"The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has decided to make 100 percent e-payment of benefits by August 31, 2014," a senior EPFO official told the agency. He said at present around 93 percent of the benefits are transferred through electronic mode. Under this facility, the benefits such as PF withdrawals are directly credited to the beneficiaries' account and no cheque or bank draft is issued.
In the present scenario, EPFO settles over one crore claims in a financial year. It has settled 1.21 crore subscriber claims, including withdrawal and transfer of provident fund, in 2013-14, an increase of 13 percent over the previous year.
"Thus, making payment through electronic mode will not only improve the efficiency of the EPFO, but it will also reduce the unnecessary paperwork for issuing cheques to beneficiaries," he opined.
Besides settling claims, the EPFO makes payment to around 44 lakh pensioners every month. It is digitising its pension data for the purpose and will have a centralised data system. The digitising of pension data work is expected to be completed in three to four months.
The official said that among other steps to make EPFO transactions paperless, the employers having account in banks other than State Bank of India would be able to pay PF dues online from September. At present, employers having bank account in SBI, can pay PF dues online.
According to him, all this digitisation process is aimed at making EPFO services at par with core banking services provided by the banks. EPFO is also contemplating providing permanent or universal account number to it all active members by October this year.