The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has revised norms for the process of freezing or unfreezing accounts for individuals or business entities. The EPFO has introduced a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in this regard.
These processes related to freeze Member IDs (MIDs), Universal Account Numbers (UANs), or establishments for verification purposes will now be time-bound. Introducing these changes aims to improve procedural efficiency while eliminating fraud, impersonation and forgery risks.
The New EPFO Rules:
As per the new norms, the timeframe for freezing accounts is restricted to 30 days, which could be extendable up to 14 days for due diligence. An individual can request an account freeze to protect money in the account against fraud or forgery.
The process will involve numerous verification layers, including MIDs, UANs and establishments. The EPFO oversees over 60 million subscribers across the Provident Fund (PF), Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), and Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme.
In case an individual suspects fraud or comes across a situation where money is wrongly withdrawn, then they must report the case of fraud to the authorities to start the prosecution process.
The EPFO will ensure that field officials are held accountable for any lapses, as per the new SOPs. In a scenario involving a fraudulent withdrawal, the EPFO’s SOP directs regional offices to take cognisance of the quantity of capital lost.
The social security organisation will then recover the amount and ensure that it is credited back to the subscriber along with interest.
Rajiv is an independent editorial consultant for the last decade. Prior to this, he worked as a full-time journalist associated with various prominent print media houses. In his spare time, he loves to paint on canvas.