Aadhaar not mandatory for withdrawals under EPS, says EPFO

Rolling back its earlier decision, retirement fund body EPFO on Tuesday said Aadhaar was no longer mandatory for withdrawal claims under EPS.

“…It has been decided that obtaining of Aadhaar should be mandatory for the time being only for pension (10D claims) and not in withdrawal cases (Form 10C),” said a circular issued to all zonal offices on February 27, by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

Form 10C is used for withdrawal benefits, employer share refunds and scheme certificates before completion of 10 years in service, while form 10D is for withdrawal of pension after superannuation, widow/orphan/disability pension.

Recently, the retirement fund body had extended the deadline for submitting Aadhaar till March 31, extending its earlier deadline of February 28. In its January 4 notification, the Labour Ministry had made it mandatory for 4 crore PF subscribers and 50 lakh pensioners of the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) to furnish proof of possession of the Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication, as per procedures laid down by EPFO, to avail of benefits under EPFO schemes.

In its February 27 circular, EPFO said: “It has been brought to notice that with the present instructions on mandatory obtaining Aadhaar No. for settlement of pension cases, it is not possible to sanction withdrawal benefit claims in Form10C also if Aadhaar No. is not furnished. This has led to issues in settlement in withdrawals,” adding that after examining the matter, it had decided that Aadhaar was no longer required for withdrawal of claims.

The EPFO, however, urged all zonal offices to expedite linking of Aadhaar for pensioners under EPS 1995 “at the earliest.”

Last week, EPFO introduced a single-page form to submit claims with self-attestation and without employer attestation. Earlier, subscribers who had seeded Aadhaar and bank account details to their Universal Account Number (UAN) without employer attestation had to fill claims in Forms No. 19 (UAN), 10C (UAN) & 31(UAN). For subscribers yet to seed Aadhaar and bank details with their UAN, another single form has been introduced to replace forms No. 19, 10C & 31.