The Employee Provident Fund or EPF is one of the most important retirement savings schemes in India. Here is some information on how to verify the balances and what are the methods to transfer or withdraw the money in the EPF account.
Apply for UAN
The UAN or Unified Account Number is an umbrella number for the multiple Employee Provident Fund Numbers or Member IDs allotted to an individual by various employers. The idea is to link these multiple employee PF Number of a person to a single 12-digit Universal Account Number. This means the account number remains unchanged across organizations since it is linked to a particular person.
The employer has to submit the request to EPFO to generate a new Member ID for the employee and link it to the UAN number of the employee by filling Form 11
By visiting https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ and activating the UAN, members can now perform a variety of PF related tasks online.
The balance of the EPF account can be easily checked either online or using the phone. The following can be done to verify your EPF balance
- SMS updates using UAN number –
- If the account holder’s mobile number has been registered during the creation of the Unified Account Number (UAN), by sending an SMS to 7738299899, the EPFO sends back information regarding the last contribution and the total balance.
- The facility is available in English, Hindi, Punjabi, Guajarati, Marathi, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali.
- The format of the SMS should be “EPFOHO UAN ENG” where the last part (ENG) can be replaced with the appropriate language code to get the information in the other language options.
- Each month, members with UAN will receive an SMS containing details of contribution and average EPF balance for the month
- Downloading the EPF passbook using EPFO app
- The UMANG APP can be downloaded by giving a missed call to 9718397183.
- The EPF mobile app can also be downloaded on Google Play Store or on the UMANG website ( https://web.umang.gov.in/web/#/ )
- It can provide details of EPF balance and last contribution made.
- By logging in with the UAN, one can view the passbook and other details.
- Missed Call Service
- Giving a missed call to the EPFO phone number 011-22901406 using the account holder’s registered phone number results in a text message containing details of the account sent to the registered phone.
- If the UAN of the member is seeded with either bank account number, AADHAAR or PAN numbers, the member will get details of last contribution and PF balance.
- EPF balance can be checked online on the EPFO website
- The official website of the EPFO ( https://epfindia.gov.in/site_en/) allows members to check their ‘E-Passbook’ online using their UAN login.
When you change jobs and move from one organization to another, you also need to transfer the balance from your EPF account. This exercise has become relatively easy ever since the EPFO’s launch of the UAN.
The PF balance can be transferred either manually, automatically or online.
Members who have not been allotted UAN and where KYC details have been not been digitally verified by the previous employer will need to fill Form No.13 and submit it manually (downloadable from https://epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Downloads_PDFs/Form13.pdf )
The EPFO Form 11 (https://epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Downloads_PDFs/Form11Revised.pdf ) is a composite form that is a self-declaration by an employee regarding his status as a member or non-member of EPF / EPS in earlier employments. This form allows the auto transfer of the PF balance to the new account linked to the earlier one via UAN and Aadhar.
Here is a checklist of the main steps to be performed to initiate an online account transfer:
- Register on the EPF member portal by visiting the EPFO website at https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ and creating a UAN based login ID.
- After logging in, select the online services tab and choose ‘Transfer Request’ to generate an online transfer request.
- Verify personal details provided and choose the claim form attestation through past or present employer.
- Provide all details of the past employer and create an online filled-in form that can be sent to either past or present employer.
- The employer will also get an intimation of the impending EPF transfer.
- After they verify the details, the employer can digitally forward the claim to the EPFO office, which will then process the claim.
- You can check the status of the transfer request through the ‘Track Claim Status’ menu which is under the Online Services tab.
Some things to keep in mind;
- If one is unaware of whether they can submit the form online, they can ascertain their eligibility by using the ‘Check Eligibility for filing Online Transfer Claim’ tab that comes right after the login.
- The Aadhaar number should be linked with your UAN. This is important since it allows the transfer of funds between PF accounts without the digital signature of your employer.
- In case the amount to be withdrawn exceeds Rs 10 lakh, EPFO has made it mandatory to file online claims only.
In case the employee has more than one EPF account, then they can all be consolidated using the “One EPF” facility. This can be done online using the following steps;
- Visit https://epfindia.gov.in/site_en/For_Employees.php?id=sm2_index
- Choose the One EPF tab as shown below
- You should have a valid UAN that is linked to the current EPF account.
- The KYC details (bank account, Aadhar, PAN) should be verified by the current employer
- The past EPF account numbers (up to 10 accounts) should be entered in the One Employee, One EPF Account tab.
- Personal details like date of birth, name, father’s name etc., which are available in the active EPF account should match the details available with older EPF accounts.
- The EPFO regional offices will contact your employer and once the PF claim has been verified, the money will get transferred.
- Once all accounts have been consolidated, that account can be transferred subsequent to job changes.
The Composite Claim Form that is downloadable from https://epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Downloads_PDFs/Form_CCF_aadhar.pdf and https://epfindia.gov.in/site_docs/PDFs/Downloads_PDFs/Form_CCF_nonaadhar.pdf are the forms for manual withdrawals. The choice of form depends on whether the employee has seeded the account with the Aadhar number. These composite forms replace the earlier Forms 19, 10C, 31 etc.
The Aadhar form does not require the employer’s attestation and can be submitted directly to the EPFO. The non-Aadhar form needs the attestation of the employer who then forwards it to the EPFO.
The same composite form can be used to withdraw partially from the PF account unlike earlier where a separate form 31 was required.
The EPFO has also come up with a process of online withdrawals through the EPFO portal. Here on visiting the website ( https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ ) and logging in, go to the tab Online Services’ and select the option ‘Claim’ form the dropdown menu. Fill the form and select full EPF Settlement, EPF Part withdrawal (loan / advance) or pension withdrawal.
Some things to know regarding PF withdrawal:
- PF amounts are accumulated until the account holder reaches the minimum age of 58 before it can be withdrawn. However, partial withdrawals are permitted a maximum of three times under specific conditions only.
- If an account holder is unemployed for more than 2 months, then they can withdraw the PF balance.
- If working with different employers, as long as the account has been transferred, the entire period is considered as continuous employment.
- To withdraw the PF amount, the account holder should submit the composite claim form to the regional PF office directly or through the employer. The regional PF office address can be obtained through this link ( http://search.epfoservices.org:81/locate_office/office_location.php )
- If application for withdrawal is made other than through the employer, then it should be attested by the manager of the bank which holds the employee’s account.
- In most cases, the amount is received and settlement completed 10-15 days after submission of the PF claim forms, although it can extend up to a month in certain cases.
- A PF account turns dormant if there is no contribution for 36 months and no withdrawal or transfer request. However, interest is only paid up to retirement age and if a person retires and does not withdraw the money, then after 3 years, the account will become inoperative and no interest would be paid.
- Taxation of PF Withdrawals
If the employee withdraws the EPF balance before completing 5 years of service, then EPF balance is taxable. The period includes service across different organisations.
- If you have claimed benefits under Section 80C on your own PF contribution, it will be taxed as salary. The interest earned on your own contribution will be taxed as ‘income from other sources’ and taxed according to the respective tax slab.
- TDS will be deducted if PF withdrawal is more than Rs 50,000. If the PAN has been submitted rate of interest is 10%, else maximum marginal rate of 30 %+ cess.
- If Form 15G or Form 15H is submitted, TDS is not deducted
- If retired or unemployed account holders do not withdraw their accumulated balance, any accrued interest on such amounts becomes taxable.
Research Desk- Dilzer Consultants Pvt Ltd