Employees’ Provident Fund, or EPF, is a government-mandated savings scheme in India. It’s a compulsory retirement savings fund for employees working in organizations that are members of the EPFO. It requires both employees and employers to contribute a portion of the employee’s salary each month which helps build a corpus for retirement.
The PF corpus can be accessed by members via a completely online claim process. It offers several advantages such as convenience, reduced paperwork, faster processing, and transparency. The online option simplifies the withdrawal process, allowing employees to manage their funds efficiently and access their savings when needed.
Making EPFO online claim in 2023
PF withdrawal can be done online easily if you have completed some preliminary steps like ensuring your UAN is activated and it is seeded to your Aadhaar number, PAN, and bank account. Once that is done, here are the steps to claim EPF benefits online in 2023:
- Step 1- Visit the EPFO member portal and navigate to the member e-Sewa portal.
- Step 2- Login using your UAN, password, and Captcha code for verification.
- Step 3: Select the ‘Online Services’ tab and choose Claim Form-19, 31, 10C or 10D depending on your purpose of withdrawal.
- Step 4: Fill up the form with the necessary details like withdrawal amount, bank account, and other details. (Note: Provide the accurate bank account details associated with the UAN for verification).
- Step 5: Once all the above steps are completed, click on the ‘Verify’ button to proceed.
Understanding the latest changes in EPF withdrawal
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) in India updates its regulations from time to time. It would be useful to understand some new rules regarding EPF withdrawal as of 2023.
- Partial withdrawal after one month of unemployment: EPF members can withdraw 75% of their EPF balance after two months of continuous unemployment.
- Withdrawal of the remaining 25% after two months of unemployment: After two months of continuous unemployment, EPF members have the option to withdraw the remaining 25% of their EPF balance as part of the final settlement.
Key rules and considerations as of 2023:
- EPF withdrawals are normally allowed only after retirement. However, partial withdrawals can be made in emergencies like medical needs, marriage, education, and home purchase, with specific limits and conditions.
- Maintaining the EPF account’s activity by not closing it ensures that the account continues to earn interest and remains a valuable long-term savings instrument.
- EPF withdrawals are subject to specific conditions, and eligibility criteria may vary depending on the purpose of withdrawal.
It is important to note that these rules are subject to change, and you should verify the most recent updates from official sources.
Important points to know for PF withdrawal
Overall, PF withdrawal is a hassle-free process. However, it would help to keep few things in order before you start the process.
- Ensure that Universal Account Number (UAN) is activated and seeded to your PF account and phone number.
- Verify and update your KYC (Know Your Customer) details, including Aaadhar, PAN, and bank account details.
- PF withdrawal is subject to different eligibility criteria, so make sure you understand those.
- Different types of withdrawals require specific forms, such as Form 19 for full withdrawal, Form 31 for partial withdrawal, and Form 10C for pension withdrawal.
- PF withdrawal process is available both online and offline. The online process is faster and more convenient.
- The tax implication on PF withdrawals varies based on the duration of employment and the withdrawal amount. TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) is deducted on large withdrawals; the rate depends on your PAN status and the withdrawal amount.
- Ensure your PF account has a valid nomination to facilitate the transfer of funds in the event of your unfortunate death.
Eligibility and rules for full EPF withdrawal
Full PF withdrawals can be done under two circumstances: retirement or prolonged unemployment. Employees can withdraw their full accumulated PF balance after retirement, resignation, or job loss. Full PF withdrawal kicks in at the age of 58 or the superannuation age. Individuals who remain unemployed after a job loss can also avail full withdrawal, with 75% available after two months of unemployment, and the remaining 25% if unemployment persists.
For full PF withdrawal, Form 19 is the claim form for the final settlement of the PF account.
Offline withdrawal process for EPF using Form 19
Form 19 is used to withdraw the full corpus of EPF funds. Employees who do not have a UAN can file for PF Form no 19, mentioning only their PF account number. Form 19 claims can be processed both online and offline and you need to follow these steps:
- Download the EPF Form 19 from the EPFO website or collect a copy from the nearest EPFO office.
- Fill in the form. It will require details like PF account details, bank details, personal details, and the reason for withdrawal.
- After filling out the form with the necessary details, get the form signed by the employer along with the official stamp.
- Add a canceled cheque or a copy of your passbook with the form to expedite the fund transfer.
- Submit the form to the EPFO office.
Partial and advance EPF withdrawal
PF members can withdraw a partial amount from their EPF account to meet specific purposes like marriage, education, medical treatment, etc. Let us understand each of these in detail.
- Marriage: PF members can withdraw funds from their EPF account to cover expenses related to weddings, their child’s wedding, or even their sibling’s wedding. However, to avail of this partial withdrawal, employees should have seven years of continuous service. And they can only use up to 50% of their contributions and accumulated interest, for a maximum of three times.
- Education: PF members can withdraw up to 50% of their total contribution to their PF fund for the education of their children after class 10 as well as for their own higher studies. The eligibility remains the same as for marriage, which is the completion of seven years of continuous service and the employee can only use up to 50% of their contributions and accumulated interest.
- Medical treatment: For medical treatment, employees can withdraw any time during their service period, irrespective of the number of years of service. Medical treatment can be for self, spouse, children, or parents. However, members can only withdraw a maximum amount equivalent to their six months’ salary.
Online application process for partial and advance withdrawals
For partial and advance withdrawals from your PF fund online, you can follow the following steps:
- Go to the UAN website and click on ‘Online Services’.
- Choose the relevant withdrawal form based on the reason for withdrawal. The most common form for partial withdrawals is Form 31.
- Fill out the form with the correct details. Ensure you are adding the specific amount for withdrawal and other necessary details.
- Depending on the reason for your withdrawal, upload the specific supporting documents.
- After filling out the form and attaching the necessary documents, click the ‘Submit’ button.
Having an EPF account and claiming the funds in times of need is a boon for employees. While employees can withdraw both online and offline, the online method is easier, more efficient, and user-friendly. It is important to stay updated about the changing withdrawal rules and procedures to ensure access to funds as required.
Q. How can I withdraw my PF amount online?
Ans. To withdraw the PF amount online, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Log in to the UAN Member e-Sewa portal.
Step 2: Select the ‘Online Services’ tab and click on the ‘Claim (Form-31, 19 & 10C)’ option.
Step 3: Member details will be displayed. Enter your bank account number registered with EPF and click ‘Verify’.
Q. Can I claim 100% PF online?
Ans. The EPFO has released the Composite Claims Form, which can be used to request a partial or complete withdrawal. Subscribers can complete the entire withdrawal process online, either through the EPFO member portal or the UAN site.
Q. How can I check my PF passbook claim status?
Ans. Employees can check the status of their PF claim by giving a missed call to 011-22901406 using their registered mobile number. However, the mobile number of the employee should be linked to their UAN.
Q. How can I check my PF account?
Ans. If you have registered your UAN with the EPFO, you can check your PF balance by sending an SMS text message to 7738299899.
Q. How long does it take to withdraw PF online?
Ans. Earlier, PF withdrawal used to take more than a month, but with the launch of the UAN member portal, PF withdrawal can be completed in 4-5 days.