The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) rules allow you to withdraw from your EPF account for various reasons. You can withdraw money from your EPF account upon retirement after attainting the age of 55 years. You can also withdraw money from your EPF account for various purposes before retirement.
These include purchasing a house, child’s wedding and education, and funding financial emergencies caused due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. You are also allowed to file a claim due to job loss or after you leave your job.
However, before filing a claim, you should make sure that the prescribed conditions under the EPF scheme are met.
Eligibility to file withdrawal
Puneet Gupta, Director, People Advisory Services, EY India lists out the basic conditions that must be satisfied by an EPF member before filing for applicable advance or withdrawal from the EPF account:
|Reason for partial withdrawal/ advance||When||Purpose||Maximum amount that can be withdrawn|
|Education||After 7 years of EPF membership||Education of son or daughter after class 10||50% of employee’s share of contribution with interest only|
|Marriage||After 7 years of EPF membership||Marriage of self, son/daughter, brother/sister||50% of employee’s share of contribution with interest only|
|Purchase of land for construction of house||After 5 years of EPF membership||Land should in the name of individual and / or spouse||Least of the following: (a) 24 months’ basic wages and dearness allowance of member; or (b) Member’s share of contribution along with employer’s contribution and interest; or (c) Actual cost towards acquisition of the site|
|Purchase of house / Construction of house||After 5 years of EPF membership||House should in the name of individual and / or spouse||Least of the following: (a) 36 months’ basic wages and dearness allowance of member; or (b) Member’s share of contribution along with employer’s contribution and interest or; (c) Total cost of construction|
|Renovation of house||After 5 years from the date of completion of the of the house||House should in the name of individual and / or spouse||Least of the following: (a) 12 months’ basic wages and dearness allowance of member; or (b) Member’s share of contribution along with interest|
|Medical emergency (For e.g. cancer, TB etc.)||–||For specified medical treatment of self and family member||Least of the following: (a) 6 months’ basic wages and dearness allowance of member; or (b) Member’s share of contribution with interest|
|Non-receipt of wages||–||Employee has not received wages for more than 2 months continuously (for reasons other than strike)||Employee share with interest|
|Job loss||–||Un-employed for a continuous period of not less than a month||Up to 75% of the EPF balance i.e. member’s share, employer’s share and interest
Balance 25% can be withdrawn after remaining unemployed for continuous period of two months
|To meet pandemic related financial exigencies (For e.g. Coronavirus)||–||If the area is declared to be affected by epidemic or pandemic||Least of the following: (a) 3 months’ basic wages and dearness allowance of member; or (b) 75% of EPF balance i.e. member’s share, employer’s share and interest|
|Repayment of housing loan||After 10 years of EPF membership||Loan should in the name of individual and / or spouse||Least of the following: (a) 36 months’ basic wages and dearness allowance of member; or (b) Member’s share of contribution along with employer’s share of contribution (c) Amount of outstanding principal and interest of the said loanincluding the interest; or|
|Withdrawal within one year before the retirement||After attainment of 54 years of age by the member or; Within 1 year before his/ her actual retirement on superannuation, whichever is later||Any purpose||Upto 90% of the EPF balance i.e. member’s share, employer’s share and interest|
|Withdrawal for investment in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana||After attaining the age of 55 years||Amount to be transferred to the Life Insurance Corporation of India for investment in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana||Upto 90% of the EPF balance i.e. member’s share, employer’s share and interest|
Other than the above mentioned reasons, an individual can also claim applicable advance or withdrawal from the EPF account under the following circumstances:
a. Withdrawal/ financing for purchase of house or construction of house including acquisition of site from the Central Government, State Government or a Housing Agency under a notified Housing Scheme;
b. Withdrawal/ financing for purchase of house or construction of house including acquisition of site from the Central Government, State Government or a Housing Agency under a notified Housing Scheme – for a member of a co-operative society or a registered society having 10 or more members;
c. Where establishment has been locked out or closed down for more than 15 days and the employees are unemployed without any compensation;
d. Where member is discharged or dismissed or retrenched by the employer and such discharge or dismissal or retrenchment is challenged by the employee in a court;
e. Where establishment has been locked out or closed down for more than 6 months and the employees continue to remain unemployed without any compensation;
f. Where member is affected by calamity of exceptional nature such as floods, earthquake or riots;
g. Where members are affected by cut in the supply of electricity in the establishment;
h. For purchase of the equipment required by physically handicapped member.
Documents required for filing claim online
Gupta says “To file an EPF withdrawal claim online, you are not required to submit any documents, however, the scanned copy of cheque/ passbook has to be uploaded on the Member e-Sewa portal.”
He adds, “The bank account number, IFSC and name should be visible on the scanned copy of the cheque and should be readable. EPFO can reject the claim application if the scanned copy of the cheque is not readable.”
Checklist to file withdrawal from EPF account online
Once you have ensured that the conditions (minimum membership requirement, etc.) for the purpose for which claim is being filed are satisfied, certain additional eligibility conditions must be satisfied to be eligible for filing a claim online.
These conditions are as follows:
A) Universal Account Number (UAN) must be activated;
B) Aadhaar number should be linked and verified with UAN;
C) Bank account with correct IFSC should be seeded with UAN;
D) EPF account must be KYC-compliant;
E) Mobile number linked with Aadhaar should be active;
F) In case of retirement, correct date of birth should be updated in the EPFO records.
Gupta says “It is important to have the correct date of birth seeded in the records of EPFO for availing the Provident Fund and Pension benefits.”
Step-by-step guide to file EPF withdrawal claim online
Step 1: Visit Member e-Sewa portal https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ on the EPFO portal
Step 2: Log in to your account by entering UAN, password and captcha code
Step 3: Once logged in, click on ‘Claim (Form-31, 19, 10C & 10D)’ under the ‘Online Services’ tab.
Step 4: A new tab will open where you will be required to enter the correct bank account number (seeded with UAN). Click on verify.
Step 5: Once your bank account details are verified, you will be required to confirm terms and conditions as stated by the EPFO.
Step 6: Click on ‘Proceed For Online Claim’.
Step 7: From the drop-down menu, you will be required to select the reason for applying for withdrawal from your EPF account. Only those options will be visible for which you are eligible.
Suppose, if you are applying for advance for purchase of a house, then ensure that you have completed five years of EPF membership and other specified conditions. Similarly, in case where the claim is filed due to job-loss, then ensure that date of exit is updated in EPFO records before filing a claim.
Step 8: Once the reason for withdrawal/advance is selected, you will be required to enter your complete address. For an advance claim, the amount to be claimed is also to be stated. The individual will be required to upload the scanned copy of cheque/ passbook. Do make sure that the scanned copy of cheque/ passbook uploaded is as per the instructions provided by the EPFO. Select the terms and conditions once again. Click on ‘Get Aadhaar OTP’.
Step 9: A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your mobile number registered with Aadhaar. Enter the OTP in the required box.
Once the OTP is entered successfully, then your claim application will be submitted.
Tracking your claim status
To track the status of your claim, you can log in to your account on the Member e-Sewa portal. The status can be tracked in ‘Track Claim Status’ under the ‘Online Services’ tab.
After the submission of your withdrawal claim, the EPFO will match the data in its records from the data submitted by you in your online claim form. Once the data matches, the EPFO will process the application and credit the money to your bank account linked with UAN.
Points to note
- The online process to file a claim from your EPF account can be done only if your PF money is held with the EPFO.
- If your PF money is managed by a private trust or your organisation is an exempted organisation, then you have to file the claim process with your employer.