Thursday, 20 June 2019

Moving abroad for a job? Here's how you can still contribute to your PF account

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently made an announcement that Indian citizens who are working in a foreign country can now generate Certificate of Coverage (COC) online. For the benefit of both the employers and employees,
EPFO has signed an agreement with a host of countries to ensure that the employees do not remit contribution in an overseas country. 

Now, Indians working abroad can enjoy the benefit of the totalisation period such as for deciding the eligibility of pension, or get pension in the way they choose. Now, EPFO is authorized to issue COC to the employees posted in other countries who have signed the agreement with the Indian government. With this, employers are not required to make double security contributions for the same set of employees. 

EPFO is authorized to issue COC to the employees posted in other countries who have signed the agreement with the Indian government. 

For those who are not aware, when an employee decides to work for an employer, they are required to make a contribution to the social security scheme of the country where they are working. It is similar to how an Indian employee has to contribute to EPFO’s provident fund (EPF) account. However, if an Indian citizen is working for short term in a foreign country, they are eligible for reaping the benefits of EPF. 

In order to reap EPF benefit, the employee will have to opt for claim exemption from a foreign country’s social security. This can be done as long as that employee is making a contribution to their home social security system. One can choose this option by getting a COC from EPFO. 

For example, if you are an Indian employee and have been assigned to work on an assignment in France then, you can obtain a COC in India, by agreeing to contribute to EPF and exempting yourself from Netherland’s social security. A COC here is basically a detachment certificate, where you are an outbound mobile worker who is posted by their respective employer for working in another country on a specified, short, limited, temporary duration. 

Since you will in another country for a short, limited period of time, you have the liberty of choosing to not contribute in that foreign country's social security scheme. Instead, you can enjoy the EPF benefit.

EPFO recently tweeted saying, “Service for online generation of Certificate of Coverage (CoC) has been introduced for the outgoing Indian International Worker.” The regulator also notified that the claims of the international workers are being settled on the last day of their work in India. 

Here's how you can generate COC online:

Step 1: Visit this https://iwu.epfindia.gov.in/iwu/ website.

Step 2: Once visited the page, options such as application for COC, application for extension of COC, cancellation of COC, upload the signed application for COC and track application for COC will be available. 

Step 3: Select the options as per your requirement.

Step 4: Provide UAN to proceed.

Worth mentioning here is that EPFO has signed an agreement with foreign countries such as Belgium, Germany,  Switzerland, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, Austria, Canada, Australia, Japan and Portugal.

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