Today, we will provide every detail about Employee Provident Fund (EPF) schemes, the EPFO, how EPFO & EPF works, how the interest rate is calculated, What benefits an employee can avail of, and many others. We have also explained how EPF came into action and what changes have occurred till now.
How EPF can make after-retirement life easy and simple, and how they can save funds without cutting a huge part of their salary.
How much do their employers contribute, how they can get UAN, and what is it takes?
In this blog, we have answered it all. You will find the entire information regarding EPFO and EPF schemes.
Here you go,
Table of contents
- What is the EPF (Employees' Provident Fund)
- What is the EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization)
- What is the UAN (Universal Account Number)
- Schemes Offered In EPFO
- EPFO Services
- PF Contribution
- Benefits of EPF (Employees' Provident Fund)
- EPF Interest Rate
- EPF Eligibility
- Types of EPF Forms
- EPFO Portal Login
- EPFO Employee Login Details
- EPFO Employer Login Details
- EPF Passbook
- PF Withdrawal Online
- EPF Claim Status
- EPFO Digital Signature
- EPFO Grievance Process
- What's the PF Toll-Free Number?
- Updating EPFO KYC
- Let’s Wrap Up!
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
What is the EPF (Employees' Provident Fund)
Though the ordinance of the Employee Provident Fund Organization was declared on 5 November 1951, it was later replaced by the Employees' Provident Funds Act. The EPF act spread across India excluding Jammu & Kashmir. The Employees' Provident Funds scheme was then framed under Section 5 of the Act and introduced in various stages. The EPF Act came into action on 1 November 1952. The EPF Act has been revised 15 times till now.
The EPF or Employees' Provident Fund is quite popular among salaried persons in India as it helps them in savings. They can use it after they retire or for personal use (buying property, wedding expenses, or personal loan). The EPFO - Employees' Provident Fund Organization is a legal body and offers many schemes related to EPF under Act 1952. The EPFO offers many services online as well as offline for both employees and employers.
EPF basically offers a fund raised by the contribution of some percentage of the salary of the employer and the employee. The contributions are made monthly, therefore, it doesn't take a huge amount at once. Over the years, the amount started to get an interest rate amount that increases the total fund of an employee.
What is the EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization)
EPFO is a non-constitutional body that helps employees (private and public) in saving some amount for their retirement or if required in any emergency case. The Ministry of Labour and Employment has governed the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation since the time it was launched in the year 1951.
Over the years, the Government of India has launched various aspects of the EPFO and EPF schemes. Similarly, the Government of India introduces Universal Account Number for employees who are registered as members under EPFO so that they can link their PF number and funds in one place. UAN was launched on 11 October, in the year 2014.
Furthermore, EPFO plays the role of an agency that makes sure that all the rules are implemented as described in the EPF & MP Act. It also covered all the EPF members so that they can take benefit from EPF schemes across the country.
Here are some important objectives of EPFO.
EPFO Objectives -
- Every employee with a salary above Rs. 15,000 must have an EPF account.
- To make sure every organization follows the rules and regulations of EPFO regularly.
- To make online services reliable and make changes for the betterment of all facilities provided by EPFO.
- All the accounts can be accessed easily by all EPF members.
- Help in final settlement from 20 days to 3 days.
- Compliance must be easily promoted.
What is the UAN (Universal Account Number)
The UAN (Universal Account Number) is a twelve-digit number allotted only once to an individual throughout their EPF time period. The UAN works as a tree with the employees of all PF funds from different organizations so that they can keep track of their funds, check status, check the interest amount, see statements, and so on. And, in order to enjoy all the online services, one must activate their UAN by visiting the EPFO portal.
The UAN number is given by the employer. And, if you do not get it then you can simply log in to the UAN portal with your id and password. You can learn more about UAN from here.
Schemes Offered In EPFO
EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization) offers primarily three schemes:
- EPF (Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme), 1952
- EPS (Employees’ Pension Scheme), 1995
- EDLI (Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme), 1976
EPFO offers many services and they all play an important role as per their allocated responsibilities. They are mentioned here below:
- Helpdesk for Inactive Accounts - In the year 2015, in the month of February, EPFO decided to set up an online helpdesk for all the accounts that are not active or Inoperative. These help desks are arranged to guide employees to track inoperative old accounts that do not collect any interest. Employees can track such accounts and even withdraw the funds or transfer them to their currently active member ID. It is just that employees have to share some basic personal details about their previous jobs.
- Withdrawing EPF online - Anyone can easily draw out their EPF amount online by using their UAN details. Even the employees who are not working for more than or equal to two months are eligible to draw out their EPF amount. But the EPF member has to make sure that his or her Aadhar card or PAN card and bank details are linked with the UAN.
- Certificate of Coverage for International Workers - The members of EPF who are working outside India and have Social Security Agreements with India are eligible to have a CoC (Certificate of Coverage) with the assistance of advanced software launched by the EPFO to make work easy for everyone.
- Monthly returns for spared establishments - With the advanced tools launched by the EPFO for exempted establishments can register their monthly returns without anything to worry about. It is a way of making the process stress free for such establishments or companies.
- EPF Online Transfer Services - To make the transfer of funds, stress-free, time-saving, simple, and paperless, employees have to link their UAN to all their previous member IDs. It will help them in accessing all the benefits of EPF online services.
- Online Registration for Businesses - On the EPFO portal, businesses can register themselves using OLRE (Online Registration of Establishments). Not only establishments but employees working for that establishment will have perks due to the online allotment letter stating the PF code.
- UMANG App - UMANG is an acronym for Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance. It was launched by EPFO to make the process simple and stress-free for all EPF members. The employees have to use their UAN id and password to avail themselves of the easy-to-make services of the UMANG app. Some of the services are - checking passbooks, updating profiles, checking the status of funds, etc.
- Online payments of PF - It is compulsory for all establishments to make PF payments online. At present, there are only ten banks that have agreements with the EPFO for the collection of dues. The names are - Axis bank, ICICI bank, HDFC bank, Union Bank of India, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, State Bank of India, Indian Bank, and Allahabad Bank.
- SMS & Missed Call services - The members of EPFO who have successfully activated their UAN, can access all their PF member IDs, balance and status of KYC, balance, etc just by sending an SMS to 7738299899 in the format of - EPFOHO UAN from their registered mobile phone number. They can also give a missed call on 011-22901406 from the registered number to receive all the information related to their UAN account at once. Employees will also receive every update about payment or nonpayment information of EPF.
- Passbook and Claim status - All the members of EPFO can easily check the status of their funds and claims. They can even download the passbook if required by using their Universal Account Number.
- EPF Grievances - If an employee or retired employee, employer, or any member of EPFO is facing issues regarding their final settlement, monthly pension, transfer of funds, or withdrawal of funds, etc then they can file a complaint online at the grievance portal started by EPFO. EPFO deals with all the grievances by making it their top priority and tries to resolve them within 7 working days. As a result, almost 96.7% of complaints are resolved within 7 days. Some complaints may take up to 15 working days. With constant monitoring, the PF complaints have declined from 20-30K to 2-3K in a day.
Here we represent to you the table of contributions. It will help you understand everyone's contribution to the EPF fund better.
Benefits of EPF (Employees' Provident Fund)
There are several benefits of having an EPF scheme or being a member of EPFO. Here are the benefits:
- These funds are considered long-term savings.
- You don't have to invest all at once. As the deductions are made on a monthly basis from contributions from both employees' and employers' sides for a time till the employees work for that same organization.
- These funds also came in handy in emergency situations.
- These funds are also helpful at the time of retirement and help in maintaining expenses at old age.
EPF Interest Rate
At present, the EPF interest rate is 8.10%. Anyone can easily calculate the exact interest amount they have accumulated in the EPF account at the end of the financial year. This interest rate amount is added to the total amount contributed by both the employee and the employer at the end of the financial year.
- To enjoy the perks of the EPF scheme, an individual must have the following eligibility criteria.
- The salary of the employee must not be less than Rs. 15,000 every month. Salary above Rs. 15,000 is accountable for an EPF account.
- All the organizations have to register for the EPF scheme (if 20or more employees are working for them).
- Any company with less than 20 employees can also join the EPFO, but voluntarily.
- All the employees with salaries of more than Rs. 15K can register for the EPF account and get approval from the Assistant PF commissioner.
Types of EPF Forms
Here we have created a table for you to understand which form will help you with which EPF process.
Types of Form
What are they used for?
|Form 10 D||It is used for withdrawing monthly pension amounts.|
|Form 10 C||It is used to claim all the benefits that fall under the EPF scheme. It is also used to withdraw the funds contributed by your employer towards EPS.|
|Form 13||Form 13 is used to transfer your PF amount from your old job to the present one. It helps in safekeeping all the PF money in one place and under a single UAN.|
|Form 19||Form 19 is used for the final settlement of an individual’s EPF funds.|
|Form 20||This form is used by the family members if somehow the account holder dies due to illness or due to any other reason.|
|Form 31||It is used as permission for withdrawing funds before their maturity period due to several reasons. It is also popular as PF Advance Form.|
|Form 51F||Form 51F is used by a nominee of an individual to claim the unclaimed funds along with all the benefits that fall under Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance.|
EPFO Portal Login
The EPFO portal online is designed to save the hard work and time of employers and employees regarding the Employees' Provident Fund amount, status check, grievance filing, and online services using registered mobile numbers. To login into the portal, employees need their UAN ID or number and password. You can easily download the UAN card, passbook, link your PF accounts, check your member ID, update or register your mobile phone number, transfer fund, or edit other personal details.
EPFO Employee Login Details
If an employee has to log in to their EPFO portal then they just have to insert their credentials into the portal. The credentials employees have to use must be their UAN (Universal Account Number) number and a strong security code. Employees can log in anytime to claim their PF, check the status, PF balance, and transfer the PF amount online or offline.
EPFO Employer Login Details
As an employer one should create a username (they can remember) and a password (strong and yet easy to remember) when they first log in to the e-SEWA online portal of EPFO.Once the employer successfully logs in to the portal they can possibly approve the KYC details of their employees without annoyance.
Every EPF account has a passbook facility introduced by EPFO. In this passbook, you can download or print the statements for record purposes. All the individuals registered as members of EPFO can use the passbook issued by EPFO to check their EPF accounts. In the passbook, there will be personal details like your employee establishment ID, EPF scheme, name of the EPF office, etc.
PF Withdrawal Online
Anyone can partially withdraw from their EPF account for reasons such as - buying property, houses, wedding expenses, or medical expenses. At any instant, you can take any amount of money based on the reason for withdrawal. But, only after a certain period, you can withdraw the funds partially.
Only under certain circumstances, one can withdraw his or her funds completely. Some of the situations are - retirement age, resignation due to health issues, relocation permanently, or death of the account holder.
Some of the reasons why one should not withdraw before 5 years are as follows:
According to the EPF Act, 1952 all the benefits of PF before 5 years are not attainable under section 80C. Moreover, if any employee claims the benefits under the same section before 5 years of completion then all the interest they have earned according to their contribution will become taxable.
Another reason is, if the amount is withdrawn under the service of 5 years, then the amount withdrawn will be added to the taxable income.
For instance - If someone withdraws Rs. 50,000 under their 5 years of service then 10% of Rs. 50,000 will be taxable. Though, once you submit for 15G and 15H with the Income Tax Department then individuals don't have to pay the taxable amount.
You can also withdraw your PF money without the employer's signature and with or without an Aadhar card. Here, know more about EPF withdrawal.
EPF Claim Status
If any member decides to withdraw his or her amount of EPF funds, all they have to do is to log in using their credentials into the EPFO online e-SEWA Portal and submit the request for the same purpose. The members of EPFO can also check the status of the EPF account from anywhere and at any time.
The other option for employees is to give a missed call to the number 011-22901406. Another alternative is to give a missed call to your own registered mobile numbers to check and claim their status. To verify your claim status, one can also use the SMS facility or use the UMANG app. You can learn about the complete procedure of how to claim EPF status, document requirements, and much more. Here is A Guide to EPF Claim Status.
EPFO Digital Signature
The Digital Signature of employers makes the entire process of transferring funds, and claiming the EPF funds very easy. It helps the employees save the time and hassle of signing several documents even if they change their company. However, the transfer claim must be attested by either his or her previous employer or the present one, and this is where digital signatures play an important role.
Before the digital signature was proposed by the EPFO organization, employees had to fill the entire form 13 and then get it signed by their previous employer. After that, they also have to submit Form 13 to their regional EPF office. But now the process is less complicated and more simplified in favor of employees.
To have a digital signature, employees have to apply for a digital certificate that will contain all their personal details. The personal details will include their date/month/year of birth, email address, APNIC account name and public key, and also the country of the employer. Sooner or later, the digital certificate will be issued by the Certifying authority with the identification key. The key will contain all the required data that is stored in the EPFO's member portal.
EPFO Grievance Process
In simple language, EPFO grievance is a portal where employers, employees, pension holders, and any person registered as a member of EPF can lodge a complaint against any work that has not been done, check the status and send a reminder if the complaint has not been resolved in 30 working days. You can check the entire EPF grievance process here.
What's the PF Toll-Free Number?
If any individual has any queries regarding UAN or KYC, they can call on a free number - 1800 118 005. Individuals can also know about the entire procedure of withdrawing funds from the EPF account (especially when they are unclaimed).
Withdrawing the amount from an unclaimed EPF account is quite an easy process. Here is how you can withdraw the amount from the unclaimed PF account. First, you have to go to the official website of EPFO and fill in all the information required to claim the funds. Once you submit the form at the post office, within 10-20 working days you will receive your amount.
Updating EPFO KYC
Anyone can easily update their KYC details just by visiting the online e-SEWA portal on the official website of the EPFO website. You just have to log in to access the option of KYC. Here are the detailed steps to upload KYC for EPF UAN with these steps you can explore and understand the process better. And, once the process is complete, you will receive a confirmation SMS on your registered mobile phone number.
Let’s Wrap Up!
EPFO and our Finance minister made it possible that now employees can use their PF funds to buy property and employees with salaries below or equal to Rs. 5 lakh don't 1394 have to pay any taxes as well. And, we hope that by the time you reach here, you have completely understood how EPFO works in favor of employees.
In this blog, we tried to guide you about all the procedures and methods related to EPF, UAN, schemes of EPFO, services of EPFO, types of EPF forms, schemes under the EPF Act, interest rate, benefits, withdrawal procedures, EPF grievances and many more.
But if you have any queries make sure to leave them in the comments for us to answer. We are glad to assist you!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Can my employer reduce my share of EPF contribution?
No, any employer can never reduce the EPF contribution. It will be considered as a criminal offense.
How to calculate EPF contributions if the employee works as a daily wage worker?
Anyone can calculate the contribution amount by calculating the salary paid to an individual as per the calendar month.
How much percentage is EPF deduction from salary?
12% salary of an employee is used as a contribution towards the EPF fund. Moreover, ESIC (Employee State Insurance Corporation) is deducted on the basis of gross salary (1.75% from employee and 4.75% from employer).
Is there any age restriction for becoming an EPF member?
There is no age reduction for becoming an EPF member. But if a person is above 58 then he is not eligible for apply for pension funds.
Can I join EPF directly?
Under EPF and MF act 1952, an individual has to work for an organization to become a liable member of EPFO.
How is the PF amount recovered from defaulting members?
According to the Section 14 of EPF and MPAct, 1952, if any employer is found with dues from debtors, attachments of bank accounts, or sale properties, a detention and arrest warrant will be issued in the name of the employer. And, somehow the amount will be recovered through a complete legal process.
How to activate my UAN for transferring PF online?
You have to register your UAn details at the EPF member portal. Once the UAN is activated you can withdraw or claim the funds online. The process will become easy and stress free.
If I changed my job. Should I get a new UAN?
No, UAN is the Universal Account Number and is allotted only once throughout the life of an individual. If you join a new organization you will be given a new pF account details that are directly linked with your UAN.
Can I withdraw my EPF corpus because I am unemployed?
Yes, according to the EPF act, it is allowed to withdraw only 75% of your EPF after one month of employment. And, if you are unemployed for the last two months then you can also use the last 25% of your funds.
Is it necessary to link Aadhaar with EPF to avail of online services?
Both EPFO and UIDAI cleared that to avail Adhar based services for authentication purpose, every individual (who is member of EPF) has to link their Aadhar. Otherwise, that individual would not be able to enjoy the perks of any online service of EPF.
Can I contribute to the EPF after quitting my job?
No, anyone who quits the job cannot contribute any money into his or her EPF fund until they start working for an organization again.
If someone dies a natural death. Will family members get the EPF amount?
If somehow the EPF subscriber expired then the legal heir or nominee or guardian (in case of minor) can receive the amount of EPF. They just have to claim the EPF fund, submit all the required documents like death certificate, EPF composite form, etc. In case of a minor, EPFo will require a guardian certificate (if he or she is not a biological guardian).