How EPF can boost your retirement savings?

EPF can boost your retirement savings

Do you work in the organized sector? Are you concerned about your retirement savings? Then look no further than the government-run Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), which provides services such as provident fund, pension, and insurance to its members. For perspective, this is India’s version of the 401 (k) plan offered by American employers. In a country where social security as a concept is still in its infancy, EPF plugs the gap of a stable, risk-free retirement fund. Read on as we lift the lid on some of the lesser-known features offered by the EPFO.

Understanding EPFO

EPFO is an organization established by the government of India under the Ministry of Labour and Employment, operating as a statutory body. It manages the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), a social security scheme that aims to provide employees with financial stability and retirement benefits. EPFO is responsible for the administration of the EPF, Employee’s Pension Scheme (EPS), and a little-known insurance scheme for serving employees.

The magic of compound interest

Many of us are familiar with the concept of compound interest, which is nothing but interest earned on interest. EPF contributions, made by both employees and employers, accumulate over time and earn compound interest. Being a retirement fund, the provident fund accumulation of an employee increases substantially over the course of the employment. The power of compounding works wonders on this corpus over the years, handing out a substantial retirement fund for the employee. 

Employee contribution to provident fund

Employee Provident Fund, as the name indicates, is a compulsory deduction from your monthly salary mandated by the government of India to ensure financial security for your sunset years. Broadly speaking, employees contribute 12% of their basic salary towards the EPF. This contribution is deducted from your salary every month and is invested in the EPF scheme. The tax-free contribution made by the employee forms the foundation of the retirement corpus.

Employer contribution to provident fund

Besides your own contribution, your employer also contributes an equal amount to your EPF account. The employer’s contribution is a valuable addition to your retirement savings, effectively boosting the growth of your corpus. It is important to note that the employer’s contribution is an additional benefit provided by the EPFO. However, please note that from the employer’s contribution of 12%, 8.33% goes to the pension scheme (EPS) and 3.67% to the EPF.   

Tax benefits: Save as you earn

EPF offers attractive tax benefits to encourage individuals to save for retirement. Contributions made towards EPF are eligible for tax deduction under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. This allows for a reduction in your taxable income and enables you to save on taxes while simultaneously building your retirement savings.

PF withdrawal option a lifeline

EPFO also provides easy access to funds in times of financial emergencies. In specific situations such as a serious medical condition, pursuing higher education, or repaying a home loan, it is possible to withdraw a portion of your EPF corpus. However, preserving the EPF kitty for retirement is advisable to ensure long-term financial security.

Insurance coverage under the EDLI scheme

EPFO also provides insurance coverage for its members. It offers life insurance and disability coverage through the Employees Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme. Under this scheme launched in 1976, the registered nominee will receive a lump sum amount (about ₹7 lakhs) if the insured (employee) dies while in service. What’s more, employees are not required to pay any premium to avail of the benefit as all EPFO-registered organizations are mandated to join the scheme and provide insurance coverage by contributing to the scheme.  

EPFO pension scheme for workers in the organized sector

Apart from the EPF, EPFO also offers a pension scheme known as the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995. The scheme provides a regular monthly pension to EPF members after their retirement (58 years) if they have been in service for at least 10 years. The pension amount is calculated based on the member’s years of service and average monthly salary.

EPFO facility for international Indian workers

EPFO also caters to the requirements of Indian employees going abroad for work temporarily through the international workers portal on the EPFO website. The portal provides a simplified process for international workers to manage their EPF accounts and access various services. Such employees can obtain a certificate of coverage (CoC) online to avoid social security contributions in the country of their stay if there is no break in contributions to their Indian PF accounts. The facility ensures that even if you are working abroad, your retirement savings are well taken care of.

EPF vs. other investment options

When it comes to retirement savings, EPF outshines many other investment options. Unlike market-linked investments, EPF offers a guaranteed return on investment. The stable and risk-free nature of EPF makes it an ideal choice for individuals seeking security and stability in their retirement savings.

EPFO investment strategies to maximize returns

EPFO invests its funds in various financial instruments such as government securities, bonds, and equity shares. The organization follows a prudent investment strategy to maximize returns while ensuring the safety of funds. The diversified portfolio of EPFO allows for a balanced approach, mitigating risks and generating stable returns.

EPFO online services: Convenience at your fingertips

EPFO has embraced digitalization to improve the quality of its services to its members. The EPFO online portal lets you access your account details, check your balance, download statements, and even initiate withdrawals. The user-friendly platform ensures hassle-free management of your EPF account.

EPFO grievance redressal mechanism

EPFO has established a robust grievance redressal mechanism to address the concerns of its members. If you encounter any issues or have queries regarding your EPF account, you can approach the EPFO grievance cell. This ensures transparency and accountability, allowing you to seek resolution for any grievances or doubts.

EPFO reforms: A step towards a better future

EPFO is constantly evolving to adapt to its members’ changing needs and demands. The organization has implemented several reforms to streamline processes, improve service delivery, and enhance member experience. The reforms aim to make EPFO more accessible, efficient, and member-friendly.


EPFO is arguably the safest option for employees who seek to boost their retirement savings. With its power of compounding, tax benefits, and employer contributions, EPFO provides a reliable platform for building a substantial retirement corpus. By leveraging various services and schemes offered by EPFO, you can plan for a financially stable and comfortable post-retirement life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I withdraw my EPF savings before retirement?”

Yes, you can withdraw a portion of your EPF savings in case of specific situations such as medical emergencies, higher education, or home loan repayment. However, preserving the EPF corpus for retirement is advisable to ensure long-term financial security.

What are the tax benefits of EPF?

Contributions made towards EPF qualify for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. This would help you lower your taxable income and save on taxes while simultaneously growing your retirement savings.

Is EPF a safe investment option?

Yes, EPF is a safe investment option as it offers a guaranteed return on investment. The funds are managed by the EPFO, which follows a prudent investment strategy to ensure the safety and growth of the funds.

How can I access my EPF account online?

You can access your EPF account online through the EPFO online portal. It allows you to check your balance, download statements, and initiate withdrawals conveniently.

What is the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS)?

The Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) is a pension scheme offered by the EPFO. It provides a regular monthly pension to EPF members after their retirement, based on their years of service and average monthly salary.

Disclaimer: Risk is fundamental to the investment process in Indian stocks. Any discussion of securities in this article should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The facts provided are for informational purposes only and should not be considered investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch.

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