The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently introduced an online service to withdraw the employees' provident fund (EPF) account balance quicker. The service is aimed at making the withdrawal process simpler with the introduction of a one-page composite form.
It is available for EPF subscribers that have linked their UAN (Universal Account Number) with Aadhaar.
Earlier, the withdrawal process required submission of three claim forms, namely Form 19, Form 10C, and Form 31 that served the purpose of final PF settlement, pension withdrawal and non-refundable PF advance, respectively.
These claim forms do not require attestation from the employer. They are accepted and processed on self-attestation basis.
The composite form serves all these purposes by asking you to state the nature of the withdrawal. It also does not require employer attestation, thus removing a time consuming step altogether.
If you meet the set membership criteria laid down by EPFO, you can withdraw your PF balance for buying a house, land or for paying off home loan. These partial withdrawals are also allowed to purposes like medical expenditure or marriage of self or family member, child's higher education, etc.
Full withdrawal is allowed at the time of retirement or after the member attains 58 years of age. It is also allowed in case of death of the employee or unemployment.
In case of unemployment, 75 percent withdrawal of the PF corpus is allowed after the first month of unemployment. The remainder can be withdrawn after 2 months of unemployment.
In most cases, you will only need Aadhaar, bank account details and PAN to make the PF withdrawal claim.
In cases where the fund is withdrawn before the completion of 5 years of employment (or membership with the EPF), the amount will be taxed as "income from salary" according to EPFO rules.