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EPFO Introduces Easier Norms For Provident Fund Advance, Withdrawal: 10 Facts

EPFO has come out with a single-page form for all these claims, doing away with the need for filling up multiple forms.
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EPFO has done away with the need for filling up multiple forms for provident fund-related claims.
EPFO has done away with the need for filling up multiple forms for provident fund-related claims.

Highlights

  1. EPFO has introduced a composite one-page form
  2. Even employer's attestation is not required for withdrawals
  3. No other document needed for partial withdrawal/advances
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO has simplified the norms for provident fund-related claims - from provident/pension fund withdrawal to the advance facility. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has come out with a single-page form for all these claims, doing away with the need for filling up multiple forms. In addition, an Employees' Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO subscriber can submit the new one-page form directly to the retirement fund body without the employer's attestation if their accounts are seeded with Aadhaar and bank account details. Also, no other document would be required to be submitted by the subscriber for taking advances from the PF corpus.

Here are 10 things to know:

1) For now, subscribers who have seeded Aadhaar and bank account details to their UAN (Universal Account Number) have the facility to submit claim form directly to EPFO without the attestation of employers. EPFO had in 2014 launched a Universal Account Number or UAN-based portal to provide a number of facilities to its members through a single window. (Also readEPFO may invest more money in stock markets soon)

2) However, for subscribers who are yet to seed Aadhaar and bank details, a new composite claim form has been introduced which has to be submitted with attestation of employers for any claims.

3) EPFO has made it mandatory for all subscribers as well as pensioners to submit their Aadhaar numbers. The PF body has recently extended the deadline for submitting Aadhaar for its subscribers and pensioners till March 31, 2017.

4) Provident fund (PF) is meant for saving towards post-retirement years. Financial planners don't advise withdrawal from the corpus before retirement. According to provident fund norms, 12 per cent of an employee's salary goes into the fund along with a matching contribution from the employer. But 8.33 per cent of that goes into Employees' Pension Scheme. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO or every year announces interest rate to be paid on the accumulated provident fund corpus.

5) A provident fund subscriber can go for partial withdrawal/advance from his or her corpus for specific purposes like purchase of flat, construction, marriage/education of children etc.

6) However, to be eligible for these partial withdrawal/loan benefits, a person has to be a subscriber for a minimum number of years. And the advance amount depends on the specific situation.

7) For example, to buy a house, the subscriber has to be a member of at least five years.

8) To further simplify the provident fund claims, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO plans to launch an online facility by May this year, EPFO Central Provident Fund Commissioner VP Joy told news agency Press Trust of India recently.

9) EPFO has an ambitious plan to settle the claims within a few hours after filing of application. Currently, the PF body settles most of the withdrawal-related claims within the stipulated 20 days.

10) PF money can be withdrawn after two months from the cessation of employment. To encourage long-term savings, the government has formulated tax laws accordingly. If the withdrawal from a recognised PF happens after five years of continuous employment, it attracts no tax liability. (Also read: PF Withdrawal: Know the tax laws)

Here's what the new form looks like: 


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