The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has introduced an Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP) where users can submit their fund transfer claims online. The objective is to make the process more efficient and hassle free. Employees can do this either through their previous employer or through their current employer. Employers are advised to recommend this facility to their employees.
Before the employers can sign the employee’s claims digitally; they need to register their digital signatures with authorised certifying authorities. To sign claims filed with EPO, digital signatures are mandatory. Employers can use a valid class 2 digital signature certificate (DSC) or a valid class 3 digital signature certificate for the Employer Online Transfer Claim Portal.
For each authorised signatory, one certificate has to be purchased. Each one of the employer’s digital signature for EPF has to be registered on the Online Transfer Claim Portal. A digital signature certificate verifies the user’s identity electronically. It provides security for online transactions and ensures absolute privacy of the information. The certificates ensure that the encrypted information on the Online Transfer Claim Portal can be viewed only by the intended recipient. The recipient can be rest assured that the information in the document/message has not been tampered with in the transit.
Class 2 DSC can be issued to both business personnel and individuals. They are used to sign electronic documents digitally. Once the documents are signed by an authorised signatory, it is a confirmation that the details provided by the applicant are correct.
Applications of digital signature certificates:
- To sign documents in formats such as MSWord, MSExcel and PDF.
- To send and receive digitally signed and encrypted emails.
- To complete online transactions in a secure manner.
- To verify the identity of other individuals/ organisations participating in the transaction.
- To file online tenders.
- To participate in the e-procurement process.
- To file income tax returns, patent and trademark applications online
What are digital signatures?
A digital signature or an electronic signature is used to verify the identity of the sender of an electronic message or an electronic document. The certificate also ensures that the original content of the message or document cannot be tampered.
On the Online Transfer Claim Portal, users can view details related to their claim requests, confirm/edit member details, approve requests and submit requests online.
If a person employed with the employer submits an online claim, the employer will be notified. The employer will receive messages on the registered mobile number of an authorised signatory. Employers are regularly updated information on pending requests submitted by previous employees.
After submitting claims online, employees should submit a receipt of the online claim to employers. If the employer doesn’t receive the receipt within 15 days of filing the claim, the claim application can be rejected.
However, the employers are advised to contact the member for the document instead of rejecting the claim. The contact details of the employee are also available in the claim application.