Labour ministry defers mandatory Aadhar verification for filing monthly PF returns by 3 months

The labour ministry has deferred by three months the mandatory Aadhar verification for filing of monthly provident fund returns by employers. The move is aimed at ensuring statutory deposits are not held back because of this and comes as a breather to both employers and employees.

“The date of implementation for filing ECR with Aadhaar verified UANs has been extended to September 1, 2021,” the Employees Provident Fund Organisation said on Tuesday. Employees, as well as employers’ representatives, have brought up the issue before the labour ministry saying the mismatch of data will result in a delay in statutory deposits. This, they said, may deprive EPFO beneficiaries of their legitimate dues and may even lead to the misappropriation of funds.

“Linking of Aadhar with the UAN is mandatory. The deadline has now been extended to September 1. Employers’ need to use this extended time to make sure that suitable communication is sent to employees advising them of the consequences of non-linking, and provide guidance on how the linking can be completed,” Saraswathi Kasturirangan, partner, Deloitte India said.

Under the EPF&MP Act, the employers have to contribute 24% (12% each of employer and the employee) to the provident fund kitty of the employee which makes the worker eligible for pension and provident fund after retirement.

The Act is applicable to establishments employing 20 or more workers and is eligible for workers earning less than Rs 15,000 a month. The EPFO beneficiaries are entitled to provident fund, pensions and deposit linked insurance under the EPF scheme. Prior to this, the government had allowed registrations and filing of returns under the Employees State Insurance Corporation without mandatory Aadhaar verification.

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