Employee was terminated in 2013 but due to a mistake, firm submitted another employees PF in his account for a period of 5 months in 2017. After knowing this mistake the firm submitted a letter to PF dept. stating the error and asked dept. to transfer the amount from wrong holder to the correct holder but PF dept. did not take any action till date.

The terminated employee has an ongoing case in the labour court against the firm. He has now in 2021 approached the firm stating that they sign a joint declaration form stating the last date of working as 2017 since PF was paid during that period to his account and states that he is not able to withdraw his PF if firm does not agree to the declaration.

How should the employee and firm tackle this issue?

From India, Bengaluru
Partner - Risk Management
Doctor Siva Global Hr
Management Consultancy

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Dear Colleague,
It is too long time the subject was kept under cold storage. 2017 issue still not resolved by the firm is to be looked into closely for reasons. The subject of wrong credit to someone's PF account can be sorted out by meeting the Asst Commissioner - Accounts of the EPFO directly and sit with him to brief the firms' documents and this can be sorted out. The corrections has to be done in the system. The excess payment should have been adjusted in the same financial year. But now also you can meet the officials and explain and apply for remedy.

From India, Chennai

Since you have not provided details, all answers will be guess work.

He has come for some thing, your management has to take a decision of what else it can add to the declaration so that the old case can be settled.

However, I hope you realise that once you sign the declaration, the PF money paid to the account becomes his and you can not get it back. Also, I do not know why he can not get his pf without the declaration. The PF department is not bound to obey your letter.

From India, Mumbai

The PF department was already given a letter by the firm in 2018 stating the mistake and asked for advice on possible correction to which PF department never responded.

Now the question is whether the employee can take his PF amount upto his actual date of exit (2013) from the department without any input from the firm or should the firm get involved in any way. The employee has contacted the firm through third party people posing to be PF authorities on the phone but when enquired, PF office told the firm that PF department contacts every firm using email or post officially and not through telephonic means.

Please advice on how to proceed.

From India, Bengaluru

There is a trap in this, in giving the joint declaration you are acknowledging that he has served you till 2017, thereby the termination order of 2013 would stand automatically cancelled. (non-est in the eyes of law.
EPFO is not likely to return you the money already deposited, that too at this late stage. Whether the employee is able to get the money so deposited is his problem and you need not be bothered about it.

From India, Mumbai

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