Retirement fund body EPFO is all set to start online transfer of provident fund accounts in the first fortnight of October, a move that will benefit over 13 lakh applicants every year.
"We have completed live testing of online transfer of PF accounts facility. We are in a position to launch the service any time. The facility will definitely be launched during the first fortnight of October," EPFO's Central Provident Fund Commissioner K K Jalan told PTI.
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is planning the launch after the new Labour Secretary takes over on October 1, a source said.
Once it starts, PF subscribers who have changed jobs can apply online for transfer claims through their employers.
A central clearance house has been set up for this purpose and the body plans to reduce the time for transfer of PF accounts to three days through the online service.
The EPFO started registering digital signatures of companies from July 25, a prerequisite for the facility.
"Over 25,000 employers or establishments have already registered their digital signatures with us," Jalan said. "About 80 per cent of the firms employing more than 500 workers have registered their digital signatures with us."
According to Jalan, job changes are more frequent in big firms employing more than 500 workers, especially in sectors such as information technology. The body managed PF accounts of about 6.9 lakh establishments in 2011-12.
The body says it's easier for companies in sectors such as IT to register digital signatures as they already maintain them to comply with Ministry of Corporate Affairs requirements.
During 2012-13, the EPFO settled 107.62 lakh claims, 88 per cent of which were processed within 30 days, as prescribed by the body's citizen charter.
The EPFO expects 1.2 crore claims in 2013-14, including around 13 lakh PF transfer claims. It plans online settlements of about 10 lakh transfer claims of tech-savvy applicants from industries such as IT this fiscal.