In India, many employees switch their jobs during the year for better opportunities and for a hike in annual salary. But, while switching jobs, a common problem faced by employees is with transferring their Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account from one company to another. Currently, you need to give physical application to transfer your EPF account from one company to another while switching job, which lacks transparency in process and takes years or months to complete the transfer. In the past, there were cases of people getting frustrated and they didn’t have any clue on which desk their application was lying and the waiting period to complete this transfer of account. Now, to make the process smooth and simple, EPFO has announced launch of online facility of EPF transfer and withdrawal from 1st July, 2013.
Benefits of Online EPF Facility
Online facility will reduce the hassle; there will be transparency in the process.
You will get a facility to track your request by just one click online and also be able to see which stage your application has reached.
Application process will be quick as employees at EPFO office will not be required to data feed physical application in the system, saving their time. Employees at EPFO now will work directly on more constructive areas such as verifying the details and then complete the procedure smoothly.
How verification process will work after request is placed online?
You need to apply for transfer or withdrawal on the website of www.epfindia.com with all the personal details, PF account number, old and new employers EPF code.
An MIS will be generated with the tracking code, which will help in locating the status of application.
Your application request of transfer will go to the old employer and EPFO, online. Then, the EPFO department takes charge of verifying the details, contacting old and new companies of an employee for verification and complete transfer.
EPFO staff will be working on stiff deadlines to complete the procedure for transfer of EPF account.
Unsuccessful technology initiatives in the past
EPFO has planned to launch online EPF transfer and withdrawal facility from 1st July, 2013 onwards. But, in the past, the various measures taken to improve the services and process were not productive. There have been delays in launching services; also earlier initiative for an e-passbook has not tasted success.
EPFO had also made an announcement on account number portability, which should make transfer much easier. In this, each employee will be allotted a single PF number. Also, there will not be any requirement to transfer the EPF account from one employer to another while switching jobs. However, this project has been delayed and expected to be launched after 2 years. Now, focus is on launching these online services.
We advice to wait for 2 months if you can, for this online system to go live or else follow the usual physical process to transfer the account. It’s not recommended to withdraw the money from EPF account after changing the job, so transfer it to the new employer. These are retirement savings which should be preserved for your future consumption.
Hiral Thanawala is a PGDM (Finance) graduate and Certified Financial Planner with an experience of over 5 years in equity market and personal finance domain. The views explained by him are personal. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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