilitate providing a host of online facilities to subscribers like online withdrawal and fixation of pension. Seeding of Aadhaar number with the EPF, pension and bank accounts is required for settling claims online to reduce public interface for bringing in more transparency.
EPFO & EPF:
The EPF (Employees' Provident Fund) is the most popular investment for salaried individuals, and is maintained solely by the Employees' Provident Fund Organization of India (EPFO). As a rule, any company having more than 20 employees has to register with the EPFO.
The employer contribution to your EPF (employee provident fund) is tax-free, and your contribution is tax-deductible under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. The money you invest in EPF, the interest earned and the money you eventually withdraw after the mandatory specified period (5 years) are exempt from income tax .The annual interest rate is available on the official EPF India website, and is currently at 8.75%.