Employees Provident Fund: Few facts you should know

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Employees Provident Fund: Few facts you should know
Employees Provident Fund is a fund which is contributed by Employee and the Employer. It is also very vital tool retirement tool. The Fund shall vest in, and be administered by, the Central Board constituted under section 5A.

How much one can contribute?

One can contribute generally @ 12% of one's emoluments. However if one is employed in brick, beedi, jute, guar gum factories and coir industry other than spinning  sector the rate of contribution is 10%. [Emoluments include basic wages, dearness allowance, cash value of food concession and retaining allowances, if any.] Though this is the statutory limit, one can contribute more than this rate also.

The percentages of 12% and 10% of the emoluments are subject to a ceiling of Rs 6500/-. That is, if the emoluments per month is upto Rs 6500/-, the contribution will be 12 or 10% of that amount. If the emoluments are more than Rs 6500/-, then the contribution amount will be restricted 12 or 10% of Rs 6500/-. The Employer also will contribute at an equal rate of 12% or 10% as the case may be. This contribution is also subject to the ceiling or Rs 6500/- as explained.How to check

How to check Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) balance online?

What are the benefits from the fund?

There are three benefits to the members of the fund.

  • The benefit of Provident fund is saving with interest.
  • You will receive pension. 
  • Deposit linked insurance.

If one becomes the member of EPF he automatically becomes the member of Employees Pension Scheme 1995 as well as the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLIS). The entire contribution of the employee and 8.33% of the contribution of the employer will go to the EPF. This will fetch annual interest. The rate of interest varies from year to year depending upon the earning of the Fund.

The balance contribution of the employer will go to the Employees Pension Fund.

The central Government also contributes at the rate of 1.16% to the Pension Fund. The employee need not contribute anything to the Pension Fund.

The employer will contribute 0.5% of the emoluments to the EDLIS. Employees are not required to contribute to the EDLIS.

Can the amount be withdrawn?

One can withdraw some amount from his EPF for some specific purposes only. The purposes for which such withdrawals and loans can be availed and other conditions are as follows:

Advance/ Withdrawals may be availed for the following purposes :

  • Marriage / Education 
  • Treatment 
  • Purchase or construction of Dwelling house 
  • Repayment of Housing Loan 
  • Purchase of Plot 
  • Addition/Alteration of House 
  • Repair of House 
  • Lockout 
  • Withdrawal Prior to Retirement 
  • Other Advances 

Can it be transferred?

Yes, the fund can be transferred on certain occasions, such as when an employee leaves one job and joins another. In such cases a new account number is allotted. The old balance can be transferred to the new account. Apply in From-13(R) through the NEW Employer at the EPF Office from which transfer is sought. Clearly state New and Old EPF Numbers. New EPF Number will be allotted by New Employer. Not by EPFO.

How to transfer an EPF account? Why is it necessary?

Should one transfer or close?

It is always better to transfer the account rather than closing. After it is our saving which will help us in times of providence.

Who can become a member of EPF?

Every employee (including part-time workers and those employed by or through contractors) shall be entitled to become a member of the Scheme from the date of joining the factory or the other establishment. (Para 26)

Every newspaper employee other than an excluded employee shall be entitled to become member of the Fund after completion of 3 months continuous service or if he has actually worked for 60 days during 3 months or less (There is no wage ceiling in the case of newspaper employee). (Para 80)

Every Cine Worker other than an excluded employee shall be entitled to become a member of the Fund if he has worked in not less than three feature films with one or more producers provided his pay at the time of joining the Fund does not exceed Rs. 1600/-P.M or Rs.15,000/- per year. (Para 81)

What if the company is closed or if the employer refuses to cooperate?

If the company is closed and the employer is either not traceable or refused to sign the subscriber to the fund can still submit his claim for settlement through other means. It is the duty of the employer under the Act & Scheme to help Employees' Provident Fund organisation to settle the Provident Fund dues of his employees. He has to complete the prescribed application within 5 days of receipt [para72(5)] forms & hand over it to the member when he leaves the service. When a member finds it difficult to get the form attested by the employer, he can get the attestation of any of the following officer & send to the Provident Fund office:

  • Manager of a bank. 
  • By any gazetted officer.
  • Member of the Central Board of Trustees./ committee/ Regional Committee (Employees'
  • Provident Fund Organization). 
  • Magistrate/ Post/ Sub Post Master/ President of Village Panchayat/ Notary Public. 


Read more about: epf, pf, investment
Story first published: Saturday, January 12, 2013, 11:13 [IST]
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