Pensioners and subscribers with Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation will have to submit either their Aadhaar card or proof that they have applied for one by the end of January to continue getting their benefits. The EPFO commissioner told PTI that the deadline to submit Aadhaar or enrolment slips was January 31. “We will review the situation by month-end and may give more time to subscribers as well as pensioners to provide the 12-digit Aadhaar number,” VP Joy added.

The directive has been issued by the EPFO in accordance with a notification issued by the Union Labour Ministry on January 4, reported The Hindu. Since the government contributes 1.16% of the basic wages as subsidy to every EPS account holder, it has cited Section 7 of the Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016, to issue the notification.

While the Centre puts 1.16% of an employee’s basic salary towards the scheme, the employer contributes 8.33% of the employee’s salary. In total, the Centre gives Rs 850 crore every year as annual budgetary support to the scheme. Currently, the minimum pension under EPS is Rs 1,000 a month and an employee can receive the amount only after a minimum 10 years of service.

The retirement fund body has deployed more than 120 of its field offices to spread awareness. There are around 50 lakh pensioners and four crore subscribers of this scheme.

The move has received mixed response. All India Trade Union Congress Secretary DL Sachdev told The Hindu that the deadline was too short. “Not all workers have an Aadhaar number. We are not against the government’s move to link disbursement of subsidy amount with Aadhaar number but the government has given a very short notice to get enrolled under Aadhaar and it should be reviewed,” he told the daily.