A group of employees at a Mumbai office of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) allegedly siphoned over Rs 21 crore from a common PF pool through fraudulent withdrawals, according to an exclusive report by The Indian Express.
The transactions were carried out between March 2020 and June 2021. Allegedly, as many as 817 bank accounts of mostly migrant workers were used to fraudulently claim PF totalling Rs 21.5 crore on their behalf and deposit it in their accounts.
The report states that the money that was fraudulently withdrawn belonged to the pooled fund of EPFO, which holds deposits made by registered organisations every month. Therefore, no individual PF account has been misused. The money belonged to the pooled fund and it is a loss to EPFO, not any individual
Meanwhile, the government issued a mandate in which a deadline of August 31 as the EPFO deadline for linking your Universal Account Number (UAN) to your Aadhaar card. The result of not doing so will result in your access to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) being restricted, along with its facilities. Employers will only be able to file Employee-cum-Return (ECR) challans and deposit the money to the EPF account if the UAN and Aadhaar are linked.
If the employer does not have their UAN linked to your Aadhaar card by the deadline, they will be unable to make the monthly contributions to the EPF account. Additionally, employees will also not be able to withdraw the funds from their PF accounts if they do not adhere to the deadline.
The government declared this Aadhaar-UAN link to be done as per Section 142 of the Code on Social Security, 2020, which came into effect on May 3, 2021.