EPF - Employee Provident Fund

The Employees’ Provident Fund scheme was introduced in 1952 and act that governs it – the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Act, 1952, is administered by the Central Board of Trustees.
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About Employee Provident Fund Scheme

The administration of the Act is carried out by the Central Board of Trustees which comprises representatives of three parties viz. the government, employers and employees. The Board is assisted by the Employees’ Provident Fund organization (EPFO) which falls under the purview of the Government through the Ministry of labor and Employment. Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) is a government scheme that is managed by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Companies with minimum 20 employees have to register with the EPFO as per the law. Employees and employers contribute to the EPF corpus on a monthly basis. The EPF scheme aims to provide financial security to the employees after their retirement. It also encourages employees to save money every month so that the accumulated savings can come in handy during unemployment or post retirement.

The aim of the Employee Provident Fund(EPF) scheme is to promote retirement savings for employees across India. The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is a corpus of funds built through regular, monthly, contributions made by an employee and his/her employer. The amount contributed to the fund is based on a fixed rate. Employees earn interest on their EPF balance. Both, the interest earned and the total amount withdrawn at maturity are tax-free, making this one of the most popular forms of long-term retirement savings among the working population in India. Besides retirement, funds accumulated in an employee’s EPF account can also be used at time of resignation or death. It also offers financial security in times of emergency and if an employee is rendered unfit for unemployment.

The EPFO, therefore, services an unusually large number of subscribers. This, coupled with the large number of associated transactions involved, ranks the EPFO among the largest organizations, globally. There are currently more than 5 crore members that the EPFO services. Under the Act, the EPFO operates three schemes in all viz.

  • Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952
  • Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 (which replaced the Employees’ Family Pension Scheme, 1971)
  • Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976

Under the Act, member employees are eligible for provident fund, pension and insurance benefits as per the above mentioned schemes.

Benefits of EPF Scheme

The EPF scheme is one of the most important savings schemes in India for many reasons. Key advantages are highlighted below.

Tax-free earnings: The interest earned on funds held in an EPF account is tax-free. Withdrawals at maturity/beyond 5 years are also tax-free (except in case of premature withdrawal). This helps optimize growth and returns on savings. Contributions made towards EPF are tax deductible u/s 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1956.

Financial Security: Funds in the account are not easy to withdraw and so savings is ensured.

a. Retirement - eventually, the amount collected provides financial security at time of retirement.

b. Emergencies - The funds are also useful in times of emergencies to meet certain requirements for which premature withdrawals are allowed in certain cases

c. Loss of income - If an employee for some reason cannot work any longer, these funds help tide over loss of income.

  • Resignation - After 2 months of resignation employees can withdraw accumulated amounts in their PF accounts
  • Death - the accumulated amount is passed on to the employee’s nominee providing them financial stability.
  • Disability - If employees cannot work any longer, EPF Balance can be withdrawn to tide one over.
  • Retrenchment or discharge - This where employees are laid off from work. PF savings can bridge the income gap till another job can be found.

Long-term savings option: This is a sound savings option for employees with long-term investment goals.

Source of funds: In times of need, EPF funds can provide an employee much needed liquidity. Funds can be borrowed to meet certain pressing needs such as medical, housing, marriage and education.

Pension: Under the Act, along with provident funds, an employer also contributes towards an employee’s pension fund which the employee can eventually use upon retirement.

Insurance: Under the Act, an employer also contributes towards an employee’s life insurance in the absence of a group cover, thereby ensuring employees are insured.

Universal access: Employees can transfer their accounts when they change employers and with the introduction of the Universal Account Number (UAN) they can now access their EPF accounts through a single-point.

  • EPF offers 8.55% interest rate p.a. for FY2018-19. The contributions made by the employee and employer will accrue interest earnings over a period of time. Thus, providing financial security to the employee post retirement.
  • EPF offers tax benefits in the form tax exemption for EPF withdrawals if made after 5 years of continuous contributions and tax deductions on EPF contributions.

Procedure to Withdraw EPF Amount After Retirement 

The main aim of the Employee Provident Fund Scheme is to help an individual financially when he/she retires. The employee and employer each contribute 12% of the employee’s salary towards Employee Provident Fund (EPF). However, in case of emergencies the Provident Fund (PF) can be withdrawn before retirement. A unique 12-digit Universal Account Number (UAN) is assigned to every individual who is a member of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The UAN will be linked to your EPF account. In case an individual has multiple EPF accounts, all of them are linked to a single UAN. Only one UAN can be allotted to a member. 

Steps to Withdraw EPF 

An individual can withdraw his/her EPF partially or completely. EPF can be withdrawn if the individual retires or is unemployed for more than two months.  

The procedure to withdraw EPF online is simple and helps in saving a lot of time. However, to withdraw EPF online, an individual will need to: 

  • Activate his/her UAN, should also link an active mobile number to it. 
  • All KYC details such as bank account with IFSC, PAN Card, and Aadhaar Card must be linked to the UAN. Upon linking the KYC details, the employer will also need to approve it. 

On completion of the above steps, the individual will be able to withdraw his/her EPF by following the below steps: 

  1. You must visit the EPFO website (https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_en/index.php). 
  2. Under the ‘Our Services’ tab, you must click on ‘For Employees’. 
  3. This will lead you to the next page where you can click on ‘Member UAN/Online Service (OCS/OTCP)’. 
  4. On the next page, you will need to log in to your account by entering your UAN, password, and captcha details. 
  5. Once you have logged in, click on ‘Claim (Form-31, 19 & 10C)’ under the ‘Online Services’ tab. 
  6. This will lead you to the next page where you will need to type in the last four digits of the bank account number and click on ‘Verify’. 
  7. Click on ‘Yes’, for the verification to be completed. 
  8. Next you will need to click on ‘Proceed For Online Claim’. 
  9. Under the ‘I want to apply for’ option, choose the type of claim. It can either be Form 31 (partial withdrawal), Form 19 (final EPF settlement), or Form 10C (Employees’ Pension Scheme withdrawal). In case you are ineligible for any of the services, that form will not be shown. 
  10. After selecting the right claim form, you will need to verify your Aadhaar Card details. Click on ‘Generate Aadhaar OTP’. 
  11. Enter the OTP you have received on your registered mobile number.  

By following the above steps, an individual will be able to withdraw his/her EPF. The process can be completed easily, and you do not need the employer’s permission in order to withdraw EPF.  

Withdrawing EPF Corpus after one-month of Unemployment

Salaried individuals who have contributed to the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) can now withdraw up to 75% of their EPF corpus if they have been unemployed for minimum one month. Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had recently decided to permit EPF contributors to get an advance against their EPF corpus upon job loss that results in unemployment for a minimum period of one month. This decision was taken by the central board of trustees (CBT) of the EPFO. However, a statutory notification is required in order for the decision to be approved.

Previously, the EPF rules stated that withdrawal of the complete EPF corpus upon unemployment was allowed only if the individual was unemployed for a period of minimum 2 months. The complete withdrawal of EPF corpus meant the closing of an EPF account. Thus, to ensure EPF subscribers don't close their account and still have access to their funds, the EPFO had decided to let the EPFO members who have been unemployed for at least a month to withdraw up to 75% of the EPF corpus.

For complete withdrawal of EPF corpus, you have to fill and submit Form 19. For withdrawing pension amount from the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS), you have to fill and submit Form 10C. Likewise, for partial withdrawal of the same for the purpose of medical treatments, children's education, wedding expenditure, etc., you have to fill and submit Form 31. The composite form has combined all the above-mentioned forms into one which has then been categorised into Aadhaar and Non-Aadhaar categories.

  • The Aadhaar-based composite form is for those who have linked their Aadhaar, PAN, and bank account with the UAN. These individuals can submit their withdrawal claim online using the Aadhaar composite form. Since the EPFO has the individual's KYC and EPF account details, the employer’s intervention is not required. Only if the details don't match is the individual required to reach out to his or her employer.
  • The Non-Aadhaar composite form is for those individuals who have not linked their Aadhaar to their UAN. Thus, this form has to be signed and attested by the individual's employer and has to be submitted to the EPF office by the employer. For the claim settlement to be processed, it will take up to 2 weeks.

In conclusion, as per the new provision under the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952, salaried employees who have contributed to the EPF can get an advance of up to 75% of the EPF corpus upon unemployment for a period of minimum one month. The remaining 25% of the EPF corpus can be withdrawn upon 2 months of unemployment. This provision will prove to be beneficial to more than 5 crore EPFO members as it prevents premature closure of EPF accounts. The objective of the EPF scheme is to provide social security to salaried employees upon retirement. The new provision will allow EPFO members to enjoy quick withdrawal of money while keeping their EPF accounts active even after unemployment.

Employer’s Contribution to EPF

  • Employee's contribution: 12% of an employee's basic pay + dearness allowance + retaining allowance is deducted from the employee’s monthly salary and contributed to the employee's EPF account.
  • Employer's contribution: A matching 12% is contributed by the employer. Out of the 12%, 3.67% is contributed to the employee's EPF account while the remaining 8.33% is made to the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) account.

The minimum contribution is now set at 12% of Rs.15,000 = Rs.1,800 i.e. Rs.1,800 from the employee and Rs.1,800 from the employer. (It was earlier at 12% of Rs.6,500 p.m. = Rs.780).

While the entire contribution from an employee is directed towards his/her provident fund, a part of the employer’s contribution goes towards pension and insurance and also administration costs in the following proportions

12% of salary (basic + DA) total contribution = 8.33% to EPS and 3.67% to EPF

Additionally, 0.5% to EDLI; 1.1% to EPF administration costs and 0.01% to EDLI administration costs. This means the employer’s total contribution is 13.61%

How to Calculate Interest on EPF Balance

The interest rate is declared on a per annum basis but the interest is calculated for every month. The interest rate for a month is the per annum rate divided by 12 months. E.g. if you consider an EPF interest rate of 12% p.a. then the rate for each month is 12/12 = 1% p.m.

Let us consider the following example for the fiscal year 2014 - 2015 for which the EPF deposit rate was 8.75% p.a. Assume the employee started contributions in the month of December.

  • First, calculate the interest rate per month = 8.75 / 12 = 0.73%
  • Next, remember that the employees entire contribution is directed toward his/her EPF account.
  • Lets consider he/she contributes 12% of Rs.15,000 = Rs.1,800 per month; this is credited to his/her EPF account at the end of the month when he/she receives his/her salary.
  • So in this case, the first months contribution i.e. Decembers contribution will earn interest only after completing a month in the account, which will be the end of the following month i.e January
  • His/her employer will match this contribution = Rs.1,800. However, remember that only 3.67% of the employers contribution is directed towards the employees EPF account and the balance 8.33% is directed towards the employees EPS account. Therefore, the employers contribution to the employees EPF account = Rs. 3.67% * Rs.15,000 = Rs.550

In this case, monthly contribution to EPF by the employee & employer = Rs.1,800 + Rs.550 = Rs.2,350

Dec 2014 Balance at end of Dec. = Rs.2,350
Interest for Dec. 2014 = Nil
Jan 2015 Balance carried forward from Dec. = Rs.2,350
Balance at end of Jan = Rs.2,350 + Rs.2,350 = Rs. 4700
Interest for Jan. 2014 = Rs.4,700 * 0.73% = Rs.34.31
Feb. 2015 Balance carried forward from Jan. = Rs.4,700
Balance at end of Jan = Rs.4,700 + Rs.2,350 = Rs.7,050
Interest for Feb. 2014 = Rs.7,050 * 0.73% = Rs.51.46
March. 2015 Balance carried forward from Feb. = Rs.7,050
Balance at end of March = Rs.7,050 + Rs.2,350 = Rs.9,400
Interest for Mar. 2014 = Rs.9,400 * 0.73% = Rs.68.62

At the end of March, total interest earned for 2014 – 2015 will be credited to the employees account

= Rs.34.31 + Rs.51.46 + Rs.68.62 = Rs.154.39

This will be added to Aprils balance. Assuming the employees contribution and EPF interest rate remains the same for FY 2015 - 16

Apr. 2015 Balance carried forward from Mar. = Rs.9,400 + 154.39 = Rs.9,554.39
Balance at end of Apr.= Rs.9,554.39 + Rs.2,350 = Rs.11,904.39
Interest for Apr. 2014 = Rs.11,904.39 * 0.73% = Rs.86.90
May. 2015 Balance carried forward from Apr. = Rs.11,904.39
Balance at end of Apr.= Rs.11,904.39 + Rs.2,350 = Rs.14,254.39
Interest for May. 2014 = Rs.14,254.39 * 0.73% = Rs.104.05

This continues till the end of March 2016 when interest earned for the year will be added up and credited again.

How to Transfer EPF Offline

To transfer EPF account balances from past employers to present employers

  • An employee will have to fill and submit a duly attested Form 13 to his/her past or present employer. The form can be attested by either the past of present employer.
  • As mentioned above under section ‘Form-13’, the form will then have to be submitted to the regional EPF office relevant to the attesting employer. PF contributions from the old account will be transferred to a Trust.
  • The old employer will have to submit Annexure K to the relevant Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) or Regional EPF office. Annexure K will indicate the employee’s tenure of service and the pension fund account balances. When Annexure K is received and verified, the PF trust will complete the transfer process through NEFT. The balance from the old account will then be credited to the employee’s new account.
  • In many cases, though, Annexure K is not submitted which means money cannot be credited by the Trust to the new account. There is no way to track this which led to a large number of transfer cases being stalled. For this reason, claim forms and Annexure K were then digitized to facilitate online EPF transfers.

How to Transfer EPF Online

To transfer EPF account balances from past employers to present employers online, an employee will have to go through the EPFO portal at www.epfindia.gov.in

  • First verify that the past and present employers have registered digital signatures with the EPFO. If they don’t have digital signatures, follow the offline PF transfer procedure.
  • On the EPFO portal’s home page, choose the option Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP)
  • Next choose the option to check eligibility to file a transfer claim online (the other two options are for detailed instructions and FAQs)
  • To check eligibility for OCTP, provide prior PF details viz. the old and new EPF account numbers.
  • If registered with the site, log-in with the member id; if not register to get log-in details.
  • Logging-in entails filling in the document type and number and mobile number (same as the log-in details for the member portals). This will lead to the Online Transfer Claim Application.
  • Request for account transfer under the ‘Claim’ option in the menu.
  • Part A, Part B and Part C of Form 13 - Request for Transfer of Account Form will be displayed.
  • Part A - fill in personal details viz. name, mobile number, email id, bank account number and IFS code.
  • Part B - fill in details of the old PF account viz. The PF account number and EPF office. Proceed to obtain the following details viz. the employee’s old establishment name and address, the employee’s name, date of birth, joining and exit date, father’s/spouse’s name and the relevant EPF office where the account was held. If the date of birth is not displayed, ensure this detail is updated.
  • Part C - similar to Part B, except this pertains to the current PF account details.
  • Choose to have the form/claim attested by the current or old employer.
  • Preview the form once completed and make changes as required, if any.
  • Get the Pin and accept the declaration. Finally enter the pin as sent to the provided mobile number to submit the online claim/form for transfer of PF account.
  • Print the filled in form, sign, and submit it to the chosen employer for attestation. The chosen employer verifies the form in the portal. Once verified, the EPFO will proceed to transfer the account.
  • Issues can be logged on the portal through the grievance system.

Eligibility for online transfers can be checked on the same portal by providing the old and new pf account details. You can track your EPF transfer claim status online through the portal. Offline transfers are hard to track.

Automatic Transfer of EPF on Job Change

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) provides a retirement savings scheme for private sector employees. The Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) scheme provides social security to employees after retirement. The employer and employee will have to contribute 12% of the employee’s basic salary to EPF. After retirement, the employee will get a lump sum amount with interest and pension.

Employees who have contributed to EPF for a minimum of 10 years become eligible for pension. Therefore, it is advisable to transfer the old EPF account to the new employer instead of closing it. Employees will receive a 12-digit Universal Account Number (UAN) which is allotted by the EPFO to the EPF members.

When changing jobs, employees have to decide whether they want to transfer their EPF account to the new employer or close it. EPFO allows members to automatically transfer EPF accounts upon job change. The process of automatic EPF transfer is as follows:

  • After joining a new company, the employer will ask the employee to submit F-11 which is the 'Composite Declaration Form'. The form has to be filled with personal details and the Universal Account Number.
  • If the UAN is linked with the employee's Aadhaar and also verified by the previous employer, then the employee will receive a message about the PF auto-transfer to his or her registered mobile number.
  • If an employee wants to stop auto-transfer, then he or she has to make the request as soon as possible, or else the transfer will occur within 10 days of the employee receiving the auto-transfer message.
  • The auto-transfer process will be initiated only after the new employer makes the first contribution deposit to the new EPF account.
  • If an employee's UAN is not verified by the previous company, then he or she has to apply for EPF transfer through the offline channel.

The transfer of EPF accounts has become hassle-free and simple with the digitisation process adopted by the EPFO. An EPF member/employee just has to furnish a few basic details along with the UAN to the new employer and the new employer will have to update the details provided on the EPFO portal. This will initiate the automatic transfer of the PF money from the old EPF account to the new one.

EPF Passbook

PF subscribers can check their EPF/PF balances and account status updates through their passbooks which records transactions made with respect to their PF accounts. The employees PF status and account updates are recorded in this passbook on a monthly basis and will include contributions made, interest credited, withdrawals made (if any) and PF member details such PF account number, the employee-member’s name and birth date.

Earlier, employers would provide employees with an annual statement detailing contributions made by each party and interest earned thereon. This statement would be sent to the employer by the relevant EPFO office at the end of a financial year.

In 2012, however, the EPFO introduced EPF e-passbooks or online EPF passbook which members can access and download through the EPFO portal, www.epfindia.gov.in. These e-passbooks contain all transactions pertaining to their account (as mentioned above). The e-passbook can be downloaded multiple times, as required.

To avail the EPF e-passbook facility, members will have to first register on the epf members portal. Also, it is only available to those employees for whom the ECR (Electronic Challan cum Receipt) has been uploaded by their employers and for whom the employer has remitted dues; applicable from May 2012. (Employees who discontinued service prior to March 2012 will have to put in a request for the passbook. This can be done through the portal). Additionally, this facility does not apply to those employees whose accounts are inoperative or have been settled. However, employees can request passbooks of inoperative accounts to be displayed by putting in a request for the same through the portal.

Once registered on the member portal, subscribers can download their e-passbooks by providing the following details viz. the state of the PF office, the PF office, the company code, the PF account number and name of the subscriber. Once this is done, the authentication pin has to be generated through the ‘Get Pin’ icon. Once received via the registered mobile number, it has to be entered at the bottom of the page after agreeing to the disclaimer. This will give subscribers the link to download their EPF e-passbook.

Criteria to Withdraw money from the EPF Corpus

Almost every salaried employee contributes towards EPF in India. While the accumulated EPF amount is withdrawn generally at the time of retirement, there are certain other factors that qualify for premature withdrawals. Refer to the below table for premature withdrawal norms and the maximum amount that can be withdrawn.

Reason for withdrawal Eligibility Condition Amount Number of times
For marriage The member should have completed 7 years since enrollment in EPF scheme. The withdrawal is allowed on the occasion of:
  • One’s own marriage
  • Child’s marriage
  • Siblings marriage
50% of the accumulated amount Thrice during the entire career
For education Withdrawal is allowed only for the education of children and the PF member should apply using Form 31 50% of the accumulated amount Thrice during the entire career
For medical treatment For treatment of self, spouse, parents, and children. Certificate of proof should be submitted 6 times the monthly salary of the person or the accumulated EPF amount (whichever is lesser) Anytime
For Buying a house Should be employed from 5 years, and the property should be registered in the individual’s or his spouse’s name or should be jointly owned. 36 times the individual’s monthly salary Once
For repayment of home loan Should be employed from 10 years, and the property should be registered in the individual’s or his spouse’s name or should be jointly owned. 36 times the individual’s monthly salary Once
Pre-retirement Should be at least 54 years of age 90% of the EPF balance Once

EPF Correction

To make changes to personal details viz. name, birth-date and husband or spouses name, employee-members can initiate the process through their employers using the correction form which has to be submitted/declared jointly i.e. between the employee-member and the employer. The changes will have to be effected in the EPF database. Documentation to support the changes required will have to be provided to the employer.

PF members may want to make changes because the names or birth-date updated in the database is incorrect. The name may have been misspelled or otherwise, or changed after marriage. Sometimes, employers erroneously update employees details. It is important to correct errors in the name and birth-date in the EPF database because such discrepancies can create issues at time of withdrawal of PF or during other PF transactions.

By checking the EPF passbook online or through the UAN portal, one can check for errors in PF database pertaining to name and birth-date. If request for change has been made, applicants can update or track whether changes have been effected in the EPF database by checking the passbook subsequent to submitting the application.

Eligibility Criteria for EPF Membership

  • In order to avail the benefits, the employee must be an active member of the EPF scheme. 
  • If the organisation has more than 20 employees, it is mandatory to contribute towards EPF. 
  • If the individual is a salaried employee who is earning less than Rs.15,000, it is compulsory to register for an EPF account. 
  • Organisations with lesser than 20 employees can voluntarily register to the EPF scheme.

Inoperative/Dormant EPF accounts

As per the recent notification by EPFO, even those accounts that remained idle from a couple of years will not be classified as inoperative. Since 2011, government had stopped paying interests to dormant accounts. However, with the new rule in place even the inoperative accounts too will start accruing interests at the rate of 8.8% per annum. The new reform will prove to be beneficial for around 10 crore workers in the country. Furthermore, it can be considered as a safe investment option as even the inoperative PF account will continue to accumulate interests till the time the employee retires from his job.

EPF Tax Exemption

As per the Budget notification of 2016-17, only interest accruing on 60% of the employee contributions towards EPF will be taxable. This is with effect from 1 April 20166. However, employees whose monthly income is below Rs.15,000 are exempted from tax.

FAQ’s 

  1. Can an employer reduce the employer’s share of EPF contribution? 
  2. No, the employers cannot reduce their share of EPF contribution. Such a reduction is considered as a criminal offence. 

  3. How is EPF contribution calculated if the employee is paid on a daily or partly basis? 
  4. The contribution amount is calculated by the salary that is paid in a calendar month. 

  5. Is it possible for the employee to contribute towards EPF after he/she quits the job? 
  6. No, it is not possible for an employee to contribute towards EPF if he/she has left the service. The employee’s and employer’s contribution must match. 

  7. Whom should the employee approach if he/she is not given PF membership? 
  8. The employee must approach the employer first. If not provided by the employer, he/she can approach the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner of the PF office.  

  9. Is there any age restriction for an employee to become a member of EPF? 
  10. No, there is no age restriction for an employee to become a member of the Provident Fund. However, if the employee has already crossed the age of 58 years, he/she cannot become a member of the Pension Fund. 

  11. Can an apprentice become a member of the EPF? 
  12. No, an apprentice cannot become a member of the EPF, but he/she must enroll for EPF as soon as they stop being an apprentice. 

  13. Can an employer also join the PF? 
  14. No, an employer cannot join the PF. 

  15. Can an employee join EPF directly? 
  16. No, an employee cannot join EPF directly. He/she must work for an organisation that is covered under the EPF & MF Act, 1952. 

  17. Can an employee opt out of EPF? 
  18. No, an eligible member cannot opt out of EPF. 

  19. How is the PF amount recovered from defaulting members? 
  20. Prosecution under Section 14 of the EPF & MP Act, 1952, realisation of dues from debtors, attachments of bank accounts, attachment and sale of properties, and detention and arrest of the employer are some of the ways the PF amount is recovered from employers. 

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News About Employee Provident Fund

  • Supreme court rules verdict regarding Employees' Provident Fund

    The Supreme Court recently ruled a verdict regarding Employees' provident Fund. According to the verdict, companies are now not allowed to exempt special allowances from the basic salaries of the employees. The ruling has made it mandatory for employers to include special allowances when making deductions for Provident Fund.

    Special allowances include convenience allowance, education allowance, canteen allowance, medical allowance, etc. The judgement will not affect anyone drawing a basic salary of or under Rs.15,000. However, the verdict will increase the financial burden on companies as they will now have to pay the basic salary, PF and. special allowances separately.

    The new Employees' Provident Fund rules mandates both employers and employees to contribute 12 per cent of basic wages towards the fund. After the new ruling, strict action will be taken by the Employees' Provident Organisation (EPFO) if the employer fails to include special allowances while computing the provident fund contribution.

    18 March 2019

  • Employees Will Not be Required to Transfer EPF when They Change Jobs

    Subscribers to the Employees’ Provident Fund 9EPF) will no longer be required to transfer the funds in their old EPF account when they change jobs. Despite having the UAN to link PF accounts, EPF subscribers are still required to file a transfer claim when they switch jobs.

    The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is currently testing if the EPF transfer can be automated when an individual changes their job. The EPFO aims to launch the facility sometime in the following year. Currently, the UAN is merely a reference for new employers to contribute to their employee’s EPF. The new EPF account does not reflect the contributions made by the subscriber’s previous employer. While the automation planned by the EPFO, the UAN will function similar to a bank account with the total PF contribution made by all the subscriber’s employers.

    11 March 2019

  • Supreme Court rules PF deductions to include special allowances which are included in basic salary

    The Supreme Court ruled that ‘basic wage’ should also include special allowances that are paid to employees as part of the total salary package. The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution will be deducted not on the basic salary alone but on the total amount that includes the allowances too. It will be deducted under Section 6 of the Act. The Employees’ Provident Fund provides financial security as a retirement benefit scheme. It is applicable to employees in various establishments as well as factories. Employees who earn up to Rs.15,000 per month contribute 12% of the dearness allowance and basic salary. This is not mandatory for others. The employer contribution is also 12% and is mandatory for all employees. The employer’s component of 12% is split into 8.33% for the Employees’ Pension Scheme and 3.67% for the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF). The rate of interest on PF deposits was raised by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to 8.65% from the 8.55% for its subscribers who are approximately 6 crore in number. This is for the fiscal year 2018-2019.

    5 March 2019

  • PF ruling might not cover individuals who are earning more than Rs.15,000 per month

    Individuals with a basic salary and special allowances of over Rs.15,000 might not be impacted by the Supreme Court order on contributions made by employees and employers towards Provident Fund (PF). As per sources, the ruling is applicable for individuals who are earning Rs.15,000 or lesser in basic pay and special allowances and contributing towards PF is not compulsory for those who earn above Rs.15,000.

    Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC) K K Jalan said that the ruling was made as plenty of employers had not been deducting PF above the required minimum wage. The order might reduce the salary of a few employees, but it is not expected to be high. Several employees do not want to pay a higher contribution towards PF as it would reduce their monthly salary. Jalan further added that there is always a predicament when such decisions are made.

    1 March 2019

  • EPF interest rates hiked to 8.65%

    The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently announced an interest rate hike. According to the new instructions, the rates have been hiked to 8.65% for all the 60 million EPF subscribers for the year 2018-2019. The previous rate of interest for the year 2017-2018 was 8.55%. It is a ten-point hike from the preceding interest rate.

    With a subscriber base of 60 million, EPFO manages retirement funds of over Rs.11 lakh crore. The 8.55% interest rate in the previous financial year was the lowest rate in 5 years.

    The EPFO falls under the authority of the union labour ministry. After a meeting with the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of EPFO, labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar stated that this rate hike shows that the ministry has been working for the working class. The CBT consists of representatives from the government, employers, and trade unions and is headed by the labour minister.

    26 February 2019

  • Should Voluntary Provident Fund Contribution be Increased?

    The interest rate of the Indian has been gradually decreasing since the last few years. In spite of that, the Central Board of Trustees which is the governing body of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has planned to hike the EPFO interest rate to 8.65%. This hiked rate of interest will be extended to more than six crore members on the EPFO portal on their EPF deposit for the financial year 2019. The rate of interest for the previous financial year stood at 8.55%.

    This decision has not been confirmed yet, as the Finance Ministry is yet to approve this hike. However, most employees in India are hopeful for the Indian Government to approve this interest rate, for this is the election year. It is a well-known fact that the income one earns on their EPF deposit is absolutely tax-free and one also gets a tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, for their EPF contribution. 12% of an individual’s basic salary along with DA is deducted and contributed towards EPF. The employer of the organisation also makes a similar contribution. Over and above this contribution, employees working in organisations can choose to contribute an additional amount, which is known as the Voluntary Provident Fund or VPF.

    Financial analysts and experts have mentioned that since the EPF interest rate of 8.65% is nearly 1% higher than the rest of the tax-saving instruments, employees should look to invest more in VPF as compared to other financial products.

    26 February 2019

  • Budget 2019: EPFO limit raised from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.6 lakh

    According to the 2019 interim budget, the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) limit in the case of death of an employee has been raised from Rs.2.5 lakh to Rs.6 lakh. This major step has been taken to give financial support to the family of the deceased.

    During the budget presentation, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the raise will ensure safety to families of the salaried individuals in the case of premature death. The move is applicable to both government employees and private sector employees. The government also increased the gratuity from Rs10 lakh to Rs.30 lakh.

    5 February 2019

  • EPF interest rates may increase to benefit salaried class

    With the general elections around the corner, there could finally be some good news for subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Officials who have knowledge of this development said that there may be an increase in the EPF rate, though the annual internal review of the retirement fund’s body is yet to finish. The interest rate hit a five-year low of 8.55% for FY 2017-2018.

    One of the EPFO’s central board of trustees, Prabhakar Banasure, said that they are looking into increasing the interest rate to more than 8.55%. He further added that though account audits and final calculations are still on, a reduction of interest rate would not be considered at this time.

    3 January 2019

  • EPF Rules Modified, Upto 75% Can Be Withdrawn If You’re Unemployed for a Month

    A notification issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment on 6 December this year has communicated the amendment of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme so that its members are allowed to withdraw funds from the corpus in case they are unemployed for over a month. The rule is effective 6 December 2018. Despite the fact that the move was revealed in June 2018 following the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees meeting, the government has made it official only now. Under the notification, EPF members are allowed to withdraw a maximum of 75% of their credit balance if they don’t have a job for more than a month. The withdrawal will be a non-refundable advance which means that members can withdraw their money with no need to close their account, and neither will they have to refund the amount withdrawn. This comes as good news to many who require funds when they are unemployed after quitting their jobs.

    20 December 2018

  • Provident Fund Information - EPF Withdrawal Pre Retirement to be Capped at 75%

    If you have been a working salaried professional in India, you will have an Employee Provident Fund (EPF) which will have accumulated over the period of time. According to recent announcements, moving on, if you withdraw your EPF savings before you retire, the same will henceforth be capped at 75%. This percentage earlier stood at a 100%. However, according to recent news, the percentage will be 75%.

    If you do not have job for more than a month, you will automatically become eligible to withdraw money from your EPF account. In the earlier times, if you wanted to withdraw money from your EPF savings, you were required to be jobless for a period of two months at least. The Employees’ Provident Funds (Amendment) Scheme recently notified saying ‘The commissioner or, where so authorised by the commissioner, any other officer subordinate to him, may permit a member, on ceasing to be an employee in any factory to establishment to which the Act applies, a non-refundable advance upto 75% of amount standing to his credit in the fund, if he has been employed in any factory or other establishment for a continuous period of not less than one month’.

    The organization known as Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is essentially in control of management of social security funds of workers and employees in the semi-organised and organised sectors of the industry. The retirement funds, additionally, has around six crore active members in today’s date.

    19 December 2018

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