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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Single smart card soon for workers' social security benefits

New Delhi: Labour Ministry plans to issue a single smartcard for formal sector workers to help them avail of a host of benefits under different social security schemes such as pension, provident fund and health insurance.
The ministry will seed employees' details such as Universal PF Account Number (UAN), Employees State Insurance, Aadhaar, PAN, bank account numbers as also the IFSC codes of the bank branches, with the smartcard that will benefit employees.
"The Labour Ministry has worked out a scheme to provide a single smartcard for availing various benefits of social security schemes available for the organised sector workers," a senior Labour Ministry official said.

This card will be used as a tool to verify identity, age, address, bank account and dependents for providing benefits to those workers and their dependents under various social security schemes run by the government through its agencies and bodies like Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC), he added.
He further said the scheme would be rolled out after all UANs issued by the EPFO get operationalised and stabilisation of the database.
EPFO had issued over four crore UANs to its subscribers and started seeding these portable PF account numbers with the various know-your-customer details like bank account, PAN and Aadhaar in July last year.
At present, out of the 4.26 crore UANs issued as many as 31,41,173 PF accounts were activated by the subscribers. For activating the UAN, the EPFO subscriber has to log into his account on the web portal after KYC details are verified.

A senior EPFO official said that though over 1.7 crore subscribers' KYC detail is verified, a large number of accounts are not activated because many members are not that tech savvy.
In the present scenario, EPFO does not issue any card or passbook to its subscribers. But they can login into their PF accounts online and can take print out of the statement.
The ESIC, which has a subscriber base of over 1.8 crore, issues smartcards to formal sector workers for availing health insurance benefits under the scheme run by it.
The Labour Ministry official said that with seeding of different data of subscribers of social security schemes together into a single chip, the ministry will be able to use it for providing benefits such as pension, PF and deposit linked insurance.
He said it will take at least one year to make the new smart card a reality as all depends on stabilisation of UAN database.

 India News Desk