Retirement fund body EPFO has directed its field staff to accept all claims that are signed by the authorised signatories irrespective of whether those are registered digitally or not.
"In case the employer has authorised few digital signatories in addition to existing authorised signatory, all such authorised signatories may also attest the physical claims an the signature will be verified from the specimen signature card of the respective authorised signatory," the EPFO's office order said
Last month, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has started facility of online settlement of PF transfer claims on changing jobs, where registration of digital signatures of employers is a prerequisite.
However, the body has not stopped receiving physical claims from the employers for such PF transfer claims.
According to the office circular, "some field offices are rejecting the physical claims received on the pretext that the claims have been attested by the authorised signatories other than those registered for their digital signature with EPFO."
Elaborating further the order stated, "...the digital signature certificate of the authorised signatory are for the purposes of attestation of the digital claim by the employer. In addition to attestation of digital claim, the same authorised signatory can also verify the physical claims received through employer."
About the firms which have not registered their digital signature with the EPFO, the order explained that "in case the employers have not authorised any signatory for signing online claims, the physical claims will be signed by the existing authorised signatory and their signature will be verified from existing specimen signature card."
EPFO, which has the subscribers base of over five crore, is expecting 1.2 crore claims in 2013-14, including around 13 lakh PF transfer claims. The body has planned to settle online around 10 lakh transfer claims this fiscal.
During 2012-13, 107.62 lakh claims were settled, out of which 88 per cent of claims were processed within the prescribed 30 days as per the body's citizen charter.