Companies will not be able to transfer their share of provident fund deposits from June onwards unless employees have their Aadhaar linked to their provident fund accounts, according to new rules of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the state-run retirement fund manager.
The rule came into effect on 1 June. Although the EPFO had been advising subscribers or staffers to complete the seeding of Aadhaar with their accounts, non-seeding did not so far impact PF deposits.
Until now, linking of accounts with Aadhaar was only required during withdrawals from the PF by a subscriber and availing insurance benefits from Employees State Insurance Corporation.
“The linking is a simple three-step process that can be done by accessing the website,” an EPFO official said.
From June onwards, an employer will not be able to upload the electronic challan-cum-return (ECR) related to an employee’s PF account unless the account is integrated with Aadhaar details, according to an EPFO notice.
According to the labour ministry’s payroll data, there are over 13 million EPFO subscribers. Employers in the private sector generally either contribute 12% of the employee’s basic salary or basic salary and dearness allowance to the PF.
An official of the labour ministry said that employers are being cautioned about the changes, including through formal communication.
“Dear employer, with the coming into force of Section 142 of the Code on Social Security, 2020, the ECR shall be allowed to be filed only for those members whose Aadhaar numbers are seeded and verified with the UANs,” the communication states.
Many subscribers are facing difficulties linking their Aadhaar to their accounts. “That is most likely if there is a mismatch in spellings or details like date of birth. For such problems, employees must rectify their Aadhaar details first,” said Rahul Khandekar of staffing major Allegis Group.
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