Pune: Despite reports floating on social media about the data theft of about 2.7 crore members registered with retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Arun Kumar, Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, Pune, rubbished the reports and claimed they were false.
Kumar, while speaking to Sakal Times, said, “Yesterday, we received a letter from the Central Provident Fund Commissioner from our head office located in New Delhi, confirming that the news, which was viral on social media about data theft is false and no such data of any member has been hacked.”
He said, “The data is safe with us. Though there are a few technical glitches, there is no data theft that has taken place.”
Meanwhile, amidst the EPFO data leak issue, the regional office of Pune will soon show its presence online by making ‘Form 9’ available. Kumar said, “We have around 16,000 establishments registered with us from Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad. From these, scanning of ‘Form 9’ of 6,000 establishments has been completed. We have set a target of completing all the hard copies to soft copies by August this year.”
“The computerisation of these 16,000 establishments were not done since they were created prior to 2012. We have given priority to scan those documents of the establishments that submitted their claims recently. There are several establishments from where we hardly get any claims and the digitalisation of such establishments will be done subsequently.”
The number of claims the EPFO received in last financial year, that is, 2017-18 was around eight lakh. And during this financial year, which has just started, we received around 90,000 claims. Majority of the claims we are receiving are physical claims compared to online claims. On daily basis, we are receiving around 3,000 physical claims out of which 400 to 500 are online claims. Many people are not aware or not acquainted with the online system, as the online claims procedure started in the month of December 2017. However, the number of online claims are also increasing. Initially, there were only 10 to 15 claims made every day and now the number has subsequently increased.”
Also, 40 per cent of members of EPFO have their Aadhaar cards linked with the universal account number while the remaining 60 per cent have to still link their Aadhaar
numbers with the organisation.
Govt to pay employer’s share
† According to recent circular from the Central government, the government will pay the employer’s contribution of 12 per cent of basic salary towards the retirement corpus of individuals in the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) in the first three years of employment. Kumar said, “In budget 2016-17, the government said it would pay 8.33 per cent of basic pay that employers contribute to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) for three years. Under the rules, every month, 12 per cent of an employee’s basic salary goes into the EPF account and the employer matches the contribution. Of the employer’s contribution, 8.33 per cent goes into the EPS, which offers pension from the age of 58 years. This means, now the government will pay 12 per cent while earlier they used to pay 8.33 per cent. The decision was announced recently in the budget for fiscal 2019, which is aimed at boosting job creation.