1. The 2017 Enrolment Campaign
The Central Government vide its notification dated December 30, 2016 inserted paragraph 82A to the Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952 (EPF Scheme) in respect of the Employees’ Enrolment Campaign, 2017. These changes were notified under the Employees’ Provident Funds (Seventh Amendment) Scheme, 2016 which came to effect on January 1, 2017 and shall continue to stay effective till March 31, 2017.
The notification gives all the employers an opportunity to declare details of all employees who were for any reason whatsoever, unenrolled, but eligible for Provident Fund membership between April 1, 2009 to December 31, 2016.
The declarant employer shall under the prescribed Declaration Form for Employees’ Enrolment Campaign, 2017 (2017 Enrolment Campaign Form) provide particulars of his name along with the address and the code number of the Factory/ establishment in the Form. Further, the declarant must give details of the Account Number, the Universal Account Number, the Name of the Employee along with the Employee’s father’s name (in case of married women, the husband’s name), Date of Birth, sex, Date of eligibility for membership under the EPF Scheme along with previous Account Number and particulars of any previous service.
It must be noted that, the employers shall within fifteen days from the date of declaration dispatch their contribution along with the employee’s contribution that had been taken from the employees’ wages along with the interest and damages. However, the employer will not be liable to pay the contribution if the same has not been taken from the wages of the employee.
The employer should obtain Form-11 from all the employees declared under the campaign and the same is to be signed by the employer. In view thereof, filing of Form-11 is a mandatory prerequisite to filing of the 2017 Enrolment Campaign Form.
Further, the employer may revel in the backdrop of incentives that he may receive. If an employee’s contribution has been declared as not deducted by the employer, the same may be waived. Also, damages of INR 1 per annum are to be paid to the employees who have been declared/ enrolled under the scheme, which shall be remitted along with a simple interest @12% per annum. The collection of the contribution made under this declaration will not bear any administrative cost on the employer.
Moreover, declarations that are made prior to an inquiry initiated under Section 7A shall be legally valid and it cannot be denied by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner. Therefore, once a notice under the aforesaid section is issued, the declaration cannot be made.
2. Online Claims Made Easy
The Labour Ministry’s notification dated January 4, 2017 introduced the idea of electronic settlement of Provident Fund claims under which, for settling claims online, the subscribers will be needed to activate their Universal Account Numbers (UAN) seeded with Know Your Customer (KYC) particulars. The same should be supplemented with the details of the concerned pensioner’s bank accounts, Aadhaar and permanent account number (PAN).
Therefore, if a pensioner is not yet enrolled for Aadhaar, he/she is required to do so by January 31, 2017. For individuals who have not yet received the Aadhaar number or are yet to enroll for it can continue to receive the benefits under the scheme by providing the following details:
- Identity certificate issued by the employer or the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) with the Universal Account Number (UAN).
- Aadhaar enrolment ID of the member/pensioner or a copy of the request made for the Aadhaar enrolment.
These abovementioned documents will have to be submitted to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) along with a copy of either a voter ID card, passport, PAN card, driving license or a certificate of identity approved by an Indian Gazetted Officer.
Furthermore, the Employees Provident Fund Organization is pressing hard for reducing human interactions with employers by digitizing the compliance procedures to shoot up the levels of productivity, transparency and responsibility.