New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO today said contractual workers of ECHS scheme for ex-servicemen will be brought under the ambit of its social security schemes.
The contractual workers of ECHS till now were deprived of the social security benefits under EPFO and it has now has been brought under the ambit of the EPF Act, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) said in a statement.
"Ministry of Defence has issued necessary directions to the ECHS for enrolling their contractual staff," it added.
A health care scheme, ECHS was formulated by the Defence Ministry for its ex-servicemen. Similarly, all workers engaged by contractors with Military Engineering Services (MES) and Indian Railways are also being requested to ensure coverage of contractual employees under the EPFO, it said.
The statement said that to ensure coverage of workers, principal employers have been advised to ensure that their contractors are registered with the EPFO before award of any contract or making any payments.
Although the EPF & MP Act, 1952 does not differentiate between casual, contractual and regular employees, the EPFO noted that a large number of contractual employees hired by principal employer including those by the government departments, PSU and autonomous Organisations have remained out of coverage under EPFO.
It is the duty of the principal employer to ensure compliance of their outsourced/regular/contract/casual/ daily wager to the schemes under EPF Act, it said. The statement further said that a new pattern of investment monitored by the EPFO was made applicable on exempted establishments May 29, 2015.
"Modification in the rates of levy of surcharge was considered by the Sub Committee of Central Board of Trusttees on exempted establishments (PF Trusts) on January 12, 2017. The Committee decided to levy surcharge ranging between 0.25 to 2 per cent of the amount in shortfall or excess of the prescribed percentage of investment," it added.
It also said that members and pensioners of the Employees Pension Scheme, 1995 are required to furnish Aadhaar number by March 31 2017. In case a member has not been allotted Aadhaar Number, a copy of Aadhaar Enrolment ID slip is required to be attached for settlement of claim under EPS, 1995 namely those for pension processing and monthly pension payments.
Aadhaar number however, it said, is not required in case a member of pension scheme having less than 10 years of service chooses to withdraw by making an application in Form 10-C.
The last date of submission of life certificate by pensioners was extended upto 28 th February 2017. However, noticing that many pensioners are yet to submit Aadhaar authenticated Jeevan Pramaan as life certificate for continuation of drawal of pension, the last date of submission of Digital Life Certificate through Jeevan Pramaan Patra has been further extended upto March 31, 2017.