EPFO makes it mandatory for PF trusts to file returns online

Retirement fund body EPFO has made it mandatory for private provident fund trusts to file their returns online every month from April this year to improve the monitoring of these employers.

"(Private PF trusts) are required to file e-return. This is mandatory return from April 1, 2014 onwards ... All such existing establishments (trusts) have to compulsorily file e-return as on March 31, 2014 (for the year 2013-14) and thereafter at regular monthly intervals," an order of Employees Provident Fund Organisation for field staff said.

Private PF trusts are formed by firms that manage the money and accounts of their workers themselves. The members of these trusts enjoy income tax and other benefits at par with EPFO subscribers. There are over 3,000 such trusts which are regulated by the EPFO.

According to a senior official, the purpose of making e-return mandatory for private PF trusts is another step towards digitisation of records of these trusts to improve their monitoring.

In the e-return, the trusts will provide information about employment in their organisation, contribution towards social security schemes, investments of funds, audit, financial statement and financial health of the trust.

The official said that the move would improve monitoring of the PF trusts and eventually help the EPFO provide permanent account number to members of these trusts.

The EPFO has decided to provide permanent account number to its over 5 crore subscribers from October this year. Permanent or universal account number (UAN) will facilitate subscribers to avoid filing PF account transfer claims on changing jobs.

After getting UAN, a subscriber would not be issued new PF account number on joining new employer.

It is expected to provide great relief to those workers in organised sector who frequently change jobs, particularly, in the construction sector.

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