Starting June 1, all employers will be responsible for ensuring that their employees’ provident fund (PF) accounts are linked with their Aadhaar. Unless and until the accounts are Aadhaar verified, the employer’s contribution will not be credited to the employees’ accounts.
This new rule was notified by the EPFO in a latest release. This decision has been taken under Section 142 of the Social Security Code 2020. The EPFO has informed the employers, that is, all organisations and establishments, that with effect from June 1, if the PF accounts of their employees are not linked to Aadhaar or UAN is verified, then their Electronic Challan cum Return or ECR will not be filed. This means, although employees will be able to see their own PF account contributions, they will be unable to receive the share put in by their employers. Additionally, if the employees’ PF accounts are not linked with Aadhaar, they will be unable to use the EPFO’s services either.
In addition, keeping in mind the financial crisis brought on by the pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding jobs and incomes, the EPFO has allowed all account holders to withdraw a second non-refundable COVID-19 advance from the pension fund. This provision, which was introduced in March 2020 under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), to help people meet their emergency needs amidst the pandemic, has already been availed by well over 76 lakh applicants with an advance of more than Rs 18,698 crore being released. Even those who have availed the facility of advance once can withdraw an advance a second time.