What is EPF?
The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is a savings scheme introduced under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Act, 1952. It is administered and managed by the Central Board of Trustees that consists of representatives from three parties, namely, the government, the employers and the employees. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) assists this board in its activities. EPFO works under the direct jurisdiction of the government and is managed through the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
EPF scheme aims at promoting savings to be used post-retirement by various employees all over the country. Employees’ Provident Fund or EPF is a collection of funds contributed by the employer and his employee regularly on a monthly basis. The employer and employee contribute 12% each of the employee’s salary (basic + dearness allowance) to the EPF. These contributions earn a fixed level of interest set by the EPFO. The amount of interest to be received on the deposit along with the total accumulated amount is totally tax-free, i.e. the employee may withdraw the entire fund without worrying about paying any kind of tax on it.
The accrued amount may also be withdrawn by the nominee or the legal heir of the employee post his death or can be withdrawn by the employee himself post-resignation.
Dearness Allowance: This amount is added to the employee’s basic salary due to rising. This allowance is different in different states It is a relief given to employees to tackle the ill-effects of inflation.
Interest Rate on EPF for FY 2020-21
The interest rate for the financial year 2019 – 2020 is 8.50%. The accumulated fund in the PF account attracts certain interest which is 100% tax exempted.
The interest earned is directly transferred to the Employees’ Provident Fund account and is calculated depending upon the rate which is pre-decided by the GOI along with the Central Board of Trustees (CBT). The CBT administers the Act.
The year in which the new interest rates are announced stays valid for the next financial year i.e. from the year starting on 1st April of one year to the year ending on 31st March of the next year. Let’s understand this with the help of an example:
- The rate of interest i.e. 8.50% is valid and will be applicable only on EPF deposits made between the financial years of April 2020 to March 2021.
- The interest even though calculated on a monthly basis, is transferred to the Employees’ Provident Fund account only on a yearly basis on 31st March of the applicable financial year.
- The transferred interest is summed up with the next month i.e. April’s balance and is then again used for calculation of the interest.
- If the contribution is not made into an EPF account for thirty-six months continuously, the account becomes dormant or inoperative.
- Interest is offered on inoperative accounts of employees who have not attained the retirement age.
- Interest is not provided on the amount deposited in inoperative accounts of retired employees.
- The interest earned on inoperative accounts is taxable as per the member’s slab rate.
- For contributions made towards the Employees’ Pension Scheme by the employer, the employee shall not receive any interest. However, a pension is paid out of this amount after the age of 58.
Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Schemes
The scheme caters to the needs of more than 5 crore members and is governed by three Acts.
|Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952|
|Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995|
|Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976|
- Employees need to become an active member of the scheme in order to avail of benefits under this scheme
- Employees of an organization are directly eligible for availing Provident Fund, insurance benefits as well as pension benefits since the day they join the organization.
- Any organization employing a minimum of 20 workers is liable to give EPF benefits to the workers.
- This scheme does not cater to the needs of people residing in Jammu and Kashmir.
How to Register for EPF?
- Visit the government website Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)
- Go to the section of ‘Establishment Registration’ that opens up a new page with ‘Instruction Manual’. It will explain the process of Employer Registration, followed by registration of DSC [Digital Signature Certificate] of the Employer which is a prerequisite for fresh application submission
- Accept ‘I have read the instruction manual’ tickbox to proceed and fill in the details to register
- An email e-link is sent which is to be activated and a mobile PIN is also sent. You need to upload certain documents to register
- Those who are already registered can log in using their Universal Account Number (UAN)
How to Login to EPF?
You need to visit the member website of EPF i.e. EPF e-SEWA/EPF Members Portal and on the right side, you have the option to login using UAN. However, UAN must have been activated earlier.
EPF KYC Update
- Visit EPF Members Portal and log in using UAN & Password
- As the new page opens up, under the section of ‘Manage’, click on KYC from the dropdown menu
- Update the details like name and number of PAN, Aadhar, Bank documents, etc.
- Save it and it will show as Pending KYC as long as it is verified from the other end
EPF UAN Activation
- You need to visit the member website of EPF i.e. EPF e-SEWA/EPF Members Portal
- On the right corner below, you will find the option of ‘Activate UAN’ and click on it
- As the new dashboard opens up, enter either UAN, PAN or Aadhar and other details as Name, Birthdate, etc according to EPFO records
- Enter the ‘captcha’ code and get an authorization PIN on your registered mobile with EPFO
- Use the One Time Password (OTP) to validate and activate the UAN online
- Another message will be sent to confirm activation of the UAN
- Once UAN is activated, you can log in using it to check the status of the Provident Fund
The Employees’ Provident Fund is a fund where both the employer as well as the employee contributes a part of the salary. These contributions are made regularly on a monthly basis. The interest rate fixed depends upon the employee’s basic pay along with the dearness allowance in his salary. Here is a breakup of the EPF Contributions:
|Contribution By||Monthly Percentage Contributed (%)|
*10% EPF share is valid for the organisations– where there are 20 or less than 20 employees /organisations with losses incurred more than or equal to the net worth (at the end of financial year) /organisations declared sick by the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction
**12% Employer’s contribution includes 3.67% EPF and 8.33% EPS
If the monthly salary of a person is Rs.30,000. The contributions calculated are as follows-
- 12% of Rs.30,000 (Employee share)= Rs.3,600
- 3.67% (in EPF) of Rs.30,000 (Employer’s share)= Rs.1,101
- 8.33% (in EPS) of Rs.30,000 (Employer’s share)= Rs.2,499
- Total= Rs.7200/-
A) Employee’s Contribution towards EPF
In general, the contribution rate for the employee is fixed at 12%. However, the rate is fixed at 10% for the below-mentioned organizations:
- Organizations or firms employing a maximum of 19 workers.
- Industries declared as sick industries by the BIFR
- Organizations suffering an annual loss much more as compared to their net value.
- Coir, guar gum, beedi, brick and jute industries.
- Organizations operating under the wage limit of ₹ 6,500.
B) Employer’s Contribution towards EPF
The minimum amount of contribution to be made by the employer is set at a rate of 12% of ₹ 15,000 (although they can voluntarily contribute more). This amount equals ₹ 1800 per month. It means that both the employer as well as the employee has to contribute ₹ 1800 each per month towards this scheme. Initially, this amount was set at 12% of ₹ 6,500 which would equal ₹ 780 to be contributed both by the employer and the employee.
- The contribution from both the parties is deposited into the EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation)
- This is a long-term investment fund for the contributors which helps them continue an independent life after retirement
- EPF also provides its contributors to the loan facility in need
|Important Points Related to EPF Contributions|
Know More About EPF Interest Rate 2020-21
Calculation of Interest Rate on EPF
The interest rate is announced on a yearly basis, whereas, the interest is calculated on a monthly basis. The interest rate is calculated by dividing the per annum rate by 12. This is done in order to arrive at the amount of interest to be given to the employee for a particular month.
For example :
- If the interest rate per annum is set at 12% then the rate of interest for any particular month in the given year will be calculated as 12/12= 1% per month.
Let’s suppose that an employee started his contributions from the month of November 2018.
- The applicable rate of interest for him will stand at 8.50%.
- In this case, the rate of interest per month will be 8.50/12=0.7083%.
- The employee directs 12% of ₹ 15,000 which is equivalent to ₹ 1,800 per month towards his EPF account.
- This amount is transferred to the employee’s EPF account at the end of every working month and is reflected as a component of the total salary.
The employer makes a contribution of ₹ 1,800 which is equivalent to the contribution made by the employee.
- 3.67% of the employer’s contribution is made towards EPF account and
- 8.33% of the contribution is made towards the employee’s EPS account
- The employer’s contribution to the employee’s account stands at 3.67% of ₹ 15,000 which is equal to ₹ 550.
- The monthly contributions made by the employer and the employee towards this account amounts to ₹ 1800+ ₹ 550, which is equal to ₹ 2350.
- The balance calculation for the next month (December) will be done in a given manner:
- Balance carried forward from November 2019= ₹ 2,350.
- Interest earned for the month of December 2019 = ₹ 16.75
- Balance at the end of December 2019 = ₹ 2,350 + ₹ 2,350 = ₹ 4,700
Note: Although interest has been earned in December 2019, it is only credited at the end of the financial year on 31st March.
Read More: 10 Things You Need to Know About EPF
An EPF form is mandatory for all activities that employees wish to undertake in their accounts; the activities include registration, withdrawal, transfer of PF, availing loans from an existing EPF account or for any other reason.
Mentioned below are the various types of forms available :
Forms for EPF Claims
|EPF Form||Use of the EPF Form||Download|
|Form 31||EPF Withdrawal||⇩|
|Form 14||Buying LIC Policy||⇩|
|Form 10D||For claiming monthly pension||⇩|
|Form 10C||For claiming withdrawal benefits/scheme certificate of EPS||⇩|
|Form 11||EPF Account Transfer||⇩|
|Form 19||Final Employees’ Provident Fund Settlement||⇩|
|Form 20||EPF Final settlement in case of death of the employee||⇩|
|Form 2||Declaration and nomination form for EPF & EPS||⇩|
|Form 5 IF||Claim as per EDLI scheme||⇩|
|Form 15G||To save TDS on the interest income on EPF||⇩|
|Form 5||New employees registering for EPF and EPS||⇩|
|Form 11||Auto transfer of EPF||⇩|
Know More About EPF Forms
Given below are the steps to be followed to process the payments:
- Login to EPFO Portal using the Electronic Challan cum Returns (ECR) credentials
- Click on ‘Payments’ and go to ‘ECR upload’
- Select Wage Month, Salary Disbursal Date, Rate of Contribution
- Proceed to upload ECR text File. You will see a pop-up saying ‘File Validation Successful’ in case the uploaded file is validated for predefined conditions. However, if the file is not validated, ‘Error’ appears on the screen
- The TRRN will be displayed on the screen, Click on ‘Verify’
- Click on ‘Prepare Challan’ to obtain summary sheet for ECR
- Go to Admin/Inspection Charges and select ‘Generate Challan’
- Click on ‘Finalize’ and proceed to pay
- Choose ‘Online’ as the payment mode and choose any bank account
- Once you select your respective bank account, you will be redirected to the online banking website of the same bank
- Make payment using Net Banking
Once the payment is successfully made, a confirmation will be generated with Transaction-id and e-Receipt. The transaction will further be uploaded on the EPFO Portal and confirmation via TRRN number provided accordingly.
All contributions made by a member and his employer are mentioned in the EPF passbook. The passbook also contains other important details such as establishment ID and name, member ID and name, office name, employee’s share, employer’s share, EPS contribution, etc.
The member can download the EPF passbook online by visiting the EPF website.
Checking EPF Balance
A member can check the EPF balance accumulated in the account online by following these simple steps:
- Visit EPF’s website at www.epfindia.gov.in
- Go to “For Members” in the “Our Services” section
- Click on the “Member Passbook” option
- Now enter your “UAN”, password and captcha code and login to your EPF account
- Select the “Member ID” to view your passbook
- Your passbook will be displayed with complete details in the document.
The member can also check his EPF balance by sending an SMS to 7738299899 in the format EPFOHO <UAN> ENG.
EPF balance can also be checked through a missed call on the number- 011-22901406.
Read More: How to Check EPF Balance
How to Transfer EPF Online?
- Log in to the EPFO members’ portal using your UAN and password
- Go to the ‘Online Services’ tab on the main menu of the home page and select ‘Transfer Request’ to generate an online transfer request
- A new dashboard displaying all your personal details will be shown. Verify all of that like DOB, EPF and date of joining, etc. soa s to claim the process
- Once you verify, go to Step 1, select the option of previous or present employer and then provide the details of the previous employer through which you want to claim
- Submit the details, an OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number. You need to authenticate your identity by entering the OTP, then only the request will be submitted and an online filled-in form will be generated. You need to sign the form and send it to your present or previous employer
- The employer will also get an online notification about the EPF transfer request. EPFO Office will process the claim only after employer digitally forwards the claim to the EPFO after verifying your employment details
- Post submission of the request, you can check the status of your EPF transfer claim under the ‘Track Claim Status’ menu, which is under the ‘Online Services’ menu
How to Activate Inoperative Accounts?
Inoperative or dormant accounts are those which have not seen a contribution in over 36 months. Generally, it happens when a member has not transferred the old account to his new employer and tends to forget about the previous contributions. One can either transfer them to the current EPF account as per the above mentioned steps or withdraw them using UAN number.
Lodging EPF Grievances
The EPFO also provides for a grievance system which enables members to register their complaints.
- The members may lodge their complaints by clicking on the ‘Register Grievance’ tab at EPFiGMS.gov.in.
- Members have to fill in all the relevant details pertaining to their account along with the description of the grievance that they have been facing.
- Relevant files related to the grievance being faced can be uploaded on the site.
- The member may also track the status of the grievance by clicking on the ‘View Status’ tab.
Read More: How to Register EPF Grievance Online
EPF on Umang App
Mobile users can avail services provided by the EPF through the Umang app. The portal has five separate sections:
EPF Services on Umang App
Employee Centric Services
|Employee Centric Services|
|EPF General Services|
|Search EPFO Office|
|Know Your Claim Status|
|Account Details on SMS|
|Account Details on Missed Call|
Employer Centric Services
|Employer Centric Services|
|Update Jeevan Pramaan|
Aadhaar seeding can be done directly through the Umang app.
Benefits Of EPF Scheme
EPF scheme is among one of the largest and biggest saving schemes available to Indian employees. The key benefits of the scheme are mentioned below:
- Tax-Free Savings: EPF Scheme provides certain interest on the deposits at a specific rate which is pre-decided by the organisation. Both the amount of interest received on the deposits and the actual deposited amount is deemed to be tax-free by the Indian Government. Any kind of withdrawal made at maturity or post completion of 5 years of having availed the scheme is 100% tax exempted. However, if the amount is being withdrawn prematurely (within 5 years) it is not free of tax. This feature helps an employee receive special benefits in the form of added income to his savings in the form of interest.
- Long-Term Financial Security: Funds deposited in this account cannot be withdrawn easily and hence, helps in ensuring savings.
- Retirement Period: The accumulated fund under this scheme may be used at the time of retirement of the employee. This provides relief to the retired employee in the form of monetary security.
- Unseen circumstances: The accumulated fund can be used by the employee in case of any kind of emergency. The employee may choose to withdraw his/her fund prematurely. The scheme provides for such pre-term withdrawals in certain special cases.
- Unemployment/Income Loss: In case, where the employee loses his/her current job owing to any reason, then these funds may be used to meet expenses.
- Resignation/Quitting of Job: The employee post-resignation is free to withdraw his/her 75% of the EPF fund after one month of the date of having quit the job and remaining 25% after 2 months of unemployment.
- Death: In case of death of the employee, the collected amount along with the interest is given to the employee’s nominee thus helping the family tide through difficult times.
- Disability of the employee: If the employee is no longer in the position to work then he/she may use these funds to help him/her get over the difficult time.
- Lay-off: In cases of sudden layoffs or retrenchment from the job, this fund may be used by the employee until the time he/she gets another suitable job.
- Long run savings: A safe and full proof saving scheme for individuals wishing to have long run investments.
- Liquidity of funds: This scheme acts as a sound source of income for an individual at the hour of financial crisis. The funds so obtained may be used to meet unavoidable expenses like medication needs or education needs.
- Pension Scheme: The employer not only contributes towards the PF fund but also makes the necessary contributions towards the employee’s pension which can be later used by the employee post-retirement.
- Insurance Scheme: The act also provides for certain provisions whereby, the employer is required to make certain contributions towards an employee’s life insurance where group insurance cover is not present. This scheme ensures that the employees are properly insured.
- Accessible All Over: With the help of the Universal Account Number (UAN), employees can easily get access to their PF account via the EPF member portal. They can transfer their accounts whenever they make a shift in their current jobs.
EPF Customer Care number
In case of any doubts or discrepancies, please contact the customer care line of EPFO:
Helpdesk- 1800118005 (Toll Free)
Bhavishya Nidhi Bhawan,
14, Bhikaji Cama Place,
New Delhi- 110066
1. I have withdrawn a part of my EPF corpus. Will I continue getting interest on the withdrawn amount as well?
Ans: No, You will not get interest on the withdrawn amount. However, the amount remaining in the EPF account will continue earning interest.
2. How is UAN assigned?
Ans. When you join a company having more than 20 employees, you become entitled to EPF benefits. EPFO allots a unique 12-digit permanent number known as Universal Account Number (UAN) to the member. All PF accounts of a member are linked with his UAN. In case you want to avail online services through the EPF portal, you have to link your UAN with Aadhaar and PAN.
3. Will I have to activate my UAN for transferring PF online?
Ans. You have to activate UAN by registering at the EPF member portal before you can process claims or withdraw funds online. You can do it easily by visiting the EPF member portal.
4. I have switched my job. Should I get a new UAN?
Ans. No, the UAN allotted to a member remains the same throughout the service period. A new PF account will be opened by the new employer which will be linked to the UAN of the member.
5. I have switched my company. Should I withdraw EPF corpus or transfer my fund?
Ans. It is recommended that you transfer your fund from the old PF account to a new one. If you withdraw the amount before 5 years of service, the withdrawn amount is taxable and should be mentioned under income from other sources while filing ITR.
6. I am currently unemployed and need funds. Can I withdraw my EPF corpus?
Ans. Yes, you can withdraw 75% of your EPF corpus after one month of unemployment. In case you remain unemployed for 2 consecutive months, you can withdraw the remaining 25% of the fund.
7. Is it still mandatory for members to link Aadhaar with EPF to avail online services? If not, is there a way to delink Aadhaar with UAN?
Ans. As per the recent circular released by the EPFO, UIADI has clarified that EPFO can continue to avail Aadhaar based authentication services for EPF schemes. So, in a way, you can not avail your EPF online services in case you delink your Aadhaar with UAN, as for now.
The circular also goes on to say that if a member visits the EPFO office for an offline claim using Aadhaar KYC, the PRO will facilitate Aadhaar seeding facility on the spot in order to make the EPF claim online.
Further, employees with their Aadhaar seeded with the UAN may not be allowed to raise offline claims from now on.
8. Are both the employee’s and employer’s contributions to my EPF account tax-exempt?
Ans. Contributions made to the EPF are tax exempt, however, the tax calculations are different. The employer’s contribution to the EPF account is not considered as part of your taxable income. So the employer’s contribution is tax-exempt at its source.
Whereas, the employee’s contribution is counted as part of his/her taxable income. However, the employee’s contribution is tax deductible under section 80C upto a maximum of Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum. So an employee’s contribution towards the EPF account is eligible to for tax-exemption but only under section 80C.
Also, in case you withdraw your EPF fund before 5 years of contributions, then both employee’s, as well as employer’s share, become taxable.
9. How much percentage is EPF deduction from salary?
Ans. 12% of the employee’s salary goes towards contribution to Provident Fund. Also, Employee State Insurance Corporation(ESIC) is deducted on gross salary which is 1.75% from the employee contribution & 4.75% from the employer contribution.
10. How much EPF amount can be withdrawn?
Ans. EPF can be withdrawn only at the time of retirement or in case of unemployment and certain emergencies. Full withdrawal can be done after retirement or unemployment for two months. 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.
11. What If someone dies a natural death or due to health related issues. Will any of his/her family member get the EPF amount?
Ans. In case, if the EPF subscriber expires, the nominee or the legal heir or the guardian in case of a minor can get the EPF amount. For that he needs to go claim the EPF money by submitting all required documents like Death Certificate and EPF Composite Form. Guardian Certificate is also required if it is claimed by a guardian of a minor other than natural guardian.
12. How to withdraw Employee Provident Fund?
Ans. You need to have an activated UAN and registered mobile number for withdrawal. Assuming that you have these prerequisites, go to EPF Member’s Portal and log in using UAN. Do check if your documents are verified as KYC in the ‘Manage’ section. Go to ‘Online Services’ and click on ‘Claim’ from the drop-down menu which displays all your personal details. Then, click on ‘Proceed for Online Claim’ to claim your withdrawal and select the claim you want to make under ‘I want to apply for’ like EPF Settlement or EPF Partial Withdrawal.
13. How to claim Employee Provident Fund?
Ans. As explained above, one needs to go to EPF Member’s Portal or e-SEWA Portal to login using UAN and go to ‘Online Services’ to claim and withdraw the fund.
EPF Latest News
EPF interest rate retained at 8.50% for FY 2020-21 – Announced on March 4th, 2021
EPFO, on March 4th, 2021, announced the EPF rate of interest at 8.50%, keeping it the same as of the previous year 2019-20. In 2019-18, members of EPFO earned an 8.65% of interest on their contributions towards the government saving scheme.
This year, this rate of 8.50% shall benefit 6 crore subscribers.
Important: To receive EPF interest, subscribers should make sure that there KYC details are updated and correct as per their PAN and bank records. Due to KYC mismatch, the interest payment of approximately 40 lakh subscribers for the financial year 2019-20 was delayed.
Budget 2021 – EPF contributions of more than Rs. 2.5 lakh to be taxed
Revised EPF Interest Rate for 2019-20: Lowered by 0.15%
The Union Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar announced the new interest rates for EPF on 3rd March 2020. The interest rate for the scheme has been revised and lowered by 0.15% for the current financial year. For 2019-20, the interest rate is 8.50% which is reduced from the earlier 8.65 per cent.
“The EPFO has decided to provide 8.5 per cent interest rate on EPF deposits for 2019-20 in the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) meeting held today”, states Gangwar.
In contrast to the constant demands from workers about hike in EPF interest rates, the directors released the new percentage which will give lower interest on the fund deposits by salaried employees. The economic slowdown and its negative impact on debt market instruments including government securities and FDs can be a major reason for the drop in EPF interest rates for the financial year 2019-20. The retirement body of India invests 15% in equity and 85% in debt instruments implying that the fall in debt investments would have hampered its income in 2019-20.
Rs. 54,000 Cr to be Distributed as Interest to 6 Cr EPF Accounts
Labour Ministry notified the interest rate on Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to be 8.65% for the year 2018-19. Corresponding to this, the interest for the year will be credited to the accounts of around 6 Crore subscribers for EPFO. The total amount to be credited to these subscribers will be equal to Rs.54,000 Crore.
The withdrawal claims of EPF for the given year will not be settled at the interest rate of 8.55%; but rather at the higher rate of 8.65%. The revised interest rates have been effective from February 22, 2019.
Subscribers can check their PF status online via the following mediums-
- EPFO website (www.epfindia.gov.in)
- Umang Application (Download the application from App store/Play store)
- Missed Call (Number- 011-22901406)
- SMS Service (SMS EPFOHO <UAN><LAN> to 7738299899)
However, it must be noted that only the users who have registered on UAN member portal and have activated their UAN number can check their balance through the online platforms.
Aadhaar Card Necessary for EPF Account Nominees
According to the new rules released by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), submitted the Aadhaar card number of the nominee is mandatory for e-nomination of your provident fund account. The newly established e-nomination function on EPFO which not just requires the subscribes to link their Aadhaar card with the account but also mandates the submission of Aadhaar card number of the nominee.
Apart from the Aadhaar card number, scanned images, Date of Birth and mobile number are some of the important details of the nominee/s which requires to be provided duly. However, the submission of bank details of the nominee remains optional.
Employees Provident Fund Act Latest Amendments 2019
The government is planning to make amendments in EPF as it has prepared a draft bill that allows employees to switch money from EPF (Employee Provident Fund) to NPS (National Pension Scheme). Another proposal is to replace the existing definition of ‘wage’ (in the EPF Act) with a new one as mentioned in the Code of Wages, 2019. The new definition of wages is likely to impact the EPF contribution of those employees whose basic salary is currently less than Rs 15,000.
News : On 13th May 2020, the Government announced a reduction in the EPF contribution rate from 24% to 20% of the salary, for private sector firms, for the next three months.