EPFO issues new guidelines to stop fraudulent withdrawals from Provident FundFebruary 16, 2021
The EPFO has taken several steps in the past to help employees make correction in the provident fund (PF) account details. The steps to make correction in name, father’s name, date of birth etc were clearly defined by the EPFO. However, now EPFO is bringing about some changes in the process. The changes will be classified as Minor and Major changes and accordingly the process to make correction will have to be carried out.
The need to introduce new guidelines is because EPFO observed some cases of fraudulent withdrawals from the PF accounts. According to EPFO, corrections in member’s profile have been allowed to rectify the errors in name, father/husband’s name, DOB and gender.
However, it has been observed that complete name and profile change has been made in certain cases leading to fraudulent withdrawals.
A complete change in the member profile cannot be allowed in the normal course through online or offline process except in extreme situations where it has been proven that the member name has been changed following the due process prescribed in law, or there has been an erroneous upload of member data by the employer, on production of documentary evidence by the member and employer and after due verification.
In the suppression of previous directions regarding the correction of KYC, the following guidelines are issued by EPFO:
1. If the correction is related to expanding the name/surname from abbreviation to full name, or vice versa, without changing the first letter if, after the correction, the pronunciation of the name doesn’t change. E.g. from R. Kumar to Rakesh Kumar, from V. S. Verma to Vijay Shankar Verma is a minor correction. But from R. Kumar to Suresh Kumar is not a minor correction.
2. If the father name or husband name is inserted as a middle name in AADHAR e.g. Sunita Kumar (s/o or w/o Ramesh Kumar) to Sunita Ramesh Kumar.
3. If it involves only change in the surname of female employees after marriage. E.g. from Sunita Sharma to Sunita Singh.
All those cases which do not fall in the category of “Minor correction”, or any correction leading to complete change in name/father name, or where correction in more than two fields are involved.
Authority competent to approve “Minor” and “Major” corrections shall be:
a) For Minor Corrections: APFC/RPFC II
b) For Major corrections: RPFC-I/RPFC-II(OIC)
Major corrections as described above shall not be done in the online process without obtaining proper documentary proof, including an explanation from the employer, and verification of the genuineness of the case as deemed appropriate by the RPFC I/RPFC II(OIC).
In case of closed establishment where the employer or authorized signatory is not traceable/available, the Authority to attest the joint declaration shall be one among the authorities prescribed and the correction shall be made exercising due care and caution and only after due verification of the documentary evidence produced in proof of identity, employment etc.
i. In case the joint declaration is signed by the employer should be asked to produce original records such as employee register, increment orders, payslip, appointment order, any application made to EPF office to correct wrong name in form-23 (PF slip), etc., on the basis of which employer is certifying the change request.
ii. In case of closed establishment, the applicant may be asked to produce evidence such as appointment letter, payslip, increment order, PF-slip and any application to correct name in form 23.
iii. Such other records as the authority feels required can also be asked. Verification through EO may also be done.