PF withdrawals: How, When, and Why?
(Last Updated On: May 7, 2019)
As humans, we have a tendency of never attaining satisfaction. This dissatisfaction keeps us driving to achieve better. And in this ride, we reach the age of retirement. We become so conditioned to living a good lifestyle that we refuse to degrade our living standards. To make our retirements easy, the government launched the Employee’s Provident Fund Scheme.
Employee’s Provident Fund Scheme/EPFO/PF withdrawals:
Employee’s Provident Fund Scheme is a social security scheme. You contribute towards this scheme during your employment period. You (the employee) contribute at least 12% of your basic salary towards the scheme. Your employer also contributes some amount towards your EPF which combinedly is known as ‘EPF corpus’. The EPF amount is mainly used during your retirement period. However, you can withdraw some amount from your EPF before retirement owing to the reasons listed below.
This scheme is managed by the Employee’s Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). EPFO is responsible for online transfers, claims, and withdrawals. Initially, the employees had to undergo the tedious process of withdrawing and transferring PF since the employees received new member Id with new employment. But with the advent of Universal Account Number (UAN), the process has been simplified to a great extent. UAN acts as an umbrella account to which all your PF accounts can be linked. With this, you can easily file claims for online transfer or PF withdrawal. You can also check for KYC details attached to your account.
PF withdrawals become a necessity when you are planning your retirement or leaving your job and taking a break. You might also need your EPF funds for unavoidable situations. For all these purposes, it is imperative that you know how to withdraw your funds and what are the requirements. Read the content below to know about PF withdrawals.
Conditions attached to PF withdrawals:
EPFO has made complete/partial EPF withdrawals conditional.Read below to know all the conditions associated with EPF withdrawals.
Withdraw your entire EPF amount under the following conditions:
- When you are retiring from employment
- If you are unemployed for or more than 2 months. And want to apply for withdrawal due to this, then this claim of yours needs to be certified by a gazetted officer.
You cannot apply for complete EPF withdrawal if you are changing job without taking a break which exceeds the period of 2 months. Applying for PF withdrawals under such circumstance is illegal. In this situation, you can opt for transferring your PF balance into your new account. To know how to transfer the PF balance online, you can read our other blog on ‘Online EPF transfer’.
Conditions for partial withdrawals under EPF:
You can be eligible for partial withdrawal if you need funds for your marriage or your son/daughter/brother/sister’s marriage. It can be withdraw up to 50% of your contribution to the EPF corpus. You also need to put in 7 years of service to be eligible to claim partial withdrawal.
For this, you need to put in a minimum of 7 years in service. You can claim this if you need funds for your education or for your children after they have passed class 10th. For education, you can claim up to 50% of your contribution to the EPF account.
Purchasing a land/house or for construction:
You need to put in at least 5 years into employment to be eligible for this. You can claim this if the land/house is in your name or your spouse’s name. It can also be claimed if you have taken the land/house jointly with your spouse. For land, you can claim up to 24 times of your monthly wages along with dearness allowance. And for the house, you can withdraw up to 36 times of your monthly wages along with dearness allowance.
Home loan repayment:
Under this, a minimum service of 10 years is required. For this, you are eligible to withdraw up to 90% of EPF corpus which includes contributions from both, the employee and the employer. However, you can only avail this under certain conditions:
The property on which the loan was received should either be registered on your name or your spouse’s name. It can also be held jointly.
Withdrawal will only be approved when you have furnished all the required documents related to home loan at the EPFO office.
The total amount in your PF (inclusive of interests) should be more than Rs. 20,000.
Renovation of the house:
The house should be registered either in your name or your spouse’s name. The property can also be held jointly. You can claim up to 12 times your monthly wages. But to avail all these facilities, you need to put in at least 5 years into service.
You can claim this only for yourself. As per the recent amendment, you can claim up to 90% of the corpus amount along with interests upon reaching the age of 57 years.
How to withdraw the Provident Fund?
Amount from the provident fund only be withdrawn under certain conditions which are mentioned above. Once you have satisfied these conditions, you can file for withdrawing your funds. Funds can be withdrawn via two modes:
- You can submit a physical application for withdrawal claim
- Or you can submit an online application
Withdrawal via submitting a physical application:
To file your withdrawal claim via this method, you need to download ‘Composite form’. This form can be downloaded from the Employee’s Provident Fund website or from the link mentioned below.
If you will scroll down through this PDF, you will see official order for the composite claim, composite claim form (Aadhaar), and Composite claim form (Non-aadhaar).
- Composite claim form (Aadhaar): you can fill this form if your details are already saved in EPFO’s database via Form-11 (New). Form-11 (New) records details such as your Aadhaar and your bank account details which are usually required to activate the UAN portal. To avail of this service, it is mandatory that your UAN is activated and all the necessary information is already available on the portal. You don’t need your employer’s attestation on this form and can directly be submitted to the EPFO office.
- Composite claim form (Non-Aadhaar): this form can only be submitted after the attestation from the employer. Attestation is required because your personal details and employment history are not available in the EPFO database. After attestation, you can submit the form to the EPFO jurisdictional office.
EPF Withdrawal via online means:
The online facility was launched recently by EPFO. This facility has made the entire withdrawal process easy and convenient. However, to avail of this facility, you need to fulfill certain prerequisites:
- Your Universal Account Number (UAN) should be active and the mobile number associated with it should be active too.
- Your Universal Account Number (UAN) should be linked to PAN, Aadhaar, and bank details containing your IFSC code.
Once you have fulfiled all the prerequisites, you can proceed with online PF withdrawal case. Follow the steps mentioned below for filing the claim:
- To start the process, you need to visit ‘member interface’ of unified EPFO portal. You can do so by clicking on the link mentioned below:
- On the right side of the screen, you can see ‘Member e-SEWA’ section. You need to log in using your UAN, password, and captcha. Once you have filled in the details, click on ‘Sign in’.
- Once you have logged in, you will see a screen similar to the one mentioned above. On the right side, you will see all your personal details attached to your EPFO account.
- To move forward, you need to click on ‘Manage’ which is available on the top of your screen. From the dropdown list, select ‘KYC’.
- The ‘KYC’ option will take you to the ‘Add KYC’ page. In this section, you need to check your KYC details like PAN, Aadhaar, and bank details. You also need to check if your details have been verified.
- Once you have verified your details, click on the ‘Online Services’ option. From the dropdown menu, select ‘Claim (Form- 31,19 & 10C)’.
- For the next step, you will be taken to the ‘Claim’ screen. The screen will display your personal information, your KYC details and other details attached to your account. To file for withdrawal claim, click on ‘Proceed For Online Claim’.
- You need to fill the ‘claim form’ displayed on your screen. In the form, you will be asked to fill in the claim you require, i.e, pension withdrawal, full EPF settlement, and EPF part withdrawal (loan/advance). You can select any of these options from under ‘I want to apply for’ tab. You will not be able to see an option/options from the dropdown menu if you are not eligible for them.
How long does the withdrawal process usually takes?
The time taken usually depends upon the mode of withdrawal. The process will be faster and easier if your KYC details are verified. If you have applied for withdrawal via online means, the process will take a maximum of 10 days. If you have applied via offline means, you will receive your PF withdrawals within 20 days.
What are the withdrawal rules issued by the EPFO?
Some of the basic withdrawal rules issued by the EPFO are:
- If your retirement is due in a year, you can withdraw 90% of the funds from the EPF corpus given that you are at least 54 years old.
- If you are unemployed for 1 month, you can withdraw 75% of the corpus funds. The remaining amount can be transferred to your EPF account.
- If you are withdrawing before 5 years of continuous employment, then your withdrawal will be subject to tax.
Can PF be withdrawn during employment?
Full PF withdrawals are not permitted during employment. During employment, you can only file for partial withdrawals and the reasons should be listed and approved by the EPFO.
How can I check the status of my PF withdrawal online?
To check the status of your PF withdrawals, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Go to the EPFO portal by clicking on the link mentioned below:
- Select options in the order mentioned: Our services >> For Employee’s >> Know your PF status
- This will take you to another screen where you will have to put in your credentials to check your PF status. Fill in your UAN and captcha and then click on ‘search’.
- You will be asked to fill in your PF account number, your establishment code, state of your PF office, and PF office from the dropdown menu on the next step.
- Submit the information and the status of your PF account will be displayed on the screen.
How can I check my PF balance via SMS?
To check your PF balance via SMS, drop an SMS to 7738299899 in the format mentioned below:
Type ‘EPFOHO UAN’ and send it to the number mentioned above.