Starting July 1, 2013 , EPF account holders will be able to withdraw or transfer their EPF accounts from one employer to another employer online. EPFO has said that they are working on setting up a central clearance house which will be operational from July 1, 2013 . One of the major problems faced by employees is to transfer their EPF accounts from one company to another when they change their jobs or to withdraw their EPF accounts after leaving their job, which takes years and months, without them having any transparency in the system and process. They are frustrated, lost and have no idea where to ask for their EPF status and to whom . Because of this delay, a lot of people just let things go and the matter drags for years and years
You can also Track the Status Online
The best part is that you will be able to track your request online and will be able to see which stage your EPF withdrawal or transfer is ! .
Permanent EPF account number for each person
EPFO has earlier said that they are working on the permanent EPF account number where a employee once allotted a EPF account number will be able to use the same Employee provident fund number when he/she moves to another employer. The new employer will deposit the provident fund money in the same permanent account number. This will solve a lot of issues, but this would be possible only after 1-2 yrs , the first focus is on introducing a online withdrawal or transfer service.
Verification of Details after the request is put ?
Once you apply for withdrawal or transfer, the verification of all the details from employer will be done by EPFO . All you would have to do is just initiate the transfer or withdrawal request online (Its not clear how it will happen or what you need to exactly do). After that EPFO department will take charge and do their part of work by contacting the employer. Here is how the transfer would work
The member makes his transfer application at his new or old office or directly to the EPFO through an online application. The process is then taken over by the EPFO, which gets data verification from both offices and gets the transfer done immediately. Now, EPFO would do the work of getting details from both old and new offices where transfer is involved, says EPFO Commissioner Anil Swarup. – SOURCE
This will help 50 million Employee provident fund account holders , lot of paper work will be saved and surely the harassment will reduce . (Read how you can withdraw/transfer your EPF , if your employer is not supporting or helping you) . at this moment , a lot of withdrawal’s happen because employees know that its more easier and do not want to take chance for future issues due to the complex process. Hence this move will help a lot to EPFO department in retaining employees with their EPF’s .
What should you do right now ?
While the EPFO has said that this will be operational from July 1, 2013 , still there might be delays from their end (you know how deadlines work in real life , remember what happened with DTC (Direct Tax Code) ?) . If you can really afford to wait and want to try out this online system, then wait for 2-3 months and then give this a shot, else follow the usual process at this moment.
While its a welcome move and we should trust the EPFO department, still you know what happened with the EPF Online Passbook system by EPF , which is not up-to the mark and there are tons of issues with it. It might happen that this online EPF transfer and withdrawal system is built , but there can be huge disappointment with the way it would work . We can only wait and watch at this moment.
What do you feel about this move ? A lot of people might have faced bad experience while transferring and withdrawing their EPF accounts and would have wondered why dont EPFO makes every thing online. Now it comes !