Retirement fund body EPFO may launch by August an online facility to withdraw provident fund, a move that will reduce paperwork and provide hassle-free service to its subscribers. With the new facility, settling PF withdrawal claims would just take few hours.
"EPFO will soon buy blade servers for setting up three Central Data Centres at Gurgaon, Dwarka (Delhi) and Secunderabad. All the three centres will be connected to 123 offices of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)," he said.
The process of procuring servers would be completed by May while the testing would start in June to gauge the response of the system in place. "After intensive testing and trials in June and July, we are planning to launch the online PF withdrawal facility in August this year," the official said.
Once this is operational, subscribers can apply online for PF withdrawal, which will be transferred directly to their bank accounts. At present, subscribers who wish to settle their accounts with the EPFO are required to apply manually.
For settling online claims, the subscribers would have to activate their Universal (portable PF) Account Numbers which are seeded with KYC details including bank accounts, Aadhaar number and permanent account number.
The EPFO has over five crore subscribers. As many as 6.15 crore UANs were issued by EPFO out of which 2.34 crore were activated by the subscribers so far.
As per a report in The Economic Times, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation may not raise the interest rate and is considering giving bonus to its subscribers for 2015-16.
EPFO had proposed hiking the interest rate to 8.95% in FY16, but did not find favour with the Finance Ministry. The interest rate on the EPF in FY 14 and FY 15 was 8.75% .
(With inputs from agencies)