The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (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 the 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 enrollment slips by January 31, 2017, to continue services provided by the EPFO,’ retirement fund body EPFO’s Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy told PTI and ‘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,’ Mr. Joy added.
EPFO has asked it 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 hereby required to furnish proof of possession of Aadhaar number of undergoing Aadhaar authentication as per the procedure laid down by EPFO.’
It also says, ‘A member or pensioner desirous of continuing benefit of the said scheme…shall be required to make an application for Aadhaar enrollment by January 31, 2017.’
The Central government contributes 1.16 per cent of the basic wages as a subsidy to every member’s Employees Pension Scheme Account in addition to 8.33 per cent deposited by their employers every month and since the government provides a subsidy to an EPFO member, it has invoked Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act 2016, for the purpose.
Section 7 of the Act provides that where the 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 and it also provides that where an individual to whom no Aadhaar number has been assigned, such individual can apply for enrollment.