EPFO - Employee Provident Fund Organization Last Updated : 18 Sep 2019

About EPFO

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is a non-constitutional body that promotes employees to save funds for retirement. The organisation is governed by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India and was launched in 1951.

In terms of the number of financial transactions and clientele, the EPFO is one of the largest Social Security Organisations in the world.

The schemes offered by the organisation cover Indian workers and international workers (from countries with whom the EPFO has signed bilateral agreements).

For more information, Check out related articles EPFO Login, UAN Login, EPF Balance & EPF Claim Status

EPFO
Employee Provident Fund Organization

Schemes Offered Under the EPFO

Given below are the various schemes that are present under the EPFO:

  1. Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme 1952 (EPF)
  2. Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS)
  3. Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI)

The schemes are explained below:

1. Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme 1952

This scheme provides an accumulation of funds that can be used by members after their retirement or can be used by their families in case they pass away.

2. Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995

This scheme provides pension is provided on a monthly basis after the member retires, faces a disability, or the pension will be given to the widow or children in case the member passes away.

3. Employees Deposit Linked Scheme (EDLI) 1976

Under this scheme, in case an employee who is a member of the EPFO passes away during employment, benefits will be provided. Benefits of up to 30 times the salary of the employee up to a maximum of Rs.6 lakh will be provided.

Vision of EPFO

One of the aims of the EPFO is to become one of the best Social Security Organisations in the world by meeting the requirements of its stakeholders and by providing futuristic services. Given below are the aims of EPFO Vision 2030:

  • Universal Social Security Coverage in the form of Life Insurance, Pension, and Provident Fund is provided to all workers in India on a compulsory basis.
  • New policies that provide a benefit structure with social security support at a reasonable level must be initiated.
  • All EPFO benefits must be easily accessible online with State-of-the-Art technology.

Objectives of EPFO

Given below are the main objectives of the EPFO:

  • To ensure every employee has only one EPF account.
  • Compliance must be facilitated easily.
  • Make sure organisations follow all the rules and regulations set up by the EPFO on a regular basis.
  • To ensure that online services are reliable and to make improvements in their facilities.
  • For all member accounts to be accessed online easily.
  • Claim settlements to be reduced from 20 days to 3 days.
  • Promotion and encouragement of voluntary compliance.

Functions of EPFO

The main functions of the EPFO are mentioned below:

  • Helping the Central Board of Trustees in operation of the Insurance Scheme, Pension Scheme, and Provident Fund Scheme for all the registered establishments in the country.
  • To ensure the Act is enforced in every state in India except for Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Individual accounts must be maintained by the EPFO.
  • Settlement of claims is handled by the EPFO.

Services offered by the EPFO

Some of the services offered by the EPFO are mentioned below:

1. Universal Account Number

A Universal Account Number (UAN) is given to every employee who is contributing towards EPF. Various Member IDs that have been allotted to employees from various organisations come under the UAN. Each employee will be allotted only one UAN throughout his/her employment life. The EPFO allots the distinctive 12-digit UAN to employees. A monthly SMS regarding the contribution of the EPF amount, transferring of EPF amount from the previous Member ID to the current one, checking and downloading EPF Passbook, withdrawal of EPF online, and updating KYC details online are some of the services that are provided by the UAN.

However, employees must activate their UAN in order to avail the services online. Once the UAN is activated, employees can use their UAN and password to login on the EPFO portal and avail these services.

2. Helpdesk for Inoperative Accounts

In February 2015, the EPFO set up the Inoperative Accounts Online Helpdesk to help employees track dormant and old inoperative accounts that do not accumulate any interest. Employees can track these accounts, and either withdraw the funds or transfer them to the current Member ID. Basic details must be provided by the employees about their previous employment to track inoperative accounts.

3. Online withdrawal of EPF

The EPF withdrawal amount can be easily done online with the help of the UAN. Employees who have been unemployed for more than 2 months are eligible to withdraw their EPF amount. However, the Aadhaar and bank details of the employee must be linked with the UAN.

4. International workers can generate a Certificate of Coverage

EPF members that are working in countries who have Social Security Agreements with India can generate a Certificate of Coverage (CoC) with the help of an online centralised software that the EPFO has launched.

5. Monthly returns for exempted establishments

With the help of the IT tool that the EPFO has launched, exempted establishments can file their monthly returns online without any trouble.

6. UMANG App

The EPFO has launched the Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) for EPF members. Employees can use their UAN and password to avail the services of the UMANG app. Various services such as viewing of EPF passbook, updating profile details, etc. are available on the UMANG app.

7. Online transfer of EPF

EPF Transfer amount from the employee’s previous Member ID to the current one can be done online with the help of the UAN. The process is hassle-free, paperless, and simple.

8. Establishments can register online

The Online Registration of Establishments (OLRE) can be completed on the EPFO portal. Employees are also benefitting due to the online presence of the PF code allotment letter.

9. Online payments of PF

It is compulsory for all organisations to make the PF payments online. Currently, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda, Union Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), and State Bank of India (SBI) are the 10 banks that have agreements with the EPFO for the collection of dues.

10. Missed call and SMS service

Members who have activated their UAN can access their PF balance, previous contribution, the status of KYC, etc., by sending an SMS (Format: EPFOHO UAN) to 7738299899 or by giving a missed call to 011-22901406. Employers will also receive an SMS for non-payment of EPF.

11. Claim status and passbook

The EPFO members will be able to check the status of their claims as well as view and download their EPF passbook with the help of the UAN.

12. Grievances

In case of any issues regarding the settlement of pension, transfer of PF, withdrawal of PF, etc., members can raise a complaint online. Grievance redressals are a top priority for the EPFO, and they are dealt with swiftly. 80% of the complaints are solved within 7 days and 97% of them are solved within 15 days. Due to constant monitoring of the EPF grievances, complaints have come down from 20,000 to 2,000-3,000 in a day.

FAQs

  1. Is the Provident Fund Scheme, Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme introduced by Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) mandatory?
  2. Yes, the Provident Fund Scheme, Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme introduced by Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is mandatory, especially for employees who fall under the wage ceiling set by the organization.

  3. Does this cover international workers as well?
  4. Yes. The schemes cover Indian workers as well as International workers in countries where a bilateral agreement has been signed with the Indian Government. There are 14 Social Security Agreements made with India by countries such as Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Denmark, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Finland, Hungary, Sweden, Norway, Czech Republic, Canada and Austria. International workers can also use the EPFO portal for online application of COC (Certificate of Coverage).

  5. What is the prevailing interest rate on Provident Fund accumulations?
  6. The current rate of interest applicable on Provident Fund accumulations is 8.75%.

  7. What is UAN? How is it connected to the EPF programme?
  8. UAN or Universal Account Number is a 12-digit number that will be allotted to each member who contributes to the EPF Scheme and this will be generated by EPFO for each PF member. For example, the UAN number will be 123456789121. This UAN will cover the Member IDs that are allotted to an individual when they are employed by various establishments. Thus the Universal Account Number links multiple Member Identification Numbers that are assigned to a single member. With this facility, a member can view the details related to all their Member Identification Numbers once they have their UAN number and have registered for this. The UAN will remain the same throughout the course of an employee’s career.

  9. How can I know what my UAN is?
  10. In order to know your UAN, you can contact your employer. All employers are to have details pertaining to an employee’s UAN.

  11. What is the minimum number of employees required in an establishment for it to come under the purview of this Act?
  12. The minimum number of employees required in an establishment for it to come under the purview of this Act, is not less than 19 employees.

  13. What are the e-governance initiatives undertaken by EPFO?
  14. The e-governance initiatives undertaken by EPFO are Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP), Online Registration of Establishment (OLRE), and Online Monthly Return for Exemption Establishment, etc.

  15. What is “Superannuation” pension?
  16. An employee is entitled to superannuation pension if he/she has provided a service for a period of 10 years or above and has retired at the age of 58 years.

  17. When is an employee entitled to an early pension as per the Employees’ Pension Scheme?
  18. As per the Employees’ Pension Scheme, an employee entitled to an early pension when he/she has provided a service for a period of 10 years or above and then ceases to be in employment or retires before attaining the age of 58 years.

  19. What is the procedure of withdrawing PF account money and Pension Fund money through the UAN portal once the employee has left a job and joined a new organization?
  20. When the employee leaves a job and joins a new organization, he/she should get the funds transferred to the new account under the present employer. The UAN facility permits portability of funds from one account to another since it links an employee’s Member IDs. This will be done only after the KYC information has been verified by both the establishments.

  21. What is the UAN Helpdesk Contact Details?
  22. You can contact the UAN Helpdesk regarding any queries related to the UAN member portal at the following number: 1800 118 00 or through email at uanepf@epfindia.gov.in.

  23. How much of an employee’s wage is considered for making a PF contribution?
  24. The remuneration paid to an employee is cash is considered while calculating the monthly PF contribution. This will exclude wage categories such as Overtime allowance, House Rent Allowance (HRA), Commission or any such incentives, bonus, presents given to the employee by the employer, etc.

  25. Is there a tax benefit on the schemes offered by Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)?
  26. Tax is not applicable on the EPF earned by an employee. The contribution made by the employer is not taxed and a contribution of the employee for an amount of up to Rs. 1 Lakh is deducted from taxable income under Section 80(C) of the Income Tax Act. The interest (as per the rate set by the EPFO) accrued on the same is also not taxable. This is applicable only in terms of the Government’s EPF scheme.

  27. What is the mode through which Employers should pay the PF due?
  28. Employers must pay the PF due through Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR).

  29. How are Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) documents generated?
  30. The E-return tool is used by EPFO to generate the Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) documents.

  31. What is the E-Return Tool? How to use the E-Return Tool?
  32. The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) offers the E-Return Tool to employers for ease of payment of PF on behalf of their employees. This tool can be downloaded and all monthly payments can be paid electronically using. In the main menu you can select "Generate returns for submission to EPFO" to generate the Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) and upload it online in the employer’s e-Sewa.

  33. What is a digital signature certificate (DSC)? How is it relevant in procedures undertaken by EPFO?
  34. Digital signature certificate (DSC) is an electronic form of hardcopies of certificates such as passport, driving license, etc. These act as identity proof for individuals who are applying for certain services online or for signing documents digitally. With the enactment of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Digital Signature Certificates have become legally valid in India. EPFO stipulates that its users must use Digital Signature Certificates in order to attest their online claims and also to verify their identity and other details submitted online. When this is digitally attested and submitted there is no need to submit any physical documentation to the EPFO office.

  35. Why should an employer register his/her establishment on the EPFO employer portal?
  36. An employer has to register his/her establishment on the EPFO employer portal because all PF contributions and other related activities can only be performed online through this portal. The Electronic Challan cum Return has to be uploaded in this portal in the prescribed proforma and the receipt will be populated accordingly. Many other services can also be availed through the EPFO employer portal by registering for the same.

  37. How to purchase a Digital Signature Certificate?
  38. In order to purchase a Digital Signature Certificate that is legally valid, you can approach the Govt. of India, Certifying Authorities (CA) (such as NIC, e-Mudhra, TCS, n-code, MTNL, etc.) and Controller of Certifying Authorities (CCA) that issue these certificates.

  39. Who is the Certifying Authority?
  40. Certifying Authority is a recognized agency that issues, renews and revokes Digital Signature Certificate. The Information Technology Act 2000 authorizes Certifying Authorities to issue Digital Signature Certificate. Some of the Certifying Authorities (CA) in India are NIC, e-Mudhra, TCS, n-code, MTNL, etc.

News About EPFO

  • Private sector employees to get pension based on total salary

    The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation had filed a Special Leave Petition against the Kerala High Court order stating that the EPFO was to provide pension to retiring employees based on their total salary without a cap of Rs.15,000 per month. However, the Supreme Court has dismissed the plea of the EPFO that was filed against the ruling of the High Court. This will result in all retiring employees receiving a pension that is based on their total salary without any cap on it. However, corpus of Provident Fund contribution will reduce as the bulk will go to the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) and not to the PF. The EPS applies to all employees under the EPS scheme who will receive pension permanently. The scheme, which was launched in 1995, requires that every employee who has a monthly salary and DA combined of Rs.15,000 must be enrolled in the scheme.

    3 April 2019

  • AGILE form allows you to get EPFO, ESIC, and GST numbers from 1 April

    Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) registration, Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) registration, and Good and Services Tax Identification Number (GSTIN) registration can be done via an e-form known as AGILE, according to a notification from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).

    ESIC, EPFO, and GSTIN are the three vital registrations for businesses and is covered under the AGILE form which is a part of the e-form, SPICE Incorporation. Companies would be automatically enrolled for the EPFO, ESIC, and GST by filing for the SPICE Incorporation form and the AGILE e-form. As per the notification, with effect from 31 March 2019, the SPICE form will be accompanied by the AGILE e-form and has been informed vide the Companies (Incorporation) Third Amendment Rules, 2019. The AGILE e-form is also known as the INC-35 form and registering companies can use this form to apply for the EPF, ESI, and GST registration. However, the AGILE e-form must be filed along with the SPICE form. The dates for registration of the GSTIN, EPFO, and ESIC by using the AGILE e-form are 31 March 2019, 8 April 2019, and 15 April 2019, respectively.

    2 April 2019

  • New mechanism to be released by EPFO for better formal employment data

    The Government of India is planning to introduce a mechanism that will allow it to track people changing jobs. This will be useful to get a clearer picture of formal employment in the country generated in the country. According to the latest Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data, the employment generation in the formal sector was 8.96 lakh in the month of January.

    In January, 3.87 lakh members subscribed to EPFO. The EPFO data, currently, only includes the number of new joiners, exits, and rejoiners. However, the mechanism of counting the numbers of members who are returning, and rejoining is not very strong at the moment. The new mechanism in plans will increase efficiency and make the data more accurate. It will also help EPFO in generating net employment figures.

    EPFO released the payroll data from September 2017 to April 2018. However, due to the present drawbacks, the data cannot accurately represent the number of new jobs generated in the country. Subscribing to EPFO is mandatory for any organisation employing more than 20 people but it leaves out people employed in micro, small and medium enterprises.

    26 March 2019

  • Soon calculation statement will be available on EPF withdrawal

    The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has advised its regional offices to provide a calculation sheet to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) employees at the time of their final withdrawal. The calculation statement will be sent to the employee’s email ID or mobile number by the regional offices.

    As per a notification dated on 22 March 2019, the main reason for the decision was to increase the transparency and reduce on the grievances and confusions that employees face. The calculation sheet will be provided for employees who have filed for claims both online and offline. The EPFO is also making the process for transfer of PF hassle-free in case employees change their jobs and without much interference from employers. According to sources, the EPFO also plans to introduce the ‘Anywhere Service’, which will help subscribers merge their PF accounts easily in case of a change in location. In February 2019, the interest rate was increased to 8.65% by the EPFO. Currently, there are close to six crore subscribers who have registered for EPFO. The employer and employee each contribute 12% of the employee’s basic salary towards EPF.

    26 March 2019

  • LIC May Get Replaced as Fund Manager of PM’s Pension Plan

    The Indian Government is trying to ease the eligibility norms pertaining to its pension scheme, in order to make it more inclusive for the workers of the unorgansied sector. Further, it is also considering replacing the fund manager with Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO. The fund manager for the Government’s pension scheme was Life Insurance Corporation of India or LIC earlier. In order to establish a better synergy, the Government is considering replacing LIC with EPFO.

    The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan Dhan is a contributory scheme implemented by the Indian Government. Under this scheme, each worker from the unorgansied sector (cobblers, construction workers, and so on) will receive an amount of Rs.3,000 on a monthly basis. This scheme, however, excludes those employees that are covered under the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and EPFO. This particular criterion can often be considered restrictive as it has been based on a false assumption that workers from the unorganised sector cannot migrate to the organised sector, and vice versa. This particular criterion is being relaxed by the Indian Government as it wants individuals migrating to the organised sector to enjoy the benefits of PM-SYM equally.

    The scheme has been implemented successfully by the Modi Government in order to financially secure the futures of people working in the unorganised sector. Since these individuals are less privileged in terms of purchasing comprehensive life insurance or health insurance policies, the Indian Government will provide an amount of Rs.3,000 every month.

    25 March 2019

  • Pension calculation worksheet to be provided to EPFO pensioners

    Pension calculation worksheets will be provided to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) pensioners soon. Along with the pension sanction order, it will have a concise monthly pension calculation statement. This will help in the rectification of any errors sooner and quicker. It will also make it more transparent. The Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) does not give a clear link between the employer’s contributions and the EPS benefits. Employees, under the EPS scheme, are eligible to get a pension monthly according to certain calculations per the law. To be eligible for EPS, 10 years of service is required. For lesser service periods, beneficiaries can still get a sum withdrawn. It is still not clear, however, whether employees with service periods shorter than 10 years will receive the pension calculation worksheet. It is also not clear yet what the mode of sharing the worksheet will be – whether I will be an email format or a hard copy. However, it is clear that this will reduce employee grievances to a great extent as they will be able to catch any errors in the calculations and get them resolved much faster than before.

    19 March 2019

  • EPFO to Provide Pensioners with Pension Calculation Statement

    The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced that it will soon be providing pensioners with a statement of how their pension is calculated as well as the order in which their pension is sanctioned. This move has been made by the retirement body in an effort to lend greater transparency to the process and reduce the number of grievances raised.

    The practice has been initiated since the benefit to be provided to pensioners as part of the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) does not match the contributions that have been made by the employer during the course of the subscriber’s employment.

    All regional EPFO offices have been issued a circular stating that all pensioners are required to receive a worksheet with information about the quantum of the pension.

    18 March 2019

  • EPFO will take action against firms that don’t factor special allowances for computation of EPF

    The Supreme court has ruled that basic wages should include special allowances too which should be taken into account for computation of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contribution. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which is the retirement body that manages the EPF, will take action against any firm that does not take this component into account when computing the EPF contribution. The employee and employer contribution towards the EPFO-run social security scheme is 12% each. In a study conducted by the EPFO, it was found that employee pay packages were being split into numerous allowances by employers to reduce EPF liability although employees believe this results in a higher take-home pay.

    5 March 2019

  • EPFO organises a committee in order to make EPS more appealing

    As the Indian Government contemplates on whether to raise the pension to members, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is looking at various options to make the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) more appealing.

    A committee has been set up by the EPFO in order to make EPS more attractive for members to continue investing in case they change jobs. As per sources, apart from raising the pension, the EPFO is looking into providing incentives for its members. Individuals who change jobs after two-three years tend to withdraw their Provident Fund (PF) balance, according to officials. An ‘auto trigger’ option will soon be introduced by EPFO, where employees can transfer their PF balance to their new company without opening a new account. This will be possible by using the Universal Account Number (UAN). The employer and employee each contribute 12% of the employee’s basic salary towards Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Out of the 12% of the employer’s contribution, 8.33% is towards EPS. Individuals are entitled to a pension if they remain members for 10 years or more.

    27 February 2019

  • Piyush Goyal stated that the EPFO received 2 crore membership in past 2 years

    Interim Finance Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the membership of the Employees Provident Fund (EPFO) has increased by more than 2 crore in the past 2 years. This statement came from the finance minister one day after a leaked media report. Referring to the ‘Periodic Labour Force Survey’ (PLFS) published by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) this report stated that the unemployment rate in India was 6.1% in the period of 2017-18 which is the highest in the past 45 years. However, this report which was prepared in the month of December 2018 is not officially published yet.

    26 February 2019

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