Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is a non-charter organisation that encourages employees to save for retirement. The organisation was founded in 1951 and is ruled by the Department of Labor and Employment of the Government of India.
The organisation’s schemes cover both Indian and international employees.
Table of Contents
- EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization): Overview
- Universal Account Number (UAN): Overview
- EPFO Services
- EPF Benefits
- EPF Eligibility
- How to Check EPF Balance?
- Types of EPF Forms
- EPF Passbook
- EPFO account holders can update their exit dates online after a job change
- Importance of updating the exit date
- PF Withdrawal Online
- EPF withdrawal without employer signature
- EPF Claim Status
- EPFO digital signature
- EPFO grievance
- EPFO KYC
EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization): Overview
The Ministry of Finance announced during the Union Budget 2021 that the tax-free repayment for Unit-Linked Insurance Schemes (ULIPs) and Provident Funds (PFs) has been limited to Rs.2.5 lakh each.
Previously, the company’s contribution to PF was limited to Rs.7.5. Contributions exceeding Rs.2.5 lakh are now taxable when the PF amount is withdrawn.
Previously, the maturity amount was not taxable if you paid just under 10% of the total liability insurance. However, the government will now tax any amount over Rs.2.5 lakh.
The EPFO’s primary goals are as follows:
- To ensure that each employee only has one EPF account.
- Compliance must be made simple.
- Ensure that organisations follow all of the EPFO’s rules and regulations regularly.
- To ensure the dependability of online services and to improve their facilities.
- All member accounts should be easily accessible online.
- Claim settlement times will be lowered from 20 to 3 days.
- Encouragement and promotion of voluntary compliance
Universal Account Number (UAN): Overview
All EPF subscribers have online access to their PF accounts and can perform functions such as withdrawal and checking their EPF balance. Universal Account Number (UAN) simplifies access to the EPFO member portal.
EPFO assigns each member a 12-digit number known as the UAN. Even if an employee changes jobs, his or her UAN remains the same. When a member’s job changes, the member ID keeps changing, and the new ID is connected to the UAN. Employees must, however, stimulate their UAN in an attempt to use the services online.
Your employer can provide you with your UAN. If you cannot do so, you can easily find the UAN by logging in to the UAN gateway (https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/). With your member ID, you can find the UAN
The following are a few of the services provided by the EPFO:
- Helpdesk for Inoperative Transactions – The EPFO established the Inoperative Account balances Online Helpdesk in February 2015 to assist employees in tracking dormant and old non-functional accounts that do not accrue interest. Employees can monitor these accounts and withdraw or transfer funds to the permanent Member ID. Employees must provide basic information about their former employers to track inactive accounts.
- Online EPF withdrawal – With the assistance of the UAN, the EPF drawdown amount can be done easily online. Workers who have been out of work for more than two months are qualified to retract their EPF contributions.
- International workers can create a Credential of Coverage – EPF members working in countries with Social Security Contractual arrangements with India can start generating a Certificate of Insurance using the EPFO’s online centralised software.
- Monthly yields for exempted institutions – With EPFO’s newly launched IT tool, exempted establishments can easily file their returns online.
- UMANG App – For EPF members, the EPFO has initiated the Unified Smartphone Application for Innovative Governance (UMANG). Workers can use their UAN and passcodes to access the UMANG app. The UMANG app provides various functions, such as viewing EPF passbooks and updating profile information.
- EPF online transfer – EPF The UAN can be used to transfer funds from the employee’s prior Member ID to the existing one. The procedure is painless, paperless, and straightforward.
- Establishments can sign up online – The EPFO portal can be used to complete the Web-based Registration of Institutions. Employees also benefit from the online availability of the PF password admission letter.
- Online PF payments – All organisations are required to make PF payments online. Currently, the EPFO has agreements with HDFC Bank, Bank of Baroda, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Union Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, Union Bank of India, Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, Indian Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB), and State Bank of India (SBI) are the banks which is authorised to collect the dues of EPFO.
- Members who have stimulated their UAN can obtain their PF balance, prior contribution, KYC status, and other information by sending a text message to 7738299899 or making a call back to 011-22901406. Companies will also receive a text message if EPF is not paid.
- Assert status and passbook – With the assistance of the UAN, EPFO users can see the current state of their statements and perspectives and browse the EPF passbook.
- Grievances – If a member has a problem with paying their pension, transferring their PF, or withdrawing their PF, they can file a complaint online. Grievances are a primary concern for the EPFO, and they’re resolved quickly.
80% of complaints are resolved within seven days, and 97% are resolved within fifteen days. Because of constant monitoring of EPF frustrations, complaints have decreased from 20,000 to 2,000-2500 per day.
The following are the advantages of the EPF scheme:
- It aids in long-term financial savings.
- There is no need to invest in a single, large investment. Deductions are made from the worker’s monthly wages, allowing for significant savings over time.
- It can provide financial assistance to an employee in an emergency.
- It aids in retirement savings and allows an individual to maintain a comfortable lifestyle.
- The following are the eligibility requirements for joining the EPF scheme:
- Salaried employees are earning less than Rs.15,000 monthly are required to sign up for an EPF account.
- According to the law, if an organisation has more than 20 employees, it must enrol for the EPF scheme.
- Organizations with fewer than 20 employees may also participate in the EPF scheme voluntarily.
- Employees earning more than Rs.15,000 also can open an EPF account; even so, they must first obtain permission from the Associate PF Commissioner.
- The provisions of the EPF scheme are available to the entire country of India (except for the state of Jammu and Kashmir).
How to Check EPF Balance?
- You can check your EPF balance using one of four methods:
- Using the EPFO platform – Checking your EPF balance via the EPFO member gateway is simple. You must log in to EPF utilising your UAN and security code. After logging in, the EPF balance will be displayed under the member identification number.
- Using the UMANG software – You can use your mobile phone to check your EPF balance by downloading the Unified Smartphone Application for Innovative Governance (UMANG) app. This app also allows you to file and track claims.
- Using a missed call service – You can check your EPF balance by placing a missed call to 011-22901406 from your registered number.
Types of EPF Forms
|Type of Form||Use of the form|
|Form 31||It is also known as the PF Advance Form. It can be utilised for obtaining withdrawals, loans, and advances from the EPF account.|
|Form 10D||This form can be used for availing of a monthly pension.|
|Form 10C||This form is utilised to claim benefits under the EPF scheme. Form 10C is used to withdraw the employer’s funds contributing towards EPS.|
|Form 13||This form transfers your PF amount from your previous job to your current one. This helps in maintaining all the PF money under one account.|
|Form 19||This form is utilised to claim the final settlement of the EPF account.|
|Form 20||Family members can use this form to withdraw the PF amount in case the account holder passes away.|
|Form 51F||This form can be utilised by a nominee to claim the benefits of the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance|
- You can verify your EPF account balances and print/download them using the EPF passbook service. The EPF passbook is available to all members enrolled on their UAN on the EPFO portal. The EPFO passbook contains information such as the employee’s name, incorporation ID, EPF scheme
EPFO account holders can update their exit dates online after a job change
After changing jobs, the EPFO has now facilitated a feature on its official website that enables users to change their “date of exit” online. Previously, employees had no access to this facility. Employers were the only ones who could update their evacuation dates online.
How to Update Your Exit Date Online
- Visit the official website of the EPFO.
- Log in with your Universal Account Number (UAN) and password.
- Navigate to the “Manage” section.
- Select “Mark Exit.”
- This will bring up a dropdown menu titled “Select Employment,” from which you can choose your PF account number.
- Fill in your exit date and reason for leaving.
- “Request OTP” should be selected. The OTP will be delivered to the mobile phone number associated with your Aadhaar card.
- Enter your OTP.
- Mark the checkbox
- Click “Update” and then “Ok.”
- You will get a notification verifying that the exit period has been successfully updated. Now go to the “View” section and the “Service History” section.
- You can now see the dates you joined and left your EPS and EPF accounts.
- Please remember that you can only mark your date of departure after two months of departing from your job.
Importance of updating the exit date
It is critical to keep your exit date up to date for claim filings and settlements. Suppose your exit date is not updated or is incorrectly stated. In that case, your employment will not be considered continuous, and you will be required to pay tax on the interest received during the interim period.
PF Withdrawal Online
It is possible to withdraw a portion of your EPF account for purchasing a home, wedding, or medical expenses. The cause for the withdrawal will determine the amount that can be removed. It should be mentioned that there is a lock-in time for partial withdrawal, which varies depending on the reason.
Under some conditions, the whole PF amount can be withdrawn. Some of them include retirement age, resigning owing to permanent complete mental/physical impairment, permanent transfer to other nations, the death of a member, and so on.
A few of the causes why EPF should not be taken before 5 years of service are as follows:
- Section 80C advantages are not available: If an individual has claimed benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act and withdraws their whole PF amount, the interest collected on the employee’s contribution must be taxed.
- The following sum will be taxed: If a PF withdrawal is made within the first 5 years of service, the amount taken is added to the taxable income. If the amount withdrawn is greater than Rs.50,000 and the withdrawal is made within 5 years, the money is taxed at 10%. Individuals are exempt from paying this sum if they file Forms 15G and 15H with the Income Tax (IT) Department.
EPF withdrawal without employer signature
Recognizing that obtaining the consent or attestation of an employer to allow a PF withdrawal was causing considerable difficulty for many employees, the EPFO has bypassed the procedure, and employees can now make withdrawals without the certification of their employers. This shift was made by introducing the UAN in the EPF since workers now just need to link their Aadhaar card to their UAN to make a withdrawal. Having said that, there are currently two options for making a withdrawal without the employer’s signature: with or without an Aadhaar card.
With an Aadhaar card:
- The whole procedure of obtaining the signature of one’s employer has been eliminated by just attaching the employee’s Aadhaar card to his/her UAN.
- Employees should ensure that their Aadhaar card and bank data are included in the EPFO’s member site to ensure a seamless transaction.
- The employer should have confirmed both the Aadhaar card and the bank data.
- Before beginning the withdrawal procedure, the employee must ensure that his or her UAN has been activated.
- Once you have satisfied these requirements, download Form 19- UAN (for PF withdrawals) and Form 10C- UAN (for pension scheme withdrawals).
- Enter your name, address, registered cellphone number, PAN card number, the reason for leaving, and date of hire. The employee must ensure that the information on the Aadhaar card and bank account is correct. Any inaccuracies may result in the application being rejected or delayed.
- The employee should then attach a voided cheque to the form and return it to the regional EPF office.
Making a withdrawal without an Aadhaar Card:
- This approach may be inconvenient, but if it is your final resort, follow the instructions below.
- Depending on where the withdrawal will be made, the employee should download Form 19, Form 31, or Form 10C from the EPFO’s member portal.
- Once completed, the form must be attested by an authorised signature, such as a Gazetted officer, bank manager, magistrate, or another official. The authorised signatory must sign each page of the paperwork while doing so.
- Because you’ll need to explain why you didn’t receive the employer’s signature, write “Non-cooperation.”
- Following that, the employer must attach an indemnification bond with a 100 Rupee stamp paper, one’s payslips, employment ID, appointment letter, and Form 19.
- Submit your usual KYC documents, along with the certified form, cancelled cheque, and other verification papers, to the regional EPF office as confirmation of residence and identity.
EPF Claim Status
When a member withdraws his or her EPF money, they can log in to the EPFO portal and file an online request. The member can also use the EPFO site to monitor the progress of their EPFO claim.
Employees can also verify claim status by dialling 011-22901406 from their registered cellphone numbers. The SMS service or the UMANG app may also be used to check the progress of an EPFO claim. The member must submit the following information to verify PF status:
- Universal Account Number (UAN)
- Employment details
- Employer’s EPF regional office
- Extension code, if required
EPFO digital signature
The EPFO has implemented digital signatures for employers to make transferring claims more accessible and transparent. Employers can now authorise claims with their digital signatures. When an employer changes jobs, his transfer claim must be confirmed by either his prior or current employer, which is where the employer’s digital signature comes into play.
Employers have to fill out Form 13 and get it approved by their employers before submitting it to the regional EPF office. The procedure has been streamlined and may now be completed through the EPFO’s member site.
Employers must apply for a digital certificate, which includes their personal information such as name, email ID, APNIC account name, public key, and employer nation. The Certifying authority granted the digital certificate and comprised their relevant data, which will be integrated into the EPFO’s member portal.
Employees who would like to register a grievance can use the EPFO’s member site to fill out a grievance registration form and make a complaint. Employees frequently file complaints about withdrawals, PF settlements, account transfers, pension settlements, and other issues. Follow these procedures to file an EPF grievance if you are new to the EPFO’s member portal:
- Go to https://epfigms.gov.in/ to access the EPFO grievance site.
- On the top bar, click ‘Register grievance.’
- After that, the grievance registration form will be shown.
- Fill out the registration form now:
- Enter your current situation (Employer, employee, EPS pensioner)
- Please enter your PF account number.
- Then, input the address of your regional EPF office.
- Next, provide the name of your establishment and its address.
- Then, input your name, address, zip code, country, phone number, and email address.
- The final step is to file a grievance, whether it is a transfer or withdrawal issue, a pension settlement issue, or anything else. Choose your complaint from the drop-down menu.
- Upload your grievance letter, input the captcha, and complete the grievance registration process.
Employees can update their KYC information on the EPFO website’s e-Sewa portal.
- After signing in to the UAN EPFO site, users must pick the managed KYC option and select the document they are updating on the portal, such as PAN, Aadhaar, Ration Card, and so on.
- The member’s document number and name (as specified in the document) must be modified.
- Some of the papers’ expiration dates may also need to be changed.
- After that, the modifications may be saved and submitted.
- The employer will next review the information provided and approve it.
- After that, the employee receives an SMS confirming the employer’s permission.