The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) plans to provide a universal account number to its subscribers from October.
This will help millions of subscribers deal with the problem of multiple accounts and fund transfer from one account to another during every job change. At present, a subscriber gets a new number with every new job.
In its action plan for 2014-15, the EPFO said, "A Universal Account Number will be allotted to the present active members by 15 October 2014. Thereafter coverage of other members will be taken up. The internal deadline is June."
The EPFO had earlier introduced a portal to facilitate transfer of funds from one account to another. The delays involved in transferring funds gives rise to a lot of customer dissatisfaction, the EPFO has admitted time and again.
The EPFO also plans to make all payments to its beneficiaries through the electronic mode. This will reduce paper work and improve efficiency. At present, 93% benefits are paid electronically.
The EPFO settled more than 1.21 crore claims in financial year 2013-14, an increase of 13% over the previous year. In March alone, around 10 lakh claims were settled. The EPFO collected Rs 71,195 crore, 16% more than the previous year's figure of Rs 61,143 crore. Moreover, 1,94,371 grievances were settled in 2013-14, leaving just 4,300 cases pending in the year-end.
"Out of the claims settled, almost 98% were settled within the mandated period of 30 days. Now the focus is on progressively bringing down the time required for settlement. During the year, more than half the field offices settled 80% claims within 10 days and out of these 19 offices settled 80% claims within three days," the EPFO said.