The Employee’s Provident Fund, also known as EPF or just PF, acts as a useful savings instrument for employees where they contribute towards retirement savings along with their employer. This is backed by the government and is a compulsory practice for salaried employees. The employer and the employee both contribute a fixed percentage of the basic salary of the employee to the savings fund. This percentage used to be around 12 percent for private organizations and is now around 10 percent.
The employer and employee deposit this contribution with the Employee Provident Fund Organisation, or EPFO, every month. All employees are part of the EPFO by default.
This accumulated amount or a part of this amount in the EPF account can be withdrawn by the employee in events of retirement, resignation, other personal reasons or even in case of global pandemics. This savings amount can be transferred from one company to another as well in the scenario that the employee switches his workplace.
Online Withdrawal Process
While the Provident Fund withdrawal process used to be traditionally offline, the online facility helps in making this process less time-consuming and cumbersome for the employee who wants to withdraw an amount from his PF.
The steps required for completing the online withdrawal process are:-
Step 1: Establish that your Universal Account Number, i.e. UAN, is successfully activated and is linked with your registered mobile number, and that its KYC is successfully complete. This means that you have to ensure it is linked with your IFSC code, bank details, and Aadhaar number.
Step 2: Go to the UAN portal and sign in with the Universal Account Number and password after entering the captcha.
Step 3: Go to the ‘Online Services’ tab on this portal and then click on ‘Claim (Form-31, 19 & 10C)’.
Step 4: You will now be taken to a new page with all the member details, KYC details, etc. Fill in your bank account number and click ‘Verify’, then fill in your reasons for having to leave or withdraw from your Provident Fund savings.
Step 5: A pop-up named ‘Certificate of Undertaking’ will pop up, on which you will have to click on ‘Yes’.
Step 6: Move to the drop-down menu, choose ‘I Want To Apply For’, and from there choose ‘Only PF withdrawal (Form 19)’.
Step 7: Fill in your details in the ‘Complete Address’ section and proceed to upload scanned copies of your Cheque or Passbook.
Step 8: Choose the given tick option on the disclaimer message and then click on ‘Get Aadhaar OTP’. Fill in the OTP that you will receive on your registered mobile number and then submit your application.
Step 9: Once you have submitted this form, follow the same above steps and submit the ‘Form 10C’ via the same portal.
Your requested amount will be deposited into your bank account within 15-20 days from the completion of this process.
PF Withdrawal Rules
There are quite a few rules and conditions that need to be followed for a reason for withdrawal. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has made it easier for employees to access their PF funds through their latest revisions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to these revisions, the PF account holders are eligible to withdraw three months’ worth of their basic salary along with 75% of the net balance in their PF or EPF account, whichever is lower.
These are the eligibility criteria and withdrawal limits for reasons permitted by the EPFO:
1. Withdrawal of your PF for down-payment for housing loan for the construction or purchase of a site or a flat will require a minimum of 60 months of service as a salaried employee. You can withdraw upto 36 months worth of your basic salary along with DA/ the total of employee and employer shares with interest/ the total cost of the house
2. Withdrawal of your PF for your marriage or the marriage of your brother/sister/son/daughter, requires a minimum amount of 84 months of service as a salaried employee. You can withdraw upto 50% of your entire EPF account worth.
3. Withdrawal for the post matriculation education of your children, requires a minimum amount of 84 months of service as a salaried employee and can withdraw upto 50% of your entire EPF.
4. Withdrawal of your PF one year before your retirement requires you to be above the age of 54. You can withdraw upto 90% of your entire EPF account worth.
5. Withdrawal of your PF for the requirement of Medical expenses or due to natural calamity, does not have a minimum service tenure. You can withdraw up to 6 months of your basic and DA.
Withdraw PF Online - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1.What are the necessary conditions to meet to file for a withdrawal claim online?
Your PF Account number should be present in the EPFO database, and your employer must have registered the digital signature certificate.
2. What if I fill in the wrong Date of Birth than that available on the EPFO website?
Post three unsuccessful attempts, your ID will be blocked for online claim submission.
3. Can I withdraw my PF for my children’s marriage?
Yes, provided that you have completed a minimum of 84 months of service as a salaried employee.
4. Can I withdraw my PF for a housing loan?
Yes, provided that you have completed a minimum of 60 months of service as a salaried employee.