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PF Transfer to new employer now automatic - The Employees Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made transferring one's provident fund from one employer to the other smooth and seamless. Now, the funds will be automatically transferred when an employee changes jobs. All he needs to do is fill up a newly-introduced Form-11." All that the new joinee has to do is provide the required information tothe new employer in Form-11, which it will send to the EPFO. This will automatically trigger the process of transferring funds from the old company to the new one. The process involves the two companies and EPFO. The employee doesn't need to do anything," says Sanjay Verma, an independent provident fund consultant. The automatic transfer, however, will be available only for those who have a Universal Account Number (UAN) that was introduced in 2014. UAN already contains an employee's Aadhaar details, date of birth, bank account and employer information. When the new employer uploads Form-11, it verifies the details to initiate the transfer process. The employee will also receive an SMS on the registered mobile number informing him about the automatic transfer. After sending the SMS, the EPFO will wait for 10 days before starting the process, if the employee does not request to stop the transfer. The actual transfer will happen when the first contribution by the present employer is deposited to the EPF account. A notification will be sent when the transfer of funds is completed. An employee needs to ensure that before leaving one's job, the UAN is activated and verified by the employer. "EPFO has introduced a whole host of online facilities. For any of these services, an employee needs to ensure that the Aadhaar is seeded and UAN is activated," says Manoj Nagpal, CEO, Outlook Asia Capital. UAN is a unique 12-digit number that EPFO assigns an employee and it doesn't change until retirement even though an individual may change jobs. It is mandatory since 2014. The employer does the KYC (know your customer) verification after receiving the UAN from the EPFO. The employee then needs to register, upload documents and activate it by visiting the EPFO website. Prior to introducing Form-11, if an employee wanted to transfer the provident fund to the new employer, he had to fill up a form online to initiate the transfer. The employee had to go to the EPFO's Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP) and provide details for the transfers. Experts say there have been instances where an employee ended up with two UANs if the transfer was notinitiated. This created another procedural hassle and the employee had to request the EPFO to merge the two UANs. Online transfers were also not possible if an employer did not have a digital signature, which is mandatory.

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