We understand that Employee Provident Fund is our main saving for the retirement. But sometimes, the situation demands the EPF withdrawal. You want to withdraw the EPF because you don’t have a job anymore. You may want to withdraw the EPF to buy or build a home. Or you want to withdraw the EPF because you have reached to the superannuation age. Whatever be the reason, you want the EPF balance back to you. You just want to know EPF withdrawal rules and process.
In this post, I will not only tell you the EPF withdrawal procedure but also you would learn how to check the EPF withdrawal status. But before that, I would like to give you a brief intro about the EPF scheme.
EPF is a retirement saving scheme for the workers who are employed with an organization. The scheme is mandatory to those who earns up to Rs 15,000 (basic salary) per month. However, in practice, employer include all the employee into the EPF scheme.
The workers have to pay a monthly contribution for the EPF scheme. The contribution is the 12% of the basic salary. The employer also matches the contribution of an employee and pay towards the EPF account of the employee. A part of the employer’s contribution is given to the employee pension scheme and EDLI. These are the sister schemes of the EPF.
Know More: EPF Contribution Rates
EPF Balance Check
It is necessary to keep track of your EPF contribution. This tracking can be done by the regular EPF balance check. You can check the accumulated balance in your EPF account. There are various methods of EPF balance enquiry. You can check it online as well as by giving a missed call. You can also also use UMANG app to download EPF passbook
An EPF account is opened for you when you get a job. When you switch the job, you get a new EPF account. However, you can easily transfer EPF balance from the previous EPF account to present EPF account. You can apply for EPF transfer while joining a new job. You can also transfer EPF balance online.
To make the EPF transfer easy from one account to another, the employee provident fund organisation gives a universal account number to every employee. This number does not change with the change of the job. The UAN login has eased many tasks of the EPF. You can get EPF balance very soon after the UAN and Aadhaar Linking.
EPF Withdrawal Rules
- In the normal course, you can withdraw EPF only after attaining the age of 55. You would get the full EPF balance along with the PF interest.
- You can withdraw 90% of PF corpus before one year of the retirement. Minimum Age for this relaxation is 54 years.
- You can withdraw full EPF balance if your remain unemployed for 2 months.
- Partially withdraw EPF balance in case of specified needs. E. g. home purchase, marriage, higher education etc.
- If you withdraw the EPF balance before completing 5 continuous years of EPF contribution, you would loose all the EPF tax benefits. Your EPF withdrawal amount would be taxable and you have to give back the 80C tax deductions. Note, EPF contribution can be through the different jobs.
Know More: Tax on EPF
EPF Withdrawal Checklist
To withdraw the PF amount you must go trough this list.
- You must have the UAN to withdraw EPF. The relaxation is given to only those who have left the job before 1 Jan 2014.
- Properly check your name in the EPF detail. It must match with bank account.
- Your date of birth and father’s name should match with the identity proof.
- Your employer should register the exit date in EPFO records.
Also Read: EPF Withdrawal Checklist For 99% Success rate
EPF Withdrawal Situations
There are many situations when you withdraw the EPF balance. The EPF withdrawal rules are different for every situation.
Superannuation is the not very common word. So, let me clarify it. The time when you reach at the end of your service is called as the superannuation. It is the time when you don’t seek another job. Normally the age of 60 is considered as the superannuation age. It can be 62 and 58 as well.
The EPF considers the age of 55 as the superannuation. It means you can get back your EPF balance after attaining the age of 55.
Since superannuation is the time when you have to get the EPF balance, The rules are very easy at that time. You can immediately apply for EPF withdrawal after the retirement. Normally the organisations itself takes initiative to process your form. New Composite EPF withdrawal form is used for the EPF and pension withdrawal .
The EPF scheme gives you the facility to withdraw a partial amount of EPF balance in an emergency. The reason for partial withdrawal can be Medical, higher education, marriage, home purchase and home loan payment. However, There are strict conditions for such advances. But sometimes this type of EPF withdrawal is the best alternative. You can read more about the partial EPF advance in my another post.
You can get the full EPF balance in case you remain without the job for two months. Nowadays, this type of withdrawal is common. Some people use this option after the job switch. However, it is against the EPF withdrawal rules. The government wants that the EPF saving must remain up to the retirement. You can withdraw EPF in such situation only after the two months of leaving the job. You have to also give an undertaking that you are unemployed at the time of applying.
Ways of EPF Withdrawal
The EPF withdrawal has become easy now. The UAN with the Adhaar has simplified the EPF withdrawal process. Now you have two ways to withdraw the EPF balance from the EPF account.
- Direct EPF Withdrawal – Without Employer Signature
- EPF Withdrawal Through Employer
1. Direct From EPFO
As of now, you can directly apply to EPF office for the EPF withdrawal. The role of an employer is declining. The direct process has some benefits over the EPF withdrawal through the employer.
Benefits of direct EPF withdrawal
- The processing time would be less as you skip the biggest hurdle. Often employers take the time to forward the withdrawal application.
- The employer can’t arm-twist to the employee. The absconding employees can also get back their EPF balance.
- You have to deal with few people.
Further, the direct EPF Withdrawal has two methods. The first method is very easy and doesn’t require any attestation or documents. While the second method requires attestation and documents.
- EPF Withdrawal Without Attestation
- EPF Withdrawal with Attestation
i) EPF Withdrawal Without Attestation
This is the easiest method of EPF withdrawal. This method is simple and without any hassle. However, you have to visit the regional PF office for the submission of the form. You should always prefer this method.
The direct EPF withdrawal empowers you but it has certain requirements. You have to prove your authenticity through this method. Because in this process, no employer is involved to verify that correct person is asking money.
- You should have the UAN
- The UAN must be activated
- Adhaar must be registered with UAN database.
- The employer should attest your Adhaar.
- You bank account must be registered with the EPFO
Thus, if you fulfil these conditions, you should apply directly to EPFO for EPF withdrawal.
How To Apply
To apply for EPF withdrawal without the employer, you have to use different EPF withdrawal form UAN. This is a smaller form and requires lesser information. You are not required to attach any document as well. Download the new form, fill it and directly submit it to the regional PF commissioner.
ii) Direct EPF withdrawal With Attestation
This method skips the employer but it still needs the attestation. In this method, you have to prove your authenticity. Thus, you have to give the documents. Also, you have to get your EPF withdrawal form attested from the designated person.
You should use this method if the UAN is not activated or Adhaar/Bank account is not linked to UAN. Also, you should use this method only if your employer is not cooperating. If the employer is cooperative, you should prefer the EPF withdrawal through the employer.
In this method, you have to use the regular form 19 (http://www.epfindia.com/site_docs/PDFs/Downloads_PDFs/Form19.pdf) for the EPF withdrawal. You have to attach the following document along with this form.
- A canceled cheque having the name, account number and IFSC code
- A copy of PAN card
Since you want to bypass the employer, you have to go other officials for the attestation. These officials can attest the EPF withdrawal form.
- Gazetted Officer
- Post or Sub-Post Master
- President of Village Union
- President of the Village Panchayat where there is no Union Board
- Chairman or Secretary or Member of the Municipal or District Local Board
- Member of Parliament/Legislative Assembly
- Member of Central Board of Trustees/Regional Committee of Employees’ Provident Fund
- Manager of the Bank in which the Saving Bank Account is maintained
- Head of any recognized educational Institution
Note, the attestation from the above officials in not the normal course. Neither, EPFO readily accepts such form. Sometimes, EPFO rejects such claims. Hence, you should also state the reason of bypassing the normal route. You can do this by attaching a covering letter stating the employer’s unsupportive behavior.
Also Read: Withdraw EPF without Employer Signature
2. EPF Withdrawal Through The Employer
It is the standard process of EPF withdrawal. Most of the people use this method. The process is not tedious if the employer is supportive. The companies, with good HR practices, forwards the EPF application promptly.My company processed the EPF withdrawal form swiftly and I got the money within 15 days. The process is simple.
- Get the standard EPF withdrawal form 19 from your employer. You can also download it from the EPFindia.gov.in.
- Fill the form and sign it. You can take help from the official of the HR department while filling the application. Don’t forget to mention the mobile number.
- Attach the canceled cheque and copy of the PAN.
- You employer would attest the form. If you have downloaded the form, you and your employer should sign the every page of the form.
- The employer would forward the application to the regional PF office.
- The EPF office would send and SMS when the application is submitted to it.
- Track the status of EPF withdrawal application through the EPFindia.gov.in
- The EPFO would transfer the money to your bank account within a month.
How To Check EPF withdrawal Status
You can check the EPF withdrawal status once it is submitted to the regional PF office. The status gives you an idea about the expected time.
To check the EPF withdrawal status you have to visit the following link
You have to enter EPF account number, step by step. You have to give the state code, region code, organisation code and finally the account number. There is a field for the extension, you can leave it blank if there is no extension your EPF account number.
So, you have to go the Know You Claim Link of the EPFindia.gov.in. In the coming page, you have to give the EPF account details. After submitting the EPF account number online you can immediately get the EPF withdrawal status immediately.
Avoid EPF Withdrawal
Of course, I have written this post to tell you the process of EPF withdrawal, But I suggest to avoid the premature withdrawal, as far as possible. The EPF scheme is a retirement saving scheme. Thus, you should not touch its corpus till the retirement. Indeed, it is easy to withdraw the EPF corpus but saving such amount is not an easy task. Often, people overlook the retirement saving which makes their old age difficult.
Thus, If you can, transfer EPF balance when you switch the job. The EPF transfer is an easier affair than the EPF withdrawal.