As a salaried employee, you must ensure that you claim your Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) from your previous employers. However, in case you forgot about your provident fund account you opened with your first employer, you are not in the minority. In many cases, salaried persons find it cumbersome to fill out the required forms and withdraw money from their provident fund. However, in many cases, salaried employees who did a small stint in a particular company do not bother to withdraw small amounts from their provident fund account.
According to Income Tax Act 1961, any withdrawal from your provident fund account before the completion of five years, will attract tax. In most cases, the PF account is withdrawn only at the time of the retirement of salaried employees and as a result, not taxed. Nevertheless, when a salaried employee changes jobs, he or she is more likely to withdraw his or her provident fund balance. Given the fact that both salaried persons and employers contribute to the EPF account, the total money accumulated over the years, in most cases, is a sizable amount.
If the employee has rendered continuous service with his employer for five years or more, then the withdrawal of accumulated balance from such PF is not taxable at the time of termination.
If the period of service to your ex-employer is under five years, you have to pay tax on the amount of provident fund withdrawn. You should also pay tax concessions, if any, availed by you. It is important to note that from 2012 onward, no interest will be paid on inoperative accounts which have not been active for over three years. It is, therefore, prudent to withdraw your EPF Balance if you are not a salaried employee anymore or even unemployed.
PF Account Withdrawals
You have to fill up the PF Withdrawal Forms known as Form 19 which can be easily downloaded by logging on to the official EPF website at www.epfindia.org.in. After filling in all the required details carefully, you have to submit PF withdrawl form (form 19) to your previous employer. In many cases, salaried persons do not remember their EPF account numbers. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can request the human resources department in your company to contact your previous employer for the details. Alternatively, you can contact your ex-employer yourself and seek the required information on your provident fund account. In some cases, salaried persons who tried to contact their ex-employers found that the latter shut shop. There have also been instances wherein a salaried employee quit his or her previous organization unceremoniously, which makes it awkward for him or her to establish contact with his ex-employer. If you find yourself in any of the aforementioned scenarios, you need not despair. Firstly, fill up your form 19 providing all the required information, following which, you have to get it duly attested by the manager (for verification of the claimant’s identity) of your bank (where you have your EPF account). Apart from bank verification, you will have to provide some additional personal details as further proof of your identity. Finally, you have to submit the PF withdrawal form to the regional provident fund manager, who you can identify with help of your account number (please click on the ‘establishment search’ tab on the EPF website).
Documentation required for making withdrawals
The most common documents required to withdraw your provident fund balance are listed below:
- Form 19
- Form 10C
- Two revenue stamps
- Bank account statement
- Identity proof
- Address proof
- A blank and canceled cheque (IFSC code and account number should be visible). Also, you should ensure that the cheque provided by you is a single account holder cheque only.
This form allows you to withdraw your provident fund balance after quitting your job, superannuation, termination or at the time of retirement. Under no circumstances, can any establishment or organization can stop you from withdrawing from your provident fund balance .
The form requires you to fill in the following details:
- Your name as per your payslip
- Your father’s name or husband’s name (married women)
- Provident fund account number (pay slip)
- Reason for leaving previous service
- Date of leaving previous service
- Your permanent address
- Your preferred mode of remittance
- Name and address of your establishment
- Contribution for the current financial year
Employees can also file a claim for PF withdrawal using Form 19 on the EPFO website. A new form can be downloaded and filled out and submitted on the website.
This form is usually submitted with F-19/20 for the following schemes:
Settlement of withdrawal under old Family Pension Fund
New Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS 95)
Scheme certificate for membership retention (under 58 years)
The form requires you to fill in the following details:
- Name of the claimant
- Marital status
- Name and address of the establishment
- Code and account number
- Date of leaving
- Reason for leaving service
- Are you willing to accept scheme certificate in lieu of withdrawal benefits?
This is given when you opt for payment of withdrawal benefit by cheque.
In 2017, the EPFO launched new EPF Withdrawal Forms that do not require the employer’s signature. The forms are Form 10C UAN, Form 19 UAN and Form 31 UAN. The eligibility criteria for using these forms includes having a UAN that has been activated and also has the individual’s PAN, Aadhaar and bank details seeded with the UAN. Additionally, the employer has to verify the employee’s KYC with a digital signature.
Form 19 UAN
This form is applicable when an employee resigns due to physical disabilities, permanent relocation to a different country and on retirement. Filling the form is fairly simple. The employee has to provide all the details such as UAN, PAN and date of exit from the job. If the tenure at the job was less than 5 years, the employee would also have to submit Form 15 G or Form 15H. However, these additional forms can only be submitted if the annual income of the employee is less than 2.5 lakh.
The employee would also have to submit a canceled cheque with the required bank details for the transfer. Once the form is filled and the required documents are attached, the same should be signed and submitted at the EPFO office.
Form 10C UAN
This form is submitted along with Form 19 when an employee is also claiming amount accumulated under the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS). This form is applicable when the employee resigns before completing 10 years at their job. This can also be used in cases where the employee resigns before completing 10 years of service. All the details of the form such as PAN, UAN, date of joining and date of leaving should be duly filled out and submitted at the EPFO office.
Form 31 UAN
This form is used when an employee wishes to withdraw their EPF or require an advance. All the details of the form such as PAN, UAN, date of joining and date of leaving should be duly filled out and submitted at the EPFO office.