Ideally the process of EPF (employee provident fund) or EPF transfer should complete within month’s time. However, there are cases where the required has not been done and the waiting time has exceeded more than a year. Just accepting that the process will take time is not going to resolve your problems. What to do if this happens? Will it be beneficial to seek help from RTI in this case? Let’s discuss the role of RTI and how an application to RTI can be framed and filed to expedite the process of withdrawal or transfer.
What is RTI and how it is helpful in matters related to EPFO office?
RTI – Right to Information is a government body and it is a big tool in the hands of common man whereby they can get clear and speedy information from the government offices. Since EPFO ( Employee Provident Fund Organization) also comes under the purview of RTI, you can file RTI application for matters related to EPFO. Once you do it, you will definitely get clear information within 30 days. However, before you file RTI application, you should better fill and submit EPF grievance redressal form online. After doing this, if you did not get any response, then you should not think again and need to straight way knock the door of RTI.
How to file RTI?
1) Buy a postal order of Rs. 10 – You will easily get this order from post office. This order should be in favour of the accounts officer of the related EPFO office.
2) Draft RTI application – There is no fixed format to write this application. However, there are few offices of RTI who require an application to be written in maximum 150 words. An application can be typed or it can be hand written. But in general, your RTI application should consist of the following information:
- Subject line of letter should clearly indicate the purpose of writing
- RTI application is addressed on the name of CPIO (Central Public Information Officer), EPFO office.
- Application should bear your name, address, contact details, e-mail id, address of concerned PF office and your EPF account number.
- Your queries should be mentioned in a clear and understandable way. Keep the queries straight forward, i.e. short and simple.
- Proof of payment of application fee (postal order of Rs. 10).
- Letter should be duly signed by you.
3) Send your application by registered or speed post – Remember, RTI does not accept couriers. Therefore, always send your applications either by registered post or by speed post.
When two RTI applications are required?
Two RTI applications are required in case of EPF transfer. For example you wanted to transfer your EPF from Mumbai to Delhi then two EPF offices will have involvement in it. First you need to grab information whether the Mumbai office has transferred your PF to Delhi office or not. If you are not getting this information clearly, then first RTI is to be filed for Mumbai office. If the status from this office shows that it has already been transferred then you need to know whether the transfer has been accepted and processed by Delhi office. Failure to get this information from Delhi office calls for filing second RTI application.
Can RTI be filed online?
Yes, those who do not wish to go to the post office and file RTI offline can make use of internet services. In such case, you need to create a letter at www.rtination.com, download it, take print sign it and send the hard copy to the concerned officer of RTI. However, the service is little expensive in comparison to sending your application offline. The applicable charges in this case are Rs. 150.
Though RTI is a good tool but it should not be misused. Before filing RTI, check your status online and give a chance to the concerned EPFO to provide you the relevant information. If you are unsatisfied with the clarity of information, or if there is too much delay in the process, then you can definitely seek help from RTI and you will get the required information within 30 days provided you have quoted adequate and correct details.
Also keep checking you EPF passbook on regular basis to know for necessary details about EPF balance and your employer’s contribution. NOw you can link all your previous PF accounts through UAN. You will get your UAN from your existing employer after which you need to activate the same.