The facility will help international workers to avoid opening of bank accounts in India for settling their PF claims with EPFO, a senior official told PTI.
As of now, foreign employees applying for withdrawal of provident funds (PF) are required to open bank accounts in India. After settlement of claims, they transfer their money from India to bank accounts in their own countries – a cumbersome and time-consuming exercise.
According to an order, EPFO’s Delhi (North) office has opened three accounts with the State Bank of India’s Parliament Street (New Delhi) branch for making payment under the Employees’ Provident Fund, Employees’ Pension and Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance schemes to international employees through bank accounts in their own countries.
Over 120 field formations will make payment under the three different social security schemes run by EPFO through three SBI accounts to international employees’ accounts in their countries.
At present, the retirement fund body has social security agreement with 12 countries including Germany, France and Belgium. The international workers of these countries posted in India are not required to make mandatory contribution towards social security schemes run by EPFO in India.
Employees from these countries need to produce the certificate of coverage stating that they are covered under such social scheme schemes in their country and get exemption from contribution to EPFO schemes.
Similar privilege is enjoyed by Indian employees posted in these 12 countries with whom India has singed social security agreements.
However, there is a large number of countries with whom India has not inked any social security agreements. Therefore, workers from these countries are required to subscribe EPFO schemes and sometimes their make such mandatory contributions in their country as well.