New Delhi: Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made it mandatory for its about 50 lakh pensioners and around four crore subscribers to provide either Aadhaar or a proof that they have applied for it till month-end to remain a beneficiary of its social security schemes.
“At present it is the correct position that the pensioners as well as members would have to provide Aadhaar or enrolment slips by 31 January 2017, to continue services provided by the EPFO,” Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s Central Provident Fund commissioner V.P. Joy told PTI. “We will review the situation by month-end and may give more time to subscribers as well as pensioners to provide the 12 digit Aadhaar number,” Joy said further.
EPFO has asked its over 120 field offices to provide wide publicity to the move through media as well as individual notes through employers to create awareness among members and pensioners about providing Aadhaar as their identification. A notification by the labour ministry says, “Members and pensioners of the Employees Pension Scheme desirous of continuing to avail pension and membership to Employees Pension Scheme, are here by required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number of undergo Aadhaar authentication as per the procedure laid down by EPFO.”
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It also says, “A member or pensioner desirous of continuing benefit of the said scheme.....shall be required to make an application for Aadhaar enrolment by 31 January 2017.”
Central government contributes 1.16% of the basic wages as subsidy to every members Employees Pension Scheme Account in addition to 8.33% deposited by their employers every month. Since the government provides subsidy to an EPFO member, it has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targetted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016, for the purpose.
Section 7 of the Act provides that where government provides subsidy, benefit or service from Consolidated Fund of India, an individual can be asked to undergo authentication, or furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number. It also provides that where an individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual can apply for enrolment.