• Check Your EPF Balance Online

    You can check your EPF balance online on the EPFO website. Checking the EPF balance online makes it convenient to be up-to-date about the funds in your account

    What is EPF?

    The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is a government-run retirement body. The organization runs 3 social security schemes: the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), and the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLIS). The EPF is the oldest of these 3 schemes. It was established in 1952 and was initially created to provide industrial workers with the provision of building a stable source of income after retirement. The scheme was later extended to all salaried individuals. The government later mandated that all establishments that have more than 20 employees are required to contribute to the scheme.

    An employee who wishes to know his/her EPF Balance can do so on the official EPFO portal. All one has to do is fill in the necessary details requested by the website. The EPFO has recently added three more methods to check the EPF balanc like through missed call, SMS & Online Portal.

    EPF balance is the amount that is there in your EPF Account. EPF balance consists of amount deducted every month from your salary plus the amount that is contributed to your EPF account by your employer. Knowing your EPF balance can be a good indicator of your retirement savings.

    Earlier, employees would have to wait until the end of the year for the HR (Human Resource) department of the company to provide them with a statement of the EPF balance amount. However, in the recent times, the EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization) has introduced various methods to check the EPF balance online conveniently.

    A new mobile-based application named m-sewa has been made available to android phone users. The account balance can be viewed using the app. Along with the app, are the SMS and missed call services. The SMS and the missed call service will be beneficial for those who do not have access to the internet. The SMS facility is not only available in English but a few of the regional languages – Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, Malayalam, Gujarati, Tamil, and Telugu.

    Structure of EPF

    The EPF Act mandates that 12% of an employee’s monthly wages be contributed towards the EPF. Similarly, employers are also required to contribute 12% of the employee’s salary towards the employee’s EPF account. Of the 12% contributed by the employer, 8.33% is contributed towards the EPS. However, if the 8.33% of the employee’s wages is above Rs.541, the excess is contributed towards the EPF. Additionally, EPF accounts also earn interest on the contributions made. At present, the EPF interest rate is 8.55% and this amount is credited to the account holder at the end of the financial year.

    In the last 6 decades, the EPFO has made several efforts to keep up with the digital nature in which information is disseminated. According to a recent notification, the EPFO plans to be a completely digital organization by August 2018. At present, most of the services that the EPFO offers can be availed through various digital media. One of these services includes finding out the balance in an EPF account. This service is available across various EPFO platforms.

    How does EPF Work?

    Under the EPF Act, 12% of an employee’s monthly salary is contributed towards the EPF. The same amount Is also contributed towards the employee’s PF by the employer. The funds accumulated in an employee’s PF account also earns interest through the course of the individual’s employment. At present, the rate of interest on an EPF account is 8.55% per annum. The amount accumulated in an employee’s PF account is withdrawn on retirement.

    Ideally, the EPF subscriber is supposed to withdraw their EPF contribution on retirement. However, the EPFO does allow for a partial withdrawal of funds under certain circumstances. These circumstances include serious medical illnesses, funding marriage arrangements and purchasing a new home among others.

    Ways to check EPF Balance Online

    The EPFO has been introducing new methods for employees to check the EPF balance and is in the process of developing the existing platforms that can be used.

    • Online Portal
    • SMS Service
    • Missed Call
    • M-sewa app
    EPF Balance
    Figure 1. Easy Ways to Check PF Balance Online

    How do you check Balance in your EPF Account?

    If an EPF subscriber wishes to check the balance in their EPF account, there are several ways to do so. The EPFO has kept up with the various technological advances and has incorporated the same with regard to the services that it offers. More recently, the EPFO has announced that it will become a completely digital organization by August 2018.

    To check one’s EPF balance online, there are a few requirements that a subscriber has to meet.

    • The first and most important of these requirements is obtaining the UAN (Universal Account Number). Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the UAN in October 2014 in an attempt to create a unified identification number for all individuals who contribute to the EPF. The UAN is a 12-digit number that is allotted to all employees by their employers and serves as a reference ID if an employee holds more than one PF account. Once allotted, the subscriber has to ensure that their UAN is activated and create a password to access their EPF account information.
    • The second requirement is completing the KYC verification for the UAN. This involves the EPF subscriber seeding their UAN with their Aadhaar information, PAN details, mobile number and bank account details.

    Once the above-mentioned requirements are completed, a subscriber can check the balance in their EPF account in the following ways:

    Why is it important to check EPF Balance?

    Employees can check their EPF balance through various methods such as SMS, missed call, EPFO app, UMANG app, and EPFO website/portal. Keeping a tab on the EPF account balance can help employees plan their expenses as well as use the EPF balance to avail loans. EPF account holders can check their EPF balance and use it to assess their asset allocations and accordingly modify their debt investments. An employee can check his or her EPF balance to confirm if the settled withdrawal/claim amount from the EPF account is the same as the one reflected on the EPF account passbook.

    Check EPF Balance using EPFO Online Portal

    The EPFO has an official website that can be used to check the details of the subscriber’s EPF account. To check one’s EPF balance, the subscriber should log in to the EPFO portal using their UAN number and password. Once logged in, the subscriber should select the ‘For Employees’ tab and select the ‘Our Service’ option. One of the services in the ‘Our Services’ tab is ‘Member Passbook’. Clicking on this redirects the subscriber to a new page where they are required to enter and submit their EPF account credentials—UAN and password. The subscriber can then view their EPF balance and the contributions that have been made over time. The EPFO portal also allows the subscriber to save a PDF of their EPF passbook.

    EPF Balance Check using EPFO Website/Portal

    Here is a step-by-step guide to check EPF balance using UAN on the EPFO portal (www.epfindia.gov.in):

    • Log in to the EPFO website and click on the 'Our Services' tab.
    • Choose the 'For Employees' option from the drop-down menu.
    • Click on the 'Member Passbook' under the 'Services' option.
    • On the login page, enter the username which is the UAN and password to log in.
    • Once logged in, employees can access their EPF details.

    Some employers and employees aren't eligible for the EPF passbook facility. Therefore, it is advisable to check for eligibility under 'Status of Establishments' on the EPF government website (https://passbook.epfindia.gov.in/MemberPassBook/Login.jsp).

    How to check PF Balance via SMS?

    If a subscriber has their KYC process completed, they can receive their EPF balance through SMS on their mobile phones. The KYC process includes verifying and linking the subscriber’s mobile number. To find out the EPF balance, the subscriber has to send the following SMS to 7738299899: EPFOHO.Since the EPFO services are available in a number of regional languages, the subscriber has to make sure to include the first three letters of the language they prefer after entering their UAN. This facility is useful for those who do not have a smartphone or access to the internet.

    EPF Balance Check via SMS

    Here is a step-by-step guide to check EPF balance by sending an SMS:

    • UAN has to be integrated with the employee's KYC details such as PAN, Aadhaar, and bank accounts to avail the facility of checking EPF balance via SMS.
    • SMS to 7738299899 from the employee's registered mobile number.
    • The SMS should read - EPFOHO UAN ENG, where ENG stands for English if that's the preferred language of communication. The same can be done for 9 other languages which include Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, Gujarati, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, and Punjabi.
    • The employee will receive an SMS with details such as UAN, date of birth (DOB), Aadhaar, PAN, last contribution made, and the total PF balance.

    How to check EPF Balance via Missed Call?

    EPFO subscribers can also receive their account balance by giving a missed call to the following number: 011-22901406. The subscriber has to ensure that the call is made from their registered mobile number in order to receive the account details of their EPF account. This facility is useful for those who do not have a smartphone or access to the internet. The EPFO has made it very convenient for EPF subscribers to access information to their accounts. The digitization of its services has made availing its services less time-consuming and free from any confusion that can often be associated with having to fill out physical forms to obtain information.

    EPF Balance Check via Missed Call

    Here is a step-by-step guide to check EPF balance by giving a missed call:

    • Employees can check their EPF balance by giving a missed to 011-22901406 from their registered mobile numbers.
    • Following the missed call, the employee will receive an SMS with their EPF details.
    • This service is available only to those employees who have integrated their UAN with their KYC details.

    EPF Balance check using UAN

    Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a savings scheme for employees wherein the employer and employee make equal contributions toward the employee's retirement account. The savings can be withdrawn from the EPF account upon retirement but also comes in handy when the employee switches jobs or is unemployed. Employees can log in to the official website of the EPFO and then enter the UAN number that can be found on the pay slip. The EPF balance of the individual will then be displayed.

    Check EPF Balance online without using UAN

    Employees who haven’t created the UAN yet can view the EPF balance using the PF account number which can also be found on the pay slip. The individual will have to log in to the EPFO portal and enter a few details like the state he/she resides in, mobile number, etc. to view the EPF balance.

    Steps to check PF Balance via Mobile App

    To enhance the convenience of their subscribers, the EPFO has launched their very own mobile app. All that the subscribers have to do to is to firstly download the app from EPFO website and register themselves using their PF account number and KYC details.

    Steps to follow check EPF balance using the EPF mobile app:

    • Download the app and click on member on the app’s homepage.
    • On clicking the member option, enter your UAN and after choosing the balance/passbook option.
    • Now, enter your registered mobile number.
    • If the mobile number is displayed as incorrect, enter other details such as mobile number, Aadhaar card, etc.
    • choose the view “EPF passbook” option if one wishes to view statements of the last 7 months.
    • Once the details have been entered, the mobile app will display the balance in the employee’s PF account.

    EPF Balance Check via EPFO App

    Here is a step-by-step guide to check EPF balance using the EPFO app:

    • Download the m-sewa app from the Google Play store.
    • On the mobile app, click on 'Member' and go to 'Balance/Passbook'.
    • Enter UAN and registered mobile number.
    • The app will verify the mobile number.
    • Employees can view their updated EPF balance details once the verification is completed successfully.

    How to check EPF account balance on smartphones?

    With the advent of technology, it has become easier to check one’s EPF account balance nowadays. All one needs is a smartphone and a reliable internet connection to find out the balance in an EPF account while sitting in the comfort of one’s home or office. There is no longer a need to wait for one's employer to share the EPF statement at the end of the year to find out the EPF balance. There is no paperwork involved or no time wasted in visiting a government office to view one’s EPF balance. Check one's EPF balance is vital when reviewing asset allocations and debt investments.

    An Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscriber can use the Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance (UMANG) app on his or her smartphone to view the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) passbook for checking account balance and claim settlement, and also monitoring claim status. The EPFO hosts its services on the UMANG app which was launched by the ministry of electronics and information technology. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to check EPF account balance on smartphones:

    • Step 1: Open the Google Play Store app on an Android smartphone to download the UMANG app. iPhone users can download the UMANG app from the iOS app store.
    • Step 2: After downloading the app, enter the One-Time Password (OTP) that will be sent to the smartphone. OTP is needed for signing up on the UMANG app.
    • Step 3: Enter Aadhaar number on the UMANG app. Aadhaar linking is mandatory if an EPFO subscriber wants to request online transfers or claims through the app.
    • Step 4: After the app is activated or initialised, the homepage on the app will display the EPF option.
    • Step 5: Three services are provided under the employee-centric services section of the app - view passbook, claim request for pension withdrawal (either partial withdrawal or full settlement), and track claim status.
    • Step 6: Enter the Universal Account Number (UAN) and receive an OTP on the registered phone.
    • Step 7: After entering the OTP in the app, the EPF passbook can be viewed and also downloaded in PDF format.

    How to Check EPF Balance of Exempted Establishments/Private Trusts

    Since the EPF contribution, in the case of an exempted establishment or private trust, goes to the company managed trusts rather than the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation, only the company managed trust can reveal an employee's PF account balance. There is no common method for checking PF balance when it comes to EPF accounts maintained with exempted establishments. The EPFO does not provide passbook facility for the members of exempted establishments.

    According to the Employee Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, some employers can manage their own PF schemes for their employees. Exempted establishments are large companies like Godrej, HDFC, Nestle, Wipro, TCS, Infosys, etc. that have in-house EPF trusts and are exempted from contributing their EPF corpus to the EPFO. These exempted establishments can manage the EPF corpus with their own trusts. However, these trusts are expected to provide higher returns than the EPFO-managed fund. The same rules for EPF contribution to EPFO apply to these trusts as well.

    Employees of such exempted establishments can check their EPF balance in the following 4 ways:

    1. Check your PF slip or payslip: Most big establishments, provide salary slips to their employees via internal emails. Employees can check their payslips for EPF account balance. Some companies also give EPF slip in addition to the salary slip. Employees can find their monthly contributions as well as their EPF account balance in that slip.
    2. Check the company's employee portal: Most large companies maintain a company website on which employees can login and check their EPF account balance in the EPF section. Wipro and TCS are an example of such companies that provide the online facility to check one's EPF account balance and get PF statement.
    3. Check with the company's HR department: Employees contact the company's HR department as it deals with the employees' PF and is better able to provide the related details.
    4. Track your contributions: Employees can keep track of their monthly contributions by checking their salary slips and thus calculate the annual EPF balance. Use the interest rate set by the EPFO for EPF interest calculation. Keep in mind, a fixed sum of money (up to Rs.1,250 per month) goes to the EPS account.

    While EPF balance of non-exempted establishments can be checked easily by giving a missed call or sending an SMS to the EPFO, or downloading the EPF passbook from the EPFO website, or through the UMANG app, in the case of exempted establishments, employees will have to follow the above-mentioned 4 ways. EPF statements are released by the private trusts of the exempted establishments minimum once a year. The employer has to provide the employees with the facility to check their EPF balance. If it is not provided, employees can raise a complaint.

    Steps to download EPF Passbook

    Employees can check the balance in their PF account by downloading the EPF passbook either on the EPFO member portal or on the UAN portal. The passbook displays the contribution of both the employee and the employer.

    How to download EPF Passbook on EPFO Member Portal?

    Employees can login to their EPFO Member Portal either by using their PF number or registered mobile number, date of birth, Aadhaar card number, etc. One the employee has logged into his PF account, he/she should simply click on the “download passbook” option to view their balance in the account. The passbook will display the contributions made by both the employee and the employer for the last 7 months and the total accumulation in the account.

    How to download PF Passbook on UAN Portal?

    Subscribers can follow the steps mentioned below to download EPF Passbook from the UAN portal.

    • Visit the UAN portal.
    • Enter your 12-digit UAN.
    • Click on “download passbook” on the UAN homepage.
    • Once this is done, the page will display the balance in the PF account and the contributions made by both the employee and the employer.

    What is UAN?

    In order to check EPF balance, the employee must have an active Universal Account Number (UAN). The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) allocates UAN which is a unique identity that is given to employees who contribute to the Employees’ Provident Fund. Irrespective of job changes, only one UAN is permissible per employee. UAN is given by an employer to the employee. After a job change, the EPFO allots a new member identification number to the employee. This ID will be linked to the employee's UAN. Employees can request this new member ID by furnishing their UAN to the new employer.

    UAN Activation

    • Once the employer allocates EPF UAN to an employee, he or she has to activate the number by creating login credentials on the EPFO portal.
    • The activation is completed only after the employee integrates the UAN with his or her KYC details such as mobile number, bank account, PAN, and Aadhaar.

    Things to remember when checking your EPF Balance

    • Employees can use only their registered mobile number to login to their account.
    • Only one PF account can be viewed by a single mobile number (that has been registered with the account).
    • Employees can submit multiple proof of identity when registering their account. In this way, any of their identity numbers can be used to login to their account.

    Note this while making EPF Balance Transfer

    • Employees can transfer their PF Balance from one account to another that is held by them and not another person.
    • Once the account has been opened for a minimum of 6 months, the employee can can transfer his/her EPS (Employee’s Pension Scheme) balance as well.
    • All the details (name, date of birth, father’s name, etc.) of both accounts should be the same to facilitate the transfer.
    • Once the employee decides to make the transfer, the whole amount has to be transferred from the old account to the new one. Partial transfer of the PF balance cannot be made.
    • EPFO has also launched an online submission system to facilitate the transfer of provident funds. For withdrawal of EPF amount, members can apply through their current or previous employer.

    Eligibility for EPF Scheme

    Employees earning more than Rs.6,500 a month are eligible to subscribe for the Employee’s Provident Fund scheme. That said, it is mandatory for employers having more than 20 employees in their company to be enrolled in the scheme.

    Overview about UMANG App

    The Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance or UMANG was launched in late 2017 and has applications for a number of government-run services under a single mobile application. One of these applications is the EPFO mobile app. To check one’s account balance using the UMANG app, the subscriber must download the app from the App Store or Google Play Store and install the same on their smartphone. Once installed, the subscriber must register on the app. Completing the KYC process is essential for using the UMANG app. The app requires access to the subscriber’s calls and SMS for verification purposes. To sign up to the app, the subscriber has to enter their Aadhaar number and their mobile number. Additionally, the customer will also be asked to set an MPIN as an additional security measure. To complete the registration process, the subscriber will have to enter their personal details.

    The steps to  find out your EPF balance using the UMANG app are as follows:

    • Sign in with your mobile number and Aadhaar number
    • Set up an MPIN
    • Fill in your personal details
    • Select the EPFO app from the list of other apps present
    • In the EPFO app, select Employee Centric Services.
    • Select the ‘View/Download Passbook’ option.
    • An OTP will then be sent to your mobile number
    • After entering the OTP, you will be able to view your EPF balance
    • You can also choose to download a PDF of your passbook.

    The EPFO has made it very easy for EPF subscribers to obtain information about their EPF account. Apart from providing a service to find out their account balance, these digital platforms also provide subscribers services for filing withdrawal claims and merging multiple PF accounts.

    Features & Benefits of UMANG App

    • Customers enrolled in the EPF scheme can carry out processes through the UMANG app. Customers can download their EPF Passbook, make PF Claim (for withdrawals or settlements), track the status of your claim and so on using this app. Subscribers can also claim their PF final settlement, make a partial withdrawal or a pension withdrawal. That said, in the case of claim settlement, subscribers need to update their Aadhaar to carry out the process.
    • Citizens of India can use the UMANG app to apply for a new PAN. All that the customer needs to do when applying for the PAN is to submit their Aadhaar card details as part of the e-KYC verification process. Once customers have applied for the PAN, they can check the status of their application through the app.
    • For those enrolled in the NPS (National Pension System) they can check the status of their account and the accumulation of their pension, their account details, and all the recent contributions made towards the scheme, through this app. You can also apply for change in the address some of the services using this app. Also, you can change the schemes under NPS using this app.
    • Those receiving pension can generate their digital life certificate or jeevan praman through the UMANG app.
    • Citizens looking for a job can register themselves under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana using this app. For example, the Government of Gujarat has integrated the Online Job Application System (OJAS) with UMANG to give people government job opportunities.

    For those who do not know, more than 100 government services are accessible through UMANG app and more services will be available once the revised version is rolled out the Government of India.

    EPF Balance Check via UMANG App

    Here is a step-by-step guide to check EPF balance using the UMANG app:

    • The UMANG app launched by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology can be used to view EPF passbook, EPF balance, EPF claim settlements, and status of the EPF claims.
    • Download the UMANG app from the Google Play store or iOS store.
    • A One-Time Password (OTP) is sent to the mobile or device on which the app is downloaded for registration.
    • Link Aadhaar to the app for placing claim or transfer requests.
    • The homepage of the app will have the EPF option once it is initialised.
    • The ‘Employee Centric Services’ of the app offers options like ‘view passbook’, ‘track claim status’, and ‘make claim requests’ for pension withdrawal (full and partial withdrawals) and final settlement.
    • To access the EPF details, the user has to enter the username which is the UAN and password which is the OTP that will be sent to the mobile number registered with the EPFO.
    • The EPF passbook can be viewed and downloaded in PDF format.
    • The 'General Services' offered on the UMANG app include Search Establishment, Search EPFO Office, Know Your Claim Status, Account Details on SMS, and Account Details on Missed Calls.
    • The 'Employer Centric Services' include Get Remittance Details by Establishment ID and Set TTRN Status.
    • The other services offered on the UMANG app are ‘eKYC Services’ like Aadhaar Seeding and ‘Pensioner Services’ like updating Jeevan Pramaan.

    EPF Contributions at the Rate of 10%

    PF contributions at 10% rate is applicable for people working in the following establishments:

    • A company with less than 20 employees on its payroll
    • Any organization that suffers losses equal to its entire net worth
    • Establishments coming under Jute, Beedi, Brick, Coir, and Guar Gum industries
    • Any other establishment decided by the Board of industrial and Financial Reconstruction

    Transfer EPF Balance Online

    The introduction of the UAN has made the process of EPF balance transfers seamless and transparent. As soon as the employee requests for a transfer, both the old and current employee will receive a notification to attest the transfer. On approval, the transfer will be processed within 2 weeks.

    EPF Balance for inoperative Accounts

    According to a notification issued by Government in November 2016, even the dormant accounts will continue to accrue interests and it will not be classified as inoperative anymore. EPFO had stopped paying interest to dormant accounts since 2011. But once the new amendment comes into effect, all inoperative accounts will receive interests at the rate of 8.8% per annum. Earlier, accounts turned inoperative chiefly due to two reasons—the cumbersome processes involved in EPF transfer and employees preferring to open new accounts while switching jobs. Communication gap between current and previous employers of an individual also contributes largely to the same. In cases where employees are unable to track the details of their old inoperative accounts, they can approach the EPFO help-desk and get the balance in those accounts transferred to the current one.

    New EPF withdrawal forms for easy claims

    EPFO has released new forms that facilitate the withdrawal of provident fund amount without employer attestation. These forms are known as Form 19 UAN, Form 10C UAN, and EPF Form 31 UAN respectively. This particular move by government has trimmed down the complex procedures involved while making claims and EPF transfers. Using the new EPF forms, employees can apply for final claim settlement, full withdrawal, partial withdrawal, and loans. Form 19 UAN is applicable in cases where an employee resigns from service or employer terminates the employment agreement. Form 10C UAN is used for making claims related to EPS and Form 31 is associated with partial withdrawals or advances. The preconditions for EPF withdrawal without employer signature are as follows:

    Form 11 of the employee should already be available in EPFO records
    He/she must have a valid UAN
    The bank details and Aadhaar number should be available in KYC data

    If an employee doesn’t meet the above mentioned criteria, he/she will have to make claims using the regular EPF forms—Form 19, Form 10C and Form 31.

    Provident Fund Rules for Railway Employees

    Each railway employee contributes 8.5% of his salary towards State Railway Provident Fund Account and this is inclusive of General Provident Fund (GPF) deductions. Provident Fund rules are not applicable for Railway employees who are posted on or after 01.01.2004. Voluntary PF contributions can be made subject to the condition that maximum fund recovered should not exceed balance amount. Employees are eligible to withdraw the accumulated PF amount on various occasions and the withdrawal can either be partial or full. The EPF balance of railway employees is maintained by the railway accounts department. For more details, visit the Railway Employees Information System (REIS) portal.

    Name mismatch in EPF Account

    One of the most worrying problems for employees while checking EPF status is to find a name spelled incorrectly. This however does not require much effort on the part of EPF member, and he/she can get it rectified with a few quick steps. Employees should submit an EPF name correction form along with employer’s statement and other supporting documents such as PAN card, Aadhaar card, voter id, or bank account passbook. The name change application should be addressed to the EPFO commissioner specifying the errors found in the existing employee credentials. EPFO has also introduced an option for reporting problems online, which is in its testing stage. Once the error reporting section of the website is finalized, EPF members can login with their UAN and submit an online application for name correction.

    EPF Customer Care

    EPFO has launched various mobile and web based services to solve account related queries and to help customers know their EPF status with ease. You may register your grievances by dialing the EPFO India helpline number 1800118005. The PF regulator is also strengthening its social media presence to handle grievances and requests from members. Currently, both Facebook and Twitter handle of EPFO is receiving suggestions, feedback, complaints, all of which are attended within 24 hours by the officials of regional centers. As of May 2016, the Facebook page and Twitter account of EPFO have around 3500 and 700 followers respectively. The social networking platform comes as an additional support to the online public grievance addressing system of regional EPF centers. You can get information about regional offices by visiting the EPFO website.

    Tax Deductions for EPF accounts with & without PAN

    Government has introduced a new section in the Finance Act 2015, whereby PF withdrawals will be subjected to tax deductions. It has also increased the threshold of PF withdrawals from Rs.30,000 to Rs.50,000. As per the new rule, all withdrawals over Rs.50,000 will be taxable at source if the employee has served for less than 5 years. Even individuals below the taxable income range will have to ante up 34% towards ‘PF withdrawal tax’. However, if the EPF account of the employee is linked with PAN, then the rate of deductions will be 10% per annum, and for those without PAN it will be straight 34.6%. If an EPF member has filed a declaration using Form 15G or H at the time of joining, tax deductions will not be applicable for withdrawals below Rs.2,50,000. It is also to be noted that PF amounts withdrawn owing to bad health, business failure, or any such emergencies are exempted from the above rule. Therefore, it is ideal that you save your taxes by securing your EPF balance with PAN number.

    EPFO Digital Signatures for employers

    Center has urged all organizations covered under the EPF scheme to apply for digital signatures. In a statement issued by EPFO, it was notified that all establishments should submit the required documents after signing them digitally. This will serve as a medium for easy verification of UAN data. Employers can upload their digital signatures through the Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP) of EPFO. Organizations exempted from the EPF scheme are required to file e-returns on a periodic basis.

    How to download EPF Balance slips

    At the end of each salary period, annual statements of PF accounts will be made available in the EPFO website, which can be downloaded by employers through the E-Sewa portal . Discussed below is a step by step process to download EPF balance statement.

    • In your web browser type the url http://epfindia.gov.in/
    • In the EPFO home page, click on the link “For Employers”
    • Further under the services listed in the page, select “ECR/Challan Submission”
    • It will navigate to the “Employer E-Sewa” page
    • Click on the “Employer E-Sewa” link given in the page and sign in using your credentials
    • In the downloads tab, select download PF slips and choose your desired located to save the pdf.

    EPF Tax Exemption

    According to Budget 2016-17 announcement, PF Withdrawal will continue to be exempted from tax and only the interest accruing on 60% of employee contributions after 1 April, 2016 will be taxable. The remaining 40% of PF corpus will be excluded from tax under recognized PF and NPS. However, the aforementioned rule is not applicable to employees whose monthly income is below Rs.15,000.

    Government initiative to enhance EPF membership

    EPFO is expected to launch a massive drive throughout the country in 2017 with aim to increase member enrollments. The regulator had already conducted awareness campaigns underscoring Aadhaar issuance and bank account opening. According to a survey, only 50% of the EPF contributors have a valid bank account. In light of the same, EPFO has directed regional offices to ensure that all employee provident fund accounts are linked with Aadhaar number and bank account. Also, a centralized system for maintenance of all EPF related information is underway.

    EPF Claim Settlement

    Government has issued guidelines on PF settlements under which all EPF death claims will be settled within 7 days from the date of application and retirement claims before the date of retirement. EPFO has also directed all field offices and officials to examine the requests and guide the claimants regarding essential documents to support the claim.


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    News on EPF

    • Aadhaar not Mandatory for EPF Contribution

      The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had issued a notification stating that the Aadhaar number is not mandatory for EPF subscribers. The circular was issued in light of the recent Supreme Court judgement regarding the constitutional validity of the Aadhaar.

      EPF subscribers were previously required to seed their Aadhaar details with their EPF Universal Account Number (UAN). The Aadhaar card was recognised as the most efficient way to identify individuals for online transactions, which is one of the reasons why it was mandated by the EPFO for its KYC procedure.

      Subscribers were previously penalised for not seeding their Aadhaar details with their EPF account but with the new circular issued by the EPFO has negated the procedure.

      2 November 2018

    • It is easy to check EPF Balance on your smartphone

      Checking your EPF balance has become easier now, as you can check on it anytime and anywhere. All you need is a smartphone with internet access and the UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) app installed in it. The UMANG app is available for both Android and iOS devices. Open the app and register with the OTP sent to your device. Once the registration process is completed, you can find the EPF option. Go to the EPF services option. The app currently offers three services: Viewing the passbook, raising a claim for pension withdrawal, and tracking the status of a claim. Simply login using your UAN and an OTP. Now you will be able to view and download your EPF passbooks.

      23 May 2018

    • Employer Contribution towards EPF for new Employees to be Subsidized

      The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved an amendment to the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) that the government would pay the complete employer contribution towards the EPF. This is applicable for three years and strictly for the new employees that join the workforce.

      In the circular issued by the Directorate General of Employment, the government would be contributing the full amount of the EPF and the EPS for the next three years. The scheme would be in effect from 1 April, 2018. The last date for registration to avail the benefit is 1 May 2019.

      At present, the government pays 8.33% of the employers’ EPF contribution for all new employees in the workforce from April 2016. As per the government’s records, approximately 31 lakh beneficiaries have registered to the scheme.

      4 May 2018

    • Employment Pension Scheme Minimum Amount to Double

      With a number of protests especially from Government employees, the Government has finally decided to increase the minimum Employment Pension scheme wages to Rs.2,000. Previously, the minimum wages of the scheme was set at Rs.1,000 and subscribers to the scheme protested saying that the wages weren’t enough and that the Government hasn’t been doing much to help the cause. The minimum wage for the Employee Pension Scheme was set in September 1, 2014 and since then, there has been no increase in the said wages, causing tempers to flair amongst government employees. To keep them calm, the Government has decided to increase the minimum wages of this scheme after they made an evaluation of the funds. Now, depending on the contribution made by the employee, the minimum wages will be set between Rs.2,000 and Rs.2,500. For employees enrolled in the EPF’s special scheme - EPF95 - the minimum wages has been set to Rs.7,500 from the previous Rs.5,000 minimum wage limit under the scheme.

      9 April 2018

    • Is the EPF Minimum Monthly Payment Likely to Double?

      In its 34th report, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labor suggested the government assess the minimum monthly payment under the Employee Pension Fund of 1995. The report states that the minimum monthly payment of Rs 1,000 is insufficient to fulfill even the most basic necessities of pensioners. In response to the suggestion in the report, the government plans on doubling the current minimum monthly payment to Rs 2,000. If the plan is implemented, it is likely to cost the government approximately Rs 1,600 crore. However, if the plan is set into motion, roughly 40 lakh pensioners are stand to benefit from its implementation. The demand for an increase in the minimum monthly pension payments is one that has been made several times over the years.

      21 March 2018

    • Government to pay 12% of the employees contribution for new employees

      Following the Union Budget of 2018, which has taken place on February 1, 2018, the Government has made a move that will not only increase the popularity of the EPF but will surely increase its reach across the country. At the Union Budget, the Government announced that they would instead make the 12% contribution towards the the EPF scheme for new employees for the next three years. This will ensure that new employees will be fixated to the scheme, and their employers will carry out the additional 12% contribution as usual.

      2 February 2018

    • Union Budget 2018 to benefit senior citizens

      In order to ease the troubles of senior citizens in the country, the Union Budget of 2018 rolled out a number of benefits for them. Now, senior citizens are exempt from tax upto Rs.50,000 for investments made in banks and post offices from the previous Rs.10,000. In addition, no TDS will be deducted for fixed deposits and recurring deposits, and the tax deduction limit in the health and medical sectors have been increased from Rs.30,000 to Rs.50,000. In the case of critical illnesses, the tax deduction limit has been raised between Rs.60,000 to Rs.1 lakh, depending on the age of the senior citizen. For those enrolled in the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana, the investment limit has been raised to Rs.15 lakh to help senior citizens in the country save for all their necessities.

      2 February 2018

    • Government likely to increase EPFO Equity Investment Limit to 25%

      According to a report from the Economic Times, the investment towards the government is likely to increase from 15% to 25%. At present, 15% of the annual influx made towards the provident fund is invested in Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) equities. The increase in the expected returns and decline in debt has been sighted as the reason for the government’s tentative decision. In the 2017 financial year, equity returns exceed by 13.5%, while debt was on 8.5% as compared to the 8.65% that was estimated for 2017.

      The EPFO’s equity allocation is likely to increase to Rs 50,000 crore if the proposal is accepted. At present, the EPFO over Rs 22,000 has been invested in ETFs, with an increase from Rs 6,577 crore in 2016 to Rs 14982 crore in 2017. The proposal will have to be approved by the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees in order to be executed. If approved the plan would replace the government mandate of 2015 when 5% to 15% was to be invested in equity and other associated investments.

      31 January 2018

    • Government reduced interest rates on its schemes

      In what could be a set back to millions of subscribers, the Government has reduced the interest rate by 0.2% for all Government schemes - including Public Provident Fund (PPF) and Kisan Vikas Patra (KVP), by 0.2 percentage point for the fourth quarter of the fiscal. According to a source, the PPF and NSCs will earn 7.6 per cent interest from January 1, 2018, while KVPs will earn even less (7.3 per cent), a Finance Ministry notification said on Wednesday. Prior to the reduction, the  PPF, NSC and KVP were offering 7.8, 7.8 and 7.5 per cent interest, respectively. In addition, while the Senior Citizens Savings Scheme of five-year period will offer 8.3 percent interest, the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana for the girl child will now offer 8.1 per cent. Lastly, the government retained the interest on savings deposits at 4 percent, compounded annually.

      29 December 2017

    • Government of India all set to roll out Gratuity Bill

      In what would be a relief for all workers, the Government is all set to roll out a gratuity act. According to the Lok Sabha, the Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced by labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in the House, amid continued sloganeering by opposition members and counter-slogans by those of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The act was enacted to provide for gratuity payment to employees engaged in factories, mines, oilfields, plantations, ports, railway companies, shops or other establishments. It is applicable to employees who have completed at least five years of continuous service in an establishment that has ten or more persons. Apparently, the proposal comes against the backdrop of the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 enhancing the maximum maternity leave period to 26 weeks. The Lok Sabha responded by saying that it is therefore proposed to empower the central government to enhance the period of existing twelve weeks to such period as may be notified by it. The Lok Sabha ended the session by saying that It has also been proposed to empower the central government to notify the ceiling proposed, instead of amending the said Act, so that the limit can be revised from time to time keeping in view the increase in wage and inflation, and future Pay Commissions.

      29 December 2017

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