The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation abbreviated to EPFO, is a statutory body of the Government of India under the Ministry of Labour and Employment. It administers a compulsory contributory Provident Fund Scheme, Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme. It is one of the largest social security organisations in the India in terms of the number of covered beneficiaries and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.The EPFO's apex decision making body is the Central Board of Trustee (CBT).

Online PF transfer and withdrawal

The EPFO announced an online withdrawal and transfer provision for employee's provident fund (EPF) from 1 July 2013, with the aim to settle claims faster. EPFO set up a central clearance house, which was operational from July 1. The earlier procedure for transfer or withdrawal of EPF involved the submission of a physical application while changing a job. This would be lost in the system and could not be tracked to know the status. Online withdrawal and transfer of EPF aims to make the process smoother and efficient. A central clearance facility ensures speedy execution of transfers and withdrawals and subscribers can now track the status of their application online.

Verification of the details of the PF account from the previous employers will be on the EPFO henceforth, unlike the previous scenario where employees needed to get their applications verified from the employer for claim settlement. Subscribers are now assigned a permanent EPF account number, which will be used to track their application and process their transfer, withdrawal and claim request.

Legal basis

The Employees' Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 came into effect on 4 March 1952. The organisation is administered by a Central Board of Trustees, composed of representatives of the Government of India, provincial governments, employers and employees. The board is chaired by the Union Labour Minister of India. The Chief Executive of the EPFO, the Central Provident Fund Commissioner, reports to the Union Labour Minister through the Permanent Secretary in the ministry. The headquarters of the organisation is in New Delhi.

The Constitution of India under "Directive Principles of State Policy" provides that the State shall within the limits of its economic capacity make effective provision for securing the right to work, to education and to public assistance in cases of unemployment, old-age, sickness & disablement and undeserved want. The EPF & MP Act, 1952 was enacted by the Parliament of India and came into force with effect from 4 March 1952 as part of a series of legislative interventions made in this direction. Presently, the following three schemes are in operation under the Act:

Employees' Provident Fund Scheme, 1952
Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976
Employees' Pension Scheme, 1995 (replacing the Employees' Family Pension Scheme, 1971)