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.
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 balance. 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.
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.
Structure of the 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
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:
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.
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.
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.
Check EPF balance online using UAN
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.
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 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.
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.
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 and 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 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 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 and 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.