Check your Employees’ Provident Fund Balance OnlinePosted: February 16, 2015
Now, an easy way to get your money out of dormant PF account.
The EPFO now has an online facility to trace and recover PF money lying in dormant accounts from old jobs
While shifting jobs, many employees don’t transfer their Employee Provident Fund to the new organisation as they either forget or find the procedure too complex.
The numbers are surprising. As of last financial year, about Rs 26,496 crore of provident fund money was lying with Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in inoperative accounts. The government body stops crediting interest to those accounts which fail to make contributions for 36 months continuously and classify them as inoperative or dormant.
Until now it required lot of paperwork like filling up forms and attestation of claim from previous employer and so on. This has changed now. From January, the retirement fund body has launched a special drive to help such account holders. The organisation has asked field offices to identify the beneficiaries of inoperative PF accounts and settle those either by making payments, or transferring money to their active accounts. And to help them in this process, EPFO has launched an online helpdesk.
All you need to do is log onto EPFO’s website www.epfindia.com. Under the section ‘For Employees’ there’s a link to ‘Inoperative A/c Helpdesk System’. You need to put in your details and the organisation will communicate you the further procedure.
The web helpdesk is meant to help EFPO members trace out their provident fund numbers or find the total fund accumulated. The organisation has seen that the biggest problem with subscribers is that they don’t remember their account numbers.
When you click the link, it first asks to fill in the problem. Then you have to fill in details such as the name of the employer, PF account number, date of joining and leaving the company, personal details and so on. One done you will receive a reference number. Make sure to make a note of it as it’s not communicated through email or mobile.
If the details are traced, then the helpdesk will guide the subscribers for transferring the amount lying in inoperative account to their existing accounts. The subscribers can also withdraw money from the inoperative accounts by filling the claim form. EPFO has a web facility which helps users to transfer their old account dues to existing accounts.
Account holders should immediately act if they have not transferred or claimed provident fund when they changed jobs. PF is the key to retirement planning. “Even if a person has not earned interest for a year or two, it can drastically impact retirement corpus,” said a certified financial planner. He also suggested that it’s better to transfer the balance to the new account rather than withdrawing it.
It’s not just about losing interest and consequently not benefitting from power of compounding. Dormant accounts can be targets of fraudsters. For example, two years back EPFO discovered that fraudsters siphoned off money from inactive PF accounts by forging documents and by opening bank accounts using forged identity documents. This was prominent in establishments where remittances had not been received for many years, records not updated and the establishment had not submitted statutory returns.
…………Tinesh Bhasin – Business Standard