EPF (Employee Provident Fund) is a scheme that is managed by the government to promote savings for individuals employed in the service sector. Under this scheme, the employee and employer both have to contribute a certain amount of money towards the scheme. Interest is paid on both employee’s and employer’s contributions. Let us understand all you need to know about the EPF scheme.

UAN (Universal Account Number)

          It’s a unique number that is allotted to every member of the EPFO. All the member IDs allotted to the employee by different organizations for which he has worked are linked with his UAN. The employee can view all the member IDs at one place. When the employee joins a new organization he is required to provide his UAN to the employer so that his new PF account can be linked with the UAN. It helps in withdrawing funds and transferring PF accounts quite easily.

EPF Contribution

          Both employee and employer equally contribute to the EPF scheme. The employee contributes 12% of the combined total of basic pay, DA and RA. Here, only a part of the employer’s contribution is sent to the EPF account and the rest 8.33% is sent to Employee Pension Scheme. This is applicable to organizations having more than 20 employees, and if the number is less than 20 then the contribution is 10% for both parties.

Interest Rate

          The current Interest Rate offered is 8.65%, which is governed by the ministry of labour and employment. It’s calculated on the basis of the monthly running balance of the employee.

To promote savings and avoid early withdrawals, the government has introduced TDS i.e. no TAX will be deducted when withdrawing the PF after 5 years.

Auto Transfer

          When an employee switches a job, the new employer opens a new PF account for him. The employee has to then transfer the fund from his old PF account to the new one. Form 13 is required to be filled by the employee for the transfer of the funds into the new account. However, the employee has to fill a composite form 11 for transferring the funds automatically into the new account.

Online Facilities

          EPFO has eased the process of availing various services by EPF members, one can simply login into his EPF account using their UAN and avail a number of services such as PF withdrawal, transfer of funds/accounts, Updation of KYC, Enquiry, etc.. One has to register on the portal first using his UAN and is create a password. He can then login and access all the available online services, all the services are free of cost and can be accessed anytime. However, its mandatory for the employee to submit his PAN and AADHAR before applying for an online claim or withdrawal.

Paperless Registration

          Organizations with 20 or more employees fall under EPFO supervision. In order to open such an establishment, a hard copy of form 5A along with all the required documents had to be submitted in the nearby office. This was also applicable in the case of a change of ownership of the establishment. But now, one can update form 5A online after signing in, thus it eliminates unnecessary paperwork and the need to visit EPFO office.

Integration of Centralised Payment System NPCI

          EPFO has decided to integrate the NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India) platform with its interface. This ensures that the process of fund transfer becomes more convenient and reduction in transaction charges. 

PF Advances

          The main objective of EPF is to provide a substantial amount of money to the employee at the time of retirement. However, EPFO allows the employee to withdraw funds before retirement as well in some cases such as buying a new house, payment of existing home loan, medical requirements, and marriage/education of their children. The amount of money disbursed depends on some specific requirements such as the number of years in service, etc., also it is not mandatory to repay the amount withdrawn. If you have attached your AADHAR and PAN with your UAN account, you are eligible to fill the online form at the portal and withdraw the amount without anyone’s approval.

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