According to the latest EPFO law and rule, 75% of the total EPF corpus can be withdrawn after around a month of unemployment has passed. The remaining percentage of 25% is completely transferable and can be done so to a new account.
New EPF Withdrawal Rules 2020
The EPF account consists of contributions from the employer and employee. However, the money in an EPF account cannot be withdrawn at whim.
Here are 10 important rules about EPF withdrawal:
- Money from the EPF account cannot be withdrawn during employment, unlike a bank account. EPF is a long-term retirement savings scheme. The money can be withdrawn only after retirement.
- Partial withdrawal from EPF accounts is permitted in the case of an emergency such as medical emergency, house purchase or construction, and higher education. Partial withdrawal is subject to limits depending on the reason. The account holder can request online for partial withdrawal.
- Although the EPF corpus can be withdrawn only after retirement, early retirement is not considered until the person reaches 55 years of age. EPFO allows withdrawal of 90% of the EPF corpus 1 year before retirement, provided the person is not less than 54 years old.
- The EPF corpus can be withdrawn if a person faces unemployment before retirement due to lock-down or retrenchment.
- The EPF subscriber has to declare unemployment in order to withdraw the EPF amount.
- As per the new rule, EPFO allows withdrawal of 75% of the EPF corpus after 1 month of unemployment. The remaining 25% can be transferred to a new EPF account after gaining new employment.
- As per the old rule, 100% EPF withdrawal is allowed after 2 months of unemployment.
- EPF corpus withdrawal is exempted from tax but under certain conditions. Tax exemption on EPF corpus is permitted only if an employee contributes to the EPF account for 5 continuous years. The EPF amount is taxable if there is a break in the contribution to the account for 5 continuous years. In that case, the entire EPF amount will be considered as taxable income for that financial year.
- Tax is deducted at source on premature withdrawal of the EPF corpus. However, if the entire amount is less than Rs.50,000, then TDS is not applicable. Keep in mind, if an employee provides PAN with the application, the applicable TDS rate is 10%. Otherwise, it is 30% plus tax. Form 15H/15G is a declaration form, which states that a person's total income is not taxable and thus, TDS is avoidable.
- An employee does not have to await approval from the employer for EPF withdrawal anymore. It can be done directly from the EPFO, provided the employee's UAN and Aadhaar are linked, and the employer has approved it. EPF withdrawal status can be checked online.
Types of PF Withdrawals
Subscribers can make three different types of PF withdrawals on the EPFO member portal. They are:
- PF final settlement
- PF partial withdrawal
- Pension withdrawal benefit
Subscribers can make the above-listed withdrawals on the EPFO member portal with the attestation of their employer if they have seeded their Aadhaar card details with their UAN.
PF Withdrawal Rules
In order to ensure that employees continue to be enrolled in the scheme and avoid making withdrawals from their PF corpus and instead save it for the future or for retirement, EPFO has listed a number of PF withdrawal rules. They are as follows.
- All withdrawals made before completion of 5 years of continuous service are subject to tax. Withdrawals after completion of 5 years of continuous service in the EPF are tax-free.
- In case the employee was terminated or is unemployed as a result of ill-health and so on, withdrawals will not attract tax.
- If the employee makes a withdrawal before the completion of 5 continuous years in the scheme, the principal amount as well as the interest accrued, is subject to tax. That said, the amount will be taxable in the current financial year.
- For withdrawals before completion of 5 continuous years towards the scheme, the employee will be taxed 30% of the principal amount and the interest accrued if he/she has not submitted their PAN to the EPFO authorities. If the employee has submitted his/her PAN details to the EPFO authorities, 10% TDS (tax deducted at source) will be applicable.
- Funds transferred from one’s PF account towards the National Pension Scheme (NPS) will not attract tax when one makes a withdrawal.
- If the employee shifts jobs and in the process has different PF account, it will be considered as continuous service to the scheme provided there has been no gap in contributions.
- Employees have to facilitate the use of the Composite Claims Form to make a partial withdrawal or a final settlement claim.
- If the employee has seeded his/her Aadhaar card details with their UAN, they can submit the Composite Claims Form to make a withdrawal directly to the EPFO without the requirement of the attestation of their employer. Those who have not seeded their Aadhaar card details with their UAN have to submit the Composite Claims Form with the attestation of their employer to make a withdrawal.
PF Withdrawal Procedure
With the amendments made by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), now subscribers to the scheme do not require the attestation of their employer to make a partial or complete withdrawal. All that the subscriber has to ensure is that his/her UAN is seeded with their Aadhaar card details. The EPFO has also rolled out the Composite Claims Form, which can be used to request for a partial or complete withdrawal. Subscribers can carry out the whole process of making a withdrawal online either on the EPFO member portal or on the UAN portal.
PF Withdrawal Claim Forms
The PF Withdrawal Claim Forms that need to be submitted to withdraw the provident fund or pension fund vary based on the age, reason for making the claim, and whether or not the employee is still in service. Earlier, Form 19, Form 31, and Form 10C were used to make withdrawals. But recently, a composite claim form has replaced the above-mentioned forms. The forms that required the UAN details of the employee have now been replaced with a composite claim form that requires the Aadhaar details of the employee.
As mentioned earlier, the PF claim form that needs to be submitted varies based on certain criteria.
Criteria's for PF Withdrawal
1. When an employee is still under service
- If he/she wishes to take an advance from the PF account, the composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar) has to be submitted.
- If he/she wishes to finance his/her LIC policy through the PF account, Form 14 has to be submitted.
- If he/she has crossed 58 years of age and wishes to claim the pension fund.
- Form 10D should be applied for a monthly pension if 10 years of eligible service has been completed.
- The composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar) should be submitted if 10 years of eligible service has not been completed.
2. When an employee switches the job
- And wishes to transfer EPF account, Form 13 should be applied
- When an employee leaves an establishment and doesn’t join another
- He/she can make a PF and pension fund claim using the composite claim form (Aadhar/Non-Aadhar)
- Is above the age of 58, and has completed 10 years of eligible service, he/she can make a PF claim using the composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar) and a pension claim using Form 10D
3. When an employee leaves an establishment due to a physical disability
- He/she can make a PF claim using composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar).
- He/she can make a pension claim using Form 10D.
- Is above the age of 58 and has not completed 10 years of eligible service, he/she can make the PF and pension claim using the composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar).
4. When an employee is deceased while in service
- Before the age of 58 while still in service, the nominee/heir/beneficiary can apply for the PF settlement using Form 20, monthly pension using Form 10D, and EDLI (Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance) amount using Form 5IF.
- After the age of 58 and had completed 10 years of eligible service, the nominee/heir/beneficiary can claim the PF using Form 20, the pension using Form 10D, and the EDLI amount using Form 5IF.
- After the age of 58 and had not completed 10 years of eligible service, the nominee/heir/beneficiary can make the PF settlement using Form 20, withdraw the pension using the composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar), and claim the EDLI amount using Form 5IF.
5. When an employee is deceased
- Before the age of 58, the nominee/heir/beneficiary may claim the PF amount through Form 20, and pension amount through Form 10D.
- After the age of 58 and had completed 10 years of eligible service, the nominee/heir/beneficiary can claim the PF amount using Form 20, and the pension amount using Form 10D.
- After the age of 58 and had not completed 10 years of eligible service at the age of 58, the nominee, heir or beneficiary can apply for a final PF settlement using Form 20 and for the pension fund using the composite claim form (Aadhaar/Non-Aadhaar).
Reasons for PF withdrawal
Subscribers can make a complete or partial withdrawal under the following circumstances:
- If the member has reached the age of retirement.
- If he/she needs to fund their house construction or pay their home loan.
- To cover medical expenses.
- To cover a wedding or education expenses.
- If they have been unemployed for a duration of more than 60 days or two months.
- If they wish to move permanently abroad.
- If a female employee is resigning due to reasons such as pregnancy, childbirth, getting married, etc.
Limits of EPF Partial Withdrawal
Employees can make withdrawals based on the below-listed circumstances. Listed below are the withdrawal purpose, the minimum service requirement to be eligible to make the withdrawal, the PF withdrawal limit and the relations for who the employee can make the withdrawal.
|PF withdrawal reason||Minimum service||PF Withdrawal Limit||Relations|
|House Construction or purchase of plot||5 years||24 times the monthly salary for purchasing/36 times the monthly salary for purchase and construction, or the cost of the property or the total of employee and employer’s shares with the interest amount, whichever is less||The PF account holder and spouse or joint|
|Home Loan Repayment||3 years||90% of PF balance||The PF account holder and spouse or joint|
|House renovation or alteration||5 years from completion of construction of a house||12 times the monthly salary||The PF account holder and spouse or joint|
|Marriage||7 years||50% of the employee’s contribution with interest||The PF account holder, siblings, and children|
|Medical treatment||Not required||Employee’s share with interest or 6 times the monthly salary, whichever is lower||The PF account holder, parents, spouse, or children|
Requirements for PF Withdrawal
To ensure the process of making a withdrawal is seamless, subscribers have to meet the requirements that are listed below, if they wish to carry out a withdrawal without the attestation of their employer.
- Subscribers have to ensure that their UAN is active and their mobile number is seeded with their PF account.
- The PF member should also seed his/her Aadhaar card details with their PF account.
- The member’s bank account details and the bank’s IFSC code has to be integrated as well.
- For final settlements prior to completion of 5 years in the EPF scheme, the member will be required to seed his/her PAN details.
- Check out for more about PF Withdrawal Guidelines
Steps for EPF Balance Withdrawal Online
Employees can make a PF withdrawal claim on the EPFO member portal by following the steps mentioned below. As already mentioned, if the employee has seeded his/her Aadhaar card details with one’s UAN account, they do not require the attestation of their employer to make a PF withdrawal.
All cumbersome paperwork related to withdrawal of EPF account may be a thing of the past. EPFO aims to launch an online facility for PF withdrawal in 2016. EPFO, which currently has over five crore members, is planning to settle PF claims in three hours after receipt of a withdrawal application (online application will be transferred to the bank accounts of subscribers). To the end, EPFO has become UIDAI’s registrar. While around 92 lakh subscribers provided their Aadhaar numbers, EPFO verified around 64 lakh numbers so far (as of October 2015) for linking it with UANs.
- Visit the EPFO member portal.
- Choose the “For Employees” option under the “Our Services” tab.
- On the new webpage click on the “Member UAN/Online Service (OCS/OTCP)” option under the “Services” tab of the “For Employees” page.
- This will redirect you to a new webpage. Log in to the portal using your UAN, password, and the Captcha code.
- Click on the “KYC” option under the “Manage” tab.
- You will be redirected to a new webpage. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the “Digitally Approved KYC” section and check your KYC details. Ensure the details are correct.
- Click on the “Online Service” tab from the top menu to proceed with the withdrawal if all the KYC details are correct.
- Click on the “CLAIM (FORM-31, 19 & 10C)” option from the drop down menu.
- You will be redirected to a new webpage with an automatically generated “ONLINE CLAIM (FORM 31, 19 & 10C)” form.
- You will be required to enter the Last 4 digits of your registered bank account number and verify the same.
- After the verification of the bank account, a “Certificate of Undertaking” will be generated. Click “Yes” on the certificate pop-up to proceed.
- Click on the “Proceed for Online Claim” option when prompted.
- For online fund withdrawal, select the “PF ADVANCE (FORM - 31)” option from the drop-down menu provided next to the “I want to apply for” option.
- A reason for claim has to be selected from the drop-down options provided next to the “Purpose for which advance is required” option. The fields provided for the address of the employee and the amount for advance is also required to be filled up.
- Click on the checkbox at the end of the page and submit your withdrawal application.
- You might be required to upload certain scanned documents (depends on the nature of withdrawal).
- Once the employer approves the withdrawal request, the withdrawal amount will be withdrawn from the EPF account and will be deposited to the respective bank account. Once the claim has been settled, you will receive an SMS notification on your registered mobile number.
Tax-Free Limit for PF Withdrawals
When you make PF withdrawals, you can enjoy tax exemptions. However, this is applicable only when you make a withdrawal after offering 5 years of continuous service. It is also determined by the tax slab that is applicable to you. If you withdraw your PF balance before the completion of 5 years, then tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax will be applied on your funds.
However, no tax will be levied on EPF withdrawals before 5 years in certain cases depending on the situation. They are:
- When you need to withdraw funds for medical emergencies or health issues that cannot be avoided
- When your full PF amount is lower than Rs.50,000
- When you withdraw your PF balance with Form 15G or Form 15H (If you submit PAN, then there will be a TDS at 10%)
- When you transfer your PF balance from a PF account to another account
- When the employer’s business is withdrawn
PF Partial Withdrawal for Medical Purposes
The EPFO recently started allowing its members to partially withdraw their PF balance for emergencies. These emergencies can be medical emergencies, educational requirements, wedding arrangements, house construction, and so on.
As an EPF member, you can withdraw your PF amount for medical treatments for yourself or your family members. All this while, individuals were required to furnish a medical certificate or doctor’s certificate with their partial PF withdrawal form. However, after the recent EPFO update, individuals will not have to present a medical certificate or any other document in order to withdraw PF amounts partially. As per amendments made on paragraph 68-J and under paragraph 68-N of EPF Scheme 1952, one can make a self-declaration and withdraw funds partially. This amendment also applies to differently abled members.
You can choose ‘self-declaration’ in your EPF Composite Claim form. Moreover, there is no minimum number of years of service to be met in order to make a withdrawal.
Online Grievances Portal for PF Withdrawal
If you want to register any grievance regarding the services provided by the EPFO, you can visit the EPF grievance management system online. In this system, you can file a grievance, send a reminder, check the status of your complaint or grievance, upload your grievance document, or even change your password.
How to register a grievance?
- You will have to go the EPFO Grievance Management System and click on ‘Register Grievance’.
- You will then see a grievance registration form. Here, you will have to fill all the required fields accurately.
- You will need to choose your status from the drop-down option.
- Next, you will have to key in your PF number, your establishment, address of establishment, name of complainant, contact details, grievance details, etc. You can then enter the captcha code and click ‘Submit’.
Types of EPFO grievances
You can register a grievance when you face issues associated with:
- Return of cheque or misplacement of cheque
- Scheme certificate (10C)
- Transfer of your PF accumulations (F-13)
- Settlement of your pension (10-D)
- Provision of PF balance or PF slip
You can file a grievance online and then check its status on the portal itself. In case your complaint is not resolved within the stipulated period of time, you can send a reminder to them by clicking on ‘Send Reminder’. Here, you will need to enter your grievance registration number and password (if you have any).
FAQs on PF Withdrawal Rules
EPF members can make advance withdrawals from their PF accounts for certain specific reasons. The list below gives the reason for which one may make an advance withdrawal online, and also the number of times one may do so online:
- When making a PF withdrawal to fund a marriage, it can be done only 3 times.
- The same limit applies when one withdraws their PF in advance to pursue their post-matriculation education.
- One can only make a one-time PF advance claim when they wish to use the amount to purchase a plot or house or wish to construct a house.
- If the PF is being withdrawn in advance before retirement, to fund any medical emergency or for treatment of a critical illness, there is no absolute limit on the number of withdrawals.
Only when it is withdrawn after an employment tenure of 5 years, EPF will be exempt from tax. That is not the case if the withdrawal is made before one completes a service period of 5 years. In the latter case, the amount being withdrawn will be taxed. The purpose that the Form 15G/H serves is that it saves one from having TDS deducted from their EPF withdrawal amount.
Yes, one can claim their EPF amount without having to go through the EPFO Portal. To do so offline, one will be required to get a Composite Claim Form, fill it in completely and submit the same.
It is absolutely essential for individuals looking to make a partial withdrawal from their EPF account to provide their PAN details. Failure to do so may attract TDS at the rate of 30% or more. However, if PAN is provided, the rate of TDS applicable shall be 10%.
The primary reason is that EPFO is a long-term investment programme. It helps members in building a retirement corpus. Hence, it does not allow anybody to withdraw their EPF balance while they are working with an organisation or establishment.
Yes, you can withdraw your PF in parts for emergency situations, which can be medical requirements, house construction, educational needs, etc. The limit for partial withdrawal will depend on your reason. To be eligible for a partial withdrawal, you will need to meet a particular minimum service limit.
As per the latest EPFO regulations, individuals who are terminated from their job will be allowed to make a withdrawal of 75% of their accumulated corpus. This can be done after 1 month from when they are terminated. Earlier, one was not permitted to make a withdrawal post 1 month. If the individual remains unemployed for a tenure of 2 months, then he or she will be allowed to withdraw the other 25% and settle the PF amount completely.
You can withdraw your entire PF corpus only after you retire. You will be allowed to retire only after you are 55 years old. If you retire before you attain this age, you will not be permitted to receive your entire corpus. However, you are entitled to obtain 90% of your EPF corpus 1 year before you retire. You need to note that your age cannot be lower than 54.
Is there any tax exemption on EPF withdrawals?
If you have provided 5 years of continuous service with an establishment and with your PF account, then you can enjoy a tax exemption on your EPF withdrawal. However, if you withdraw before you give 5 years of uninterrupted service, you will then be required to pay taxes on the withdrawn amount.
Do I need my employer’s sanction to withdraw my EPF amount?
No, you do not need to get a consent from your employer in order to withdraw your EPF amount. You can go ahead with the withdrawal process directly from the EPFO. However, your Aadhaar and UAN need to be linked, and should be authorised by your employer compulsorily. Once the Aadhaar and UAN have been authenticated accurately, the EPFO member will receive the funds directly from the EPFO.
I want to withdraw my EPF accrued from my previous company, but my current organisation’s PF number is also linked to the same UAN as the previous one. Is there a way to do so online?
If you are employed currently and your current organisation has opened a new PF account for you which is linked to your previous organisation’s UAN, you won’t be eligible to withdraw your PF balance accrued with your previous employer. In this case, it is recommended that you transfer your previous employer’s EPF balance to the new account. This can be done easily with the help of the EPF Member e-Sewa Portal. Log in to the portal, go to the tab labelled ‘Online Services’ and click. Next you will see a drop-down menu from which you must locate and click on the option labelled “One Member-One EPF Account (Transfer Request)”. Please also note that if remain unemployed for a period of over two months, you will be eligible to claim your entire EPF balance after filling up and submitting Form 19.