Retirement fund body EPFO is expected to launch online facility for settlement of claims, including EPF withdrawal and pension fixation, by May this year to put an end to tedious paper work by its members.
At present, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) receive close to 1 crore applications manually for settlement of EPF withdrawal claim, pension fixation or getting group insurance benefit by deceased persons.
"The process of connecting all field offices with a central server is going on. We may introduce the facility for online submission of all types of applications and claims like EPF withdrawal and pension settlement by May this year," EPFO's Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy told.
Joy said that all EPFO offices would be connected to central server in couple of months following which the facility of online submission of all sort of applications can be introduced.
EPFO has an ambitious plan to settle the claims within few hours after filing of application. For instance, it has plans to settle the EPF withdrawal claim within three hours of filing of online application.
As per the scheme, EPFO is required to settle all claims within 20 days from filing of the application for settlement of pension or EPF withdrawal.
Under the pilot, the EPFO has already connected its around 50 field offices with the central server.
In a recent review meeting on digitisation in the EPFO, the field formations and Information Services wing has been asked to link all 123 offices with the central server so that subscribers can be provided services online.
EPFO has made it mandatory for all subscribers as well as pensioners to submit their Aadhaar number. This will help linking EPF account, pension account, bank account and Aadhaar number which would eventually facilitate providing a host of online facilities to subscribers like online withdrawal and fixation of pension.
The body has recently extended the deadline for submitting Aadhaar for its subscribers and pensioners till March 31, 2017. Seeding of Aadhaar number with the EPF, pension and bank accounts is required for settling claims online to reduce public interface for bringing in more transparency.