EPFO plays a very important role in your retirement saving. Every employee who contributes in the EPF scheme deals with the EPFO. The full form of EPFO is Employee Provident Fund Organisation. This organisation is constituted to manage the retirement savings of the organised sector workers. These workers include private and public sector employee.
The EPFO manages the three social sector schemes. These are the Employee Provident Fund, Employee Pension Scheme and Employee Deposit linked Insurance
EPFO Managed Schemes
EPF s the main scheme of the EPFO. This is the mandatory scheme for organised sector employees. Every organisation which employs more than 20 people has to participate in this scheme. With this participation, the employees of all these organisations become a member of the EPF scheme. Because of this rule, currently, 8.5 crore workers are the member of the EPF scheme.
This scheme is mandatory for each member who earns less than ₹15,000 (basic + DA) in a month. Once you become a member of EPF, you can’t quit it. You have to contribute 12% of your salary towards this scheme. The employer has to also match your amount i. e. 12%. However part of the employer’s contribution goes for EPS and EDLI.
An employee gets his accumulated corpus at the time of retirement. The contribution and withdrawal amount of EPF scheme are totally tax-free.
It is a pension scheme and runs along with the EPF. The part of your employer’s contribution goes towards the employee pension scheme. The maximum amount of EPS contribution is 1250/month. This scheme gives you pension after the age of 58. You get minimum ₹1000 under this pension scheme. If an employee dies during the service, the family of the deceased also gets a family pension.
It is an insurance scheme for the employee. Under Employee Deposit Linked Insurance scheme (EDLI), an employee gets an insurance cover of ₹6 lacs. This is a group insurance scheme and normal life insurance companies provide this group insurance.
Task of EPFO
There are several tasks of EPFO. All the tasks are related to EPF, EPs and EDLI scheme. It manages all the contributed money and gives good interest rate on your retirement saving. I have listed the tasks of EPFO.
Regulation of UnExempted Organisations
Unexempted organisations are those companies which deposit the employee and employer contribution with the EPFO. These companies do not manage the investment of accumulated corpus, itself.
The EPFO regulates these companies through their regional EPF offices. It ensures that these companies deducts EPF contribution and submit it with the EPFO. It also looks after that every company follows the rules of EPF.
Regulation of Exempted Organisations
Exempted organisations manage the collected EPF contributions itself. Such companies have to follow the strict guidelines of investment. The EPFO has fixed the investment structure and investment vehicle. In these case also EPFO ensures that exempted organisation follow the guidelines of EPF scheme.
Investments Pattern of EPF
EPFO has the corpus of about 8 lac crore. Most of this corpus is invested in government bonds. Since the year 2015, it also started to invest in equity market through the ETF. Following is the investment pattern of EPF.
|Short Term Debt||0-5%|
|Mortgaged miscellaneous Investment||0-5%|
Exempted PF trusts have to also follow this investment pattern.
EPF Withdrawal and Settlement
In regular course, EPFO gives back the accumulated EPF corpus to the member after the age of 58. This corpus also includes the interest on EPF balance. It gives interest to every EPF account after the end of financial year. The Interest rate of EPF account is fixed before the end of every financial year. Thus interest rate of EPF changes every year.
You can also withdraw EPF balance partially during the employment. The partial withdrawal of EPF is allowed for some critical situations, for example, home purchase, higher education, marriage and medical emergency.
You can also get full EPF balance if you leave the job and remain unemployed for 2 months.
The employee pension scheme runs along with the EPF scheme. A part of the Employer’s contribution goes towards this scheme. In lieu of this contribution, you get a pension after the age of 58. You may also get reduced pension after the age of 50. However, if your EPF membership is less than 10 years old, you can get the pension benefit in a lump sum. After 10 you would only receive the pension.
Disbursal of EDLI amount
EPFO also runs a group insurance scheme. It is called as the Employee deposit linked insurance scheme. The employers pay a premium for this scheme. Employers can also opt for a private group insurance scheme if it fulfils the condition set by the EPFO.
Under this scheme, the family of an employee would get ₹6 lacs if an employee dies during the employment.
EPFO for Employers
Every employer, who has more than 20 employees, has to participate in EPF scheme. The employer has to make its employee the member of EPF scheme. The employer has following duties regarding EPF scheme. It ensures the compliance by every employer.
- Enrol employees into the EPF scheme.
- Deduct EPF contribution of the employee from the salary.
- Contribute its part into the EPF account of every employee.
- File monthly return of the EPF contribution.
- Submit the KYC details of the employees
- Facilitate the EPF related services.
- Bear the administrative expense of EPF expense.
EPFO for Members
The EPFO is the sole regulator and manager of the EPF scheme. It enrols every PF member and allots the Universal account number. The EPFO has given direct access to the accounts of the members.
Till date, EPFO has always given better than return than the fixed deposit and PPF. EPFO board also comprises the representative of the trade unions.
EPFO gives many services to its members. Through these facilities, an employee can easily check its account balance, transfer the balance from one account to another and check the status of its claim. Following are the main services of EPFO.
You can easily check your EPF account balance. Your account is accessible online through the UAN portal login. You can even download the EPF passbook. Once you activate the UAN, you get your monthly EPF balance SMS. Even by giving a missed call you can check your EPF balance status.
UAN or universal account number is a unique number given to every employee. Through this number, EPFO keeps track on every employee. It ensures the smooth EPF balance transfer among various EPF account. In fact, many EPF account is created if a person changes the job. Indeed, EPFO gives most of its services on the basis of UAN.
EPFO has also provided an online platform to lodge a complaint. This complaint can be about the EPF account and EPF transfer-withdrawal. The UAN is mandatory to file a grievance. The URL of EPF grievance portal is epfigms.gov.in
With the change of job you get a new EPF account. However, you can easily transfer your EPF balance from the previous account to new account. In fact, it is must to transfer EPF balance to the new account. Earlier you have to go through the lengthy process of EPF transfer. Now EPF transfer automatically happens because of the UAN.
You get the whole EPF corpus at the time of retirement. However, you can also withdraw it partially when a situation arises. The EPFO permits partial withdrawal for Home purchase, construction, marriage, higher education and medical emergency.
Claim Status Check
The application for EPF transfer and EPF withdrawal is termed as the EPF claims. The status of these claims can be checked through EPF claim check service. There is a separate page (http://epfindia.gov.in/site_en/KYCS.php) of EPFO to check the claims. To check the claims, you must enter the UAN. If you don’t know the UAN number you can also get UAN online.
Small Video about EPFO
Useful URLs of EPFO
EPFO Main Portal – http://epfindia.gov.in/
UAN services – https://unifiedportal.epfindia.gov.in/
Member Potal – https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface
Employer Portal – https://unifiedportal-emp.epfindia.gov.in/epfo
UAN helpdesk – http://126.96.36.199:9094/UANHD/
Mobile Application – http://188.8.131.52:9091/AppDownload/
Download Claim Forms – http://epfindia.gov.in/site_en/Downloads.php?id=sm8_index#Claim Form
Know Your Claim Status – http://epfindia.gov.in/site_en/KYCS.php
Inoperative Account Helpdesk – http://184.108.40.206:9091/INOPHelpDesk/
Combine All EPF Account – http://oeoea.epfoservices.com/UANDEDUP/
Register Your Grievance – http://epfigms.gov.in/
Establishment search – https://unifiedportal-epfo.epfindia.gov.in/publicPortal/no-auth/misReport/home/loadEstSearchHome
Locate an EPFO office – http://search.epfoservices.org:81/locate_office/office_location.php
Pensioner’s Portal – http://220.127.116.11:9091/prtest/PPO%20Query.jsp