LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY The actual time that it may take for the EPFO to recover your money from an employer defaulting on PF payments could go into years, if not decades, especially if it gets into a legal tangle. Here’s the rigour it takes. SCENARIO I
Employer cooperates with EPFO
Employer is uncooperative
Legal route: If the employer refuses to cooperate and pay up the dues, EPFO has legal powers to recover dues through an appellate tribunal.
Notice: The employer gets a show-cause notice from EPFO after it spots a default during the annual inspection of returns. Window to explain: The employer explains the reasons for the default to EPFO.
Recovery path: To recover the dues, the tribunal can dip into the bank accounts of the company or sell the assets of the erring company.
Assessment: EPFO then assesses the employer’s arguments. If it is satisfied, it lets off the employer. However, if it isn’t, it tells the employer to pay up within 30 days. Closing call: The matter is closed if the company pays the dues along with the interest as charged by EPFO.
Subsequently, it can also dip into the personal property, moveable or immoveable, of the employer if sufficient dues are not recovered. Last straw: The employer can also be sent to jail for the defaults.