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  • UPSC EPFO: What does a Provident Fund Assistant Commissioner’s job involve

    An Individual changes a job from one organisation to another, and usually transfers the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) balance to the new employer. What happens to the funds in the Employees’ Pension Scheme continues to remain a mystery for many, but not for an Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). However, the job that an APFC performs is not very well known, so here is what you need to know about an ACFCs career.

    Around 50% of the APFCs are directly recruited by a common written examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), while the remaining vacancies are filled through promotions.

    Training and Job Profile

    The PF Commissioners are the backbone of the EPFO and are responsible for the enforcement and administration of the organisation. “I joined the EPFO as an Assistant Commissioner (APFC) in 2013. Initially, I underwent a 45-day On Job Training (OJT) programme, which involved different training modules. The OJT also comprised of field visits to government establishments and courts. After successful completion of the OJT, I underwent a 5-month Foundation course at the National Academy for Training & Research in Social Security (NATRSS), New Delhi, and at the National Academy of Direct Taxes (NADT), Nagpur.” Said an APFC from Mumbai.

    APFCs have been notified as Recovery Officers by the Central Government for recovering the PF dues from employers, by using the powers akin to that of a civil court. That includes the power to arrest a defaulter, to seal a bank account, and to also auction a defaulter’s property.

    Here is the interesting part, an APFC also coordinates with fund managers and monitors investments in equities through ETF. “APFCs also have to keep a tight watch on timely investments and returns, for which we have to coordinate with various banks and fund managers. In fact, the whole corpus of the fund is mostly invested in the Central Government, State Governments, PSUs, and other sectors which contribute hugely to the development of the country,” added an APFC.

    Promotions and Postings

    APFCs are also deputed to foreign countries to carry out social security agreements-related work with other nations. That’s not all; even after retirement, an APFC can serve in international organisations like United Nations Development Program UNDP, World Bank, or the Social Security Division in the corporate world.

    “I will not say that the promotion scales are untimely, rather they are grounded on a combination of merit cum seniority basis. Posting are generally for a period of 4 years. However, APFCs can also be deputed to various other departments during their tenure on a particular location. APFCs can also be deputed to Vigilance and Audit divisions as Deputy Directors and Directors,” said an APFC from Mumbai.

    Promotions in EPFO are as follows

    • From Assistant Provident Fund Commissioner (APFC) to Regional Provident Fund Commissioner – II (RPFC-II) on completion of minimum 4 years of service as APFC.
    • From Regional Provident Fund Commissioner – I (RPFC-I) to Additional Central PF Commissioner –II (ACC-II) on completion of minimum 5 years as RPFC-I
    • From Additional Central PF Commissioner –I (ACC-I) to Addl. Central PF Commissioner – HQ (ACC-HQ) on completion of 4 years as ACC-I, to Central PF Commissioner on completion of 5 years as ACC.

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