Around 6 crore employees will be receiving provident fund (PF) deposits for the fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, by the EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organization) soon, according to media sources. During Diwali, the festive season in the country, the PF deposits can be credited. The decision has been taken by the authority keeping in mind the fact that, there have been more withdrawals and less contribution in PF from the members for the pandemic. During the tough financial time of the pandemic, the EPFO has decided to provide a helping hand to its stakeholders.
The government has published a notification that mentioned, "To support its subscribers during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable Covid-19 advance. The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during the pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)." The PMGKY allows EPF members in the country to withdraw their 3 months' basic pay and dearness allowance (DA) or 75% of their PF as advance - whichever will be lower.
Interest on EPF
At present, after the government revised the interest rate on employee provident fund (EPF) and voluntary provident fund (VPF), it has been fixed at 8.5%. Previously, before the pandemic hit, the interest rates on EPF were higher. In FY 2018-19 and FY 2016-17, the rates were the same at 8.65%, and in FY 2017-18 it was 8.55%. Now the government has plunged the interest rate due to the pandemic to infuse liquidity in the country. Although the returns from EPF are decreasing, employees have always preferred it because of its secured and assured income option.
To check the PF balance you should have your universal account number (UAN) for PF. You can send a text to 7738299899 from your registered mobile number "EPFOHO UAN ENG". In a reply, you will be able to find your PF balance along with other related details.