VARIOUS WORKERS’ unions in the city have welcomed the decision of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to pay the Provident Fund and Employee Pension Scheme dues to the employees on or before the day the employee retires. The EPFO made the announcement, which the workers union termed as a ‘Diwali gift’, on Tuesday. Related instructions were issued by the Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy on Tuesday to all its offices.
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The instructions came as a follow-up to directions received from Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation) review meeting held on October 26, to review programmes and projects of the central and state governments.
“It has been decided that PF and pension payments to members of EPF Scheme 1952 and EPS 1995 are made on the date of retirement itself,” Joy said in his communication to EPFO offices.
Welcoming the decision, Manav Kamble, president of the Nagari Haqq Suraksha Samiti said, “Until now, only big private firms were providing PF amount to employees on the day of retirement. The government firms and small industrial units were taking up to six months to settle the PF dues of the employees. Therefore, the EPFO decision from the workers point of view was very crucial,” said Kamble.
Describing it as a long awaited move, labour leader Yeshwant Bhosale, president of Rashtriya Shramik Aghadi said, “The norm should be effectively implemented in private companies as they fail to clear PF dues of their employees. There are several cases of misappropriation of provident fund amount of the employees. A proper mechanism should be evolved to stop such frauds.”
EPF offices have been instructed to take several steps to ensure payment of dues on the day of retirement. These include concerned offices generating a monthly list of retiring EPF/EPS members three months in advance of attaining superannuation age, and communicating it to the concerned members and their respective employers.
The instructions also say employers should be requested to make payment of contributions one month in advance of the date of retirement. They recommend that retiring employees should be given a complete set of PF and pension claim forms, along with the direction to fill them out and submit them to the concerned offices at least 14 days prior to the date of retirement.
Another instructed step is that the PRO and officials in the Facilitation Centre should scrutinise the claim forms received in respect of retirement cases and guide the claimants for submission of all required documents in one attempt only.
An official trained and deputed in the facilitation centre will receive the retirement claims. The seat or counter is to have a clear display stating “please contact for retirement cases’ in Hindi, the regional language and English.
Finally, the instructions state all such retirement claims should be stamped with ‘Retirement claims – Top Priority’ in bold. The PF claim settlement amount must invariably be credited to the member accounts on or before the date of retirement.