EPFO seeks feedback on facility for workers going abroad

Retirement fund body EPFO has asked its field offices to seek feedback on its

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recently launched facility for workers from big employers such as TCS, Infosys, PWC, Bosch and HCL going on foreign assignments.

The facility allows organised sector employees going abroad for offshore work to apply online for a Certificate of Coverage, which attests that they are covered under social security schemes, and to get it in three working days.

By producing the certificate, employees can get exemption from contributing to social security schemes in countries with which India has signed agreements -- Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, South Korea, Netherlands and Hungary.

According to an office circular of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the body received 431 such applications till May 7 and wants field offices to hold meetings with employers such as TCS and Infosys, which regularly send professionals on foreign assignments.

The head office has also sought detailed reports of these meetings, including their minutes.

The EPFO has upgraded the software for the online facility to allow applicants to fill in data such as names, provident fund account numbers and the period for which the certificate is needed. This is expected to eliminate mistakes.

After filling up applications online, an employee needs to download the document and get it countersigned by the employer.

The employer submits the document to the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner, who issues the certificate within three working days.

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