Employees’ Provident Fund or EPF is a compulsory savings scheme as per the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 initiated by the Government of India (GOI). This investment provision is executed and managed through the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) as a part of the Ministry of Labour & Employment. EPFO members receiving contribution to the fund are eligible to avail EPF withdrawal online when qualifying for defined pre-requisites.
The primary aim of this scheme is to deliver a lump sum to salaried individuals to finance their post-retirement funding needs. Contributions to the EPF scheme are thus compulsory for individuals earning less than Rs.15,000. Individuals drawing a higher salary can, however, subscribe to this investment scheme voluntarily.
Individuals fulfilling certain criteria laid down by the EPFO are eligible to collect the corpus using the EPFO portal withdrawal facilities. Employees have to use their Universal Account Number (UAN) generated during membership registration to avail of this corpus.
Individuals can benefit from the convenience of the withdrawal process of PF online. Employees should, however, ensure that their contact number used to activate UAN is operational. Besides, KYC verification and linking of the bank account via IFSC code should also be completed for each UAN for the application to proceed.
There are three ways you can initiate the PF withdrawal process, viz.
One can download the new composite claim (Aadhaar)/composite claim form (Non-Aadhaar) by visiting the official EPFO portal.
This new composite claim form (Aadhaar) can be duly filled and submitted to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office without the attestation of the employer whereas, the new composite claim form (Non-Aadhaar) shall be filled and submitted with the attestation of the employer to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office.
Keep in mind that in case of partial withdrawal of EPF amount by an employee for any emergency, very recently, the requirement to furnish various certificates has been removed and the self-certification option has been introduced for the EPF subscribers. (For details, you click here to check the order dated 20.02.2017 of the EPFO)
EPFO has lately introduced the online facility of withdrawal, which, in turn, has made the entire process hassle-free. However, there are few prerequisites that should be met before applying for the withdrawal of EPF online through the EPF portal:
Follow the steps below for PF withdrawal online:
Step 1: Visit the official portal of EPFO.
Step 2: Use UAN and password to login into the EPF account. Enter captcha to authenticate the login.
Step 3: Select the ‘Manage’ tab to access available options.
Step 4: Choose ‘KYC’ to determine whether the details provided via the KYC documents are authentic and accurate.
Step 5: Select the ‘Online Services’ tab.
Step 6: Choose ‘Claim (Form 31, 19 & 10C)’.
Step 7: Verify the details displayed on the current page. These include KYC information and additional service details.
Step 8: Input the last four digits of the registered bank account and click on ‘Verify’.
Step 9: Select ‘Yes’ for your online certificate of undertaking stating that the EPF claim amount will be credited to the bank account mentioned.
Step 10: Click on ‘Proceed for Online Claim’.
Step 11: Under the ‘I Want to Apply For’ option, select Full EPF Settlement, or EPF Part Withdrawal, or Pension Withdrawal as required.
Step 12: Choose the correct purpose under the ‘Purpose for which advance is required’ option.
Step 13: Enter the amount of advance required.
Step 14: Upload scanned documents required for approval. The employer is also required to approve this request for withdrawal to complete.
Step 15: The EPF withdrawal amount is expected to be credited to an applicant’s bank account within 15-20 days from the date of application.
Employees availing of the online withdrawal route also have an option to use Unified Mobile APP for New Governance (UMANG) for a convenient withdrawal process on their mobile phones. The simplified online application process along with services offered by UMANG are meant to make the online process of EPF withdrawal an easily accessible option for individuals who require additional funds to finance specific requirements recognised by the EPFO.
Individuals can, however, file for an EPF withdrawal offline by printing out a composite claim form and providing the following details. Also, self-attested documents along with the employer’s approval attestation need to be submitted to the regional EPFO commissioner.
Individuals are required to fulfil a handful of eligibility criteria to avail part withdrawal and final settlement on their EPF account.
The table mentioned below specifies the conditions for withdrawal of specific amounts from EPF accounts along with their corresponding forms to be submitted to avail this facility.
|Eligible Conditions||Forms Required|
Additionally, individuals who have been unemployed for 2 months can claim 75% of their deposits in the form of non-refundable advances using Form 31, only on the condition that their unemployment is certified by a gazetted officer of the Government of India. Employees who have subscribed to the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VR) at 55 years of age are eligible for EPF withdrawal online as a full and final settlement by submitting Form 19.
EPFO now issues composite claim forms for Aadhaar and non-Aadhaar members, which combines Form 19 for PF final settlement, Form 10C for pension withdrawal benefits, and Form 31 for PF non-refundable advance. Individuals can only avail of these forms for online EPF withdrawal if they have provided complete details in Form 11, Aadhaar number, bank account information along with an activated UAN.
Individuals who have availed of composite claim forms have the advantage of submission of these forms to regional EPFO commissioners through self-attestation. The application regarding online EPF withdrawal in India for final PF settlement, pension withdrawal benefits, and partial withdrawal of PF amount is valid if individuals require them for a specific purpose stated in the composite forms.
Employees who need to withdraw a percentage of their PF corpus have to provide details such as their name in block letters, UAN, 12-digit Aadhaar number, date of joining the organisation, along with their choice of purpose from the list stated in this form. Withdrawal can thus be made for the following purposes.
Individuals with a physical disability can also withdraw a portion of their EPF account fund to finance medical and technical equipment acquisition. In case an individual decides to settle abroad permanently, he/she is eligible for PF withdrawal online.
Other purposes recognised by EPFO for disbursal of the entire amount or a percentage of EPF contribution include termination at an organisation where such member is currently employed and discontinuation of electricity supply in the establishment.
Employees applying for the withdrawal also have to furnish information on the date of leaving service. PAN is only required if an employee’s term of service in an organisation exceeds 5 years.
EPFO stipulates that individuals should possess vital documents before applying online for EPF withdrawal. Employees should arrange 2 revenue stamps, a valid bank account statement, Aadhaar Card, PAN Card, Voter ID Card and a cancelled blank cheque.
The bank account number and IFSC code of an individual should be visible on the cancelled check for the successful approval of the withdrawal application.
The amount withdrawn from an employee’s EPF account is liable for a percentage of tax deduction depending upon the tenure of service of such employee with an employer during the time of such withdrawal. In case an individual is availing withdrawal facilities without completing 5 years of employment with a particular organisation, he/she has to pay a Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) of 10% if PAN is furnished during the PF withdrawal process.
In the absence of PAN, the individual is liable to a TDS of 34.6% on the amount withdrawn. Individuals with less than Rs. 50,000 in their EPF accounts at the time of withdrawal are exempted from TDS liabilities.
Since the withdrawn amount from an EPF account is perceived as income, employees availing of such facilities have to mention it by selecting ‘Section 10(12) Recognised Provident Fund’ while filing ITR.
Online EPF Withdrawal is, therefore, an easy process that simplifies the claims procedure availed by employees. Online withdrawal also contributes to the lesser time required for the claim amount to be transferred to an employee’s bank accounts. Besides the time-saving factor, an individual can also bypass the attestation requirements of employers by using the online method of withdrawal, which makes it a popular mode of EPF withdrawal.
Ques. Is it compulsory for employees to furnish PAN for EPF withdrawal?
Ans. Even though the submission of PAN is not compulsory for employees availing EPF withdrawal facilities, they can substantially reduce the burden of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on the withdrawn amount.
Ques. Can an employee claim EPF withdrawal without logging in to the EPF portal?
Ans. Yes, apart from the option for online PF withdrawal in India, an employee can also withdraw the amount offline by applying with the regional EPFO commissioner.
Ques. Can employees withdraw the full PF amount before they retire?
Ans. No, employees can access the entire corpus from their EPF account only after retirement. Individuals can, however, withdraw 90% of the funds in their EPF account one year before retirement.