EPFO launches online help desk to trace inoperative accounts

New Delhi: With a balance of Rs 27,000 crore lying in inoperative PF accounts, retirement fund body EPFO today set up an online help desk for subscribers to trace such accounts and seek final settlement.

There are about 8.15 crore inoperative provident fund accounts. Inaugurating the online helpdesk, Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya said: "It would encourage the members to seek quick settlement of their accounts."

Talking to reporters, Central Provident Fund Commissioner K K Jalan said efforts would be made to reconcile all the inoperative accounts within a period of one year.

He further said the EPFO would soon come out with a scheme to ensure online settlement and withdrawal of provident funds. The new scheme, which would significantly streamline the process, would be launched in a month or so.

Using the help desk, holders of the inoperative accounts can trace their accounts and go in for either settlement or transfer of PF to their present accounts, an official said.

The inoperative accounts are those accounts wherein the contribution has not been received for 36 months. EPFO had stopped payment of interest to such accounts from April 1, 2011.

The decision to set up help desk follows instructiongiven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of the 'Shrameva Jayate¿ programme regarding the settlement of inoperative accounts having Rs 27,000 crores as balance.

This online help desk can be accessed through EPFO¿s website. The member shall be prompted to provide the known details of his/her employment in a specially designed proforma including establishment code, PF account number, address, state, city, date of joining etc.

Likewise, personal information is also to be provided like name, mobile number, Date of Birth, Name of Father / Husband, e-mail Id, contact address, Aadhar number, Bank A/c No. etc.

The members are expected to provide the information to the extent available with them. Thereafter, a reference ID is created for future reference and tracking.

Based on the reference ID generated, the field office concerned (where the member held his PF account) shall contact the member and guide him for getting the settlement or effecting the PF transfer as the case may be. EPFO expects that introduction of the portable Universal Account Number (UAN) for PF is expected to greatly facilitate the above initiative as UAN would enable consolidation of multiple previous PF account numbers with the present one.

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