EPF withdrawal rules 2016 & Complaints

Withdrawal rules 2016 for EPF and procedure for EPF Grievance redressal:

The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is managed by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) of India, a statutory body under the labour ministry. It helps salaried employees save a part of their earnings each month, thereby building a tax-exempt corpus which is handed over at the time of retirement. EPFs, or simply PFs, are a long-term savings tool that helps retired employees to lead a financially stable life. An EPF subscriber can withdraw a part of his/her accumulated savings from the PF, only for some specific life events.

EPF Withdrawal rules

According to EPF rules, a salaried person can withdraw from his/her PF account only in two cases: first, he/she has no job, and second, when two months have passed since the person was last employed i.e. not attached to any company or unemployed for that period.

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There can be cases, when employees, following a claims process, may withdraw from their PF account at the time of leaving a company. However, it’s advisable not to do likewise from the financial management perspective as salaried employees won’t be able to avail many benefits of maintaining a PF account, including tax-free interest, compulsory savings, and annual compounding among others. Instead, employees can transfer their PF balance from their previous employer to the account of their current employer. The Unique Account Number (UAN) system, introduced by the government, simplifies the process (management and transfer) of PF amounts given that it’s allotted to all employees and won’t change all through their career.

Exception to the above 2 months waiting period

The EPFO can waive the two-month waiting period for EPF withdrawal only in the following cases:

1. The employee is migrating abroad to settle permanently in a foreign country and doesn’t expect to return.

2. The employee has got a job offer in a foreign country.

3. A female PF employee, leaving the service to take care of her newborn.

In the first two cases, the employee has to furnish a copy of the visa along with the job offer/appointment letter (wherever applicable). In the third case, the employee must produce the municipal birth certificate of her child.

EPF withdrawal: Purposes

EPF withdrawal RulesSalaried people may withdraw from their PF accounts for several purposes, subject to some conditions. Besides meeting the eligibility, individuals have to furnish relevant papers at the time of withdrawal.

Here’s a list of purposes and the quantum of contribution that can be withdrawn:

Marriage:

Salaried individuals can withdraw for self, children, or sibling marriage. He/she must complete at least seven years in service and can withdraw maximum 50% of the contribution (limited to thrice in the entire career).

Healthcare:

A maximum withdrawal of up to either six times the employee’s salary or the total corpus to medical treatment of self, spouse, or dependent children.

Purchase of land/construction:

If an individual wants to withdraw from his/her PF account for purchasing a land and/or construction of a house, then the property must be registered in his/her name, or spouse, or held jointly. The person must have completed at least five years of service and can withdraw up to 24 times his/her salary. For constructing a house, up to 36 times of the salary can be withdrawn. The withdrawal for this purpose can be done only once during the entire service of the PF subscriber.

Home loan payoff:

For EPF withdrawal to payoff home loans, the house must be registered in the employee’s name, or spouse, or jointly. The employee must complete minimum 10 years of service. The withdrawal is capped at 36 times the PF subscriber’s salary.

Home alteration/renovation:

The house, as in similar cases, must be registered either in the employee’s name, or spouse, or jointly. Minimum service of five years is required and maximum withdrawal can be up to 12 times the monthly remuneration.

Retirement:

An employee should be 54 years of age to withdraw up to 90% of his/her PF corpus.

Miscellaneous:

People may withdraw from their PFs for several other reasons like premature retirement because of a physical or mental disability, or migrating/settling down abroad.

Taxation

Tax deducted at source (TDS) is not levied on the withdrawn amount if the employee has been in five years of continuous service or more. But EPF withdrawal before five years will attract a TDS of 10% (for registered PANs), or a maximum of 30% (for unregistered PANs). An employee can submit the 15G form during withdrawal, if his/her income is less than the basic exemption, even after adding the withdrawal amount. If PAN is not submitted, then a 34% TDS will be deducted from the withdrawn amount. Those wanting to avoid TDS, must submit form 15H (senior citizens) or form 15G for amounts of up to Rs. 3 lakhs and Rs. 2.5 lakhs respectively. Both forms are declarations that may be used by individuals whose income are less than the amount to be taxed. No TDS is deducted if a PF account is transferred, or when an employment contract is terminated because of the employee’s failing health, cessation of the employer’s business or any other reason which is not the responsibility of the employee.

Also read: Procedure for Name Change/Correction in EPF Account

Online withdrawal

All paperwork involved in PF withdrawals can be alleviated; once the EPFO launches the online facility, later this year. It plans to settle PF claims within three hours of receiving a withdrawal application. The money will be credited directly to the subscriber’s bank account. Until the online withdrawal comes into effect, you can do the following…

1. Check out the nearest regional EPFO by using the following link

Click here to locate an EPF Office

2. Submit your claim either in person or by mail using the below form 19UAN

Click here to download form 19 UAN

For your convenience, the EPFO has simplified the withdrawal process and replaced the earlier withdrawal forms with a single page New Composite Claim Form (CCF).

The new common withdrawal forms are available in two variants as given below:

1. EPF Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhar)

In case your UAN has not been seeded with Aadhar and bank details, you may submit this form for all types of withdrawals. This form requires attestation of the employer and is to be forwarded by the employer. You may click the link given below to download the form:

New EPFO Composite Claim Form Common Withdrawal Form Non-Aadhar

2. EPF Composite Claim Form (Aadhar)

If your UAN has been seeded with Aadhar and bank details, you may submit this form for all types of withdrawals. You may submit it to the EPFO directly without requiring the attestation of the employer. You may click the link given below to download the form:

New EPFO Composite Claim Form Common Withdrawal Form (Aadhar)

and you should be able to get your money within a weeks time.

Recent changes effective 10th Feb 2016

The government, with effect from 10 February 2016, made four major amendments to the EPF withdrawal rules, to discourage employees from withdrawing from their PF accounts that are essentially a long-term savings instrument.

Check out the following table

EPF withdrawal Compliants
The new rules may force employees to accumulate their savings till their retirement age. Else, frequent withdrawals defeat the very purpose of a PF.

Important Note: The proposed changes in EPF withdrawal rules has been rolled back by the Government.

Grievance redressal

The Consumer Protection Act details the procedure to resolve EPF grievances. An employee has to visit epfigms.gov.in and click on “Register Grievance” in this regard. All grievances related to withdrawal, transfer of accounts, insurance benefits, cheque misplacements, etc. can be tendered over the internet.

Online form: After registration, the tab opens a form which has to be filled by the complainant. He/she has to then select the category of the complaint and describe the issue with supporting documents if any.

Process: The applicant is allotted a unique registration number once the complaint has been filed, to track the progress of redressal. The application, meanwhile, is scrutinised, and if found valid, is forwarded to the relevant official for resolving.

Points to remember: The complaint registration number should be retained for all future correspondence and reference. It allows the applicant to search for the establishment code. If not available, the code can be found by entering the name of the city of establishment. The Employee Provident Fund internet Grievance Management System (EPFiGMS) also allows subscribers to check their PF account balance.

EPF and RTI

Right to Information (RTI) is a service offered by the central government to common people to get information on public service and other matters from any government department. EPFO is covered under RTI, an employee can apply to know any details regarding his/her PF. The desired data is given within a month of filing the application. RTIs are usually sought to get clarification on EPF withdrawal and transfer issues.

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How to file an RTI

Buying a postal order: The applicant should visit the nearest post office and buy a postal order of Rs. 10. This is the application deposit fee. It must be issued in the name of the concerned EPFO office.

Drafting the letter: There’s no specific format for the application, one can simply write on a plain paper. But the application must have the name and contact details of the applicant, and should be addressed to the Central Public Information Officer (CPIO), Office of PF Commissioner, EPFO (mentioning the address of the concerned PF).

Important points to include in the application:

1. The employee has to mention his/her name, contact number, full address, PF account number and email id in the application.

2. It’s advisable to write the queries as a bulleted list. The content should be precise, followed by a declaration, like: “I do hereby declare that I am a citizen of India. I request you to ensure that the information is provided before the expiry of the 30-day period after you have received the application.”

3. The proof of payment of the requisite fees should be mentioned, like: “Attached Indian postal order for Rs.10, dated dd/mm/yyyy favouring the EPFO accounts officer as application fee.” Take a photocopy of the application, in case you need it again.

4. Verify the RTI application amount because it varies from state to state.

5. Send it only by registered post as private couriers are not accepted. Mark the post as “acknowledgement due”.

Claim Settlement in case of death of the EPF member

As per the announcement by the Hon’ble Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi on October 26, 2016, EPFO has issued guidelines to its field offices for the settlement of death claims within seven days from the date of submission of the claim form by the spouse/nominee/legal heir of the EPF member where the deceased member account is being maintained.

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  • Venkata Ramanaiah N says:

    There is an online petition to roll back the new epf withdrawal rule. Please sign and share it here.
    https://www.change.org/p/why-should-we-wait-till-58-years-to-withdraw-employee-provident-fund-noepfwithdrawallimits

  • Kalyan Singh says:

    I resigned my job and to settle my epf Name and DOB are incorrect in my epf account I try to contact my employer but no one is responding what should I do now.

    Is there any other ways to change details.

    Pls help me

  • Vishal Anand says:

    Hii,
    Thank you for this informative article
    I understand that there are two Form 19’s: One is for normal withdrawal- where the employer signature is required, the other is for UAN based withdrawal where the employer signature is NOT required. I also understand that for UAN based Form 19, we have to likn our Aadhaar Card to the UAN website. I have already linked my Aadhar with my UAN website, but could you please explain how to get my Aadhaar number “seeded” by the employer? Can this “seeding” of Aadhar number be done without physically going to employer. I have already resigned some months back.

    • Mymoneysage says:

      Hi Vishal, If you are looking to get your aadhar number linked to your EPF account, kindly contact your employer along with the UAN.

  • pradeep gowda says:

    Hi,

    I resigned my job 3 months back and came to USA for my higher studies and, I don’t have any plans to return India for next 5 years. However I worked in IT for 4 years before coming to USA, am I eligible for PF withdrawal now? If so, will I get full amount and what is the procedure? Please clarify. Thanks for your time!

    • Mymoneysage says:

      Hi Pradeep,

      For withdrawal of PF, you have to submit Form 19 to your employer. If in case your employer is not reachable, you can opt for UAN based withdrawal; if your UAN have been activated and your Aadhar number and Bank account number have been seeded in UAN. For UAN based withdrawal, you have to submit Form 19, Form 10C and Form 31 directly to the EPF commissioner office without having the need of employer signature in the forms.

      Also, if the withdrawal amount is more than Rs. 50,000 and the continuous service of employment is less than 5 years, the amount withdrawn is taxable.

  • Ankit Sharma says:

    Hi

    Really an insightful article.
    I would like to know how someone, who does not have a UAN can get it generated freshly.
    My wife left her job 3 years ago and wishes to withdraw her PF now.
    In order to facilitate that, her employers say that UAN is mandatorily required.
    However when she had quit her job, UAN concept was not in force and hence she does not have one.
    I get directed to this link which has been non functional for about a month now:

    https://uanmembers.epfoservices.in/

    Possible to provide me with some leads as to how to get UAN generated ?
    Thanks in advance.

  • Sajid Mohammad says:

    Hi I completed 9 years of services in my previous company and currently I am jobless, its been more than 8 months I am jobless. I want to withdraw my PF amount. I only know there are 2 ways, one use the old procedure with employer signature and other UAN based. There is problem from my employer in both procedures. I am unable to use old procedure because the concerned person of my company changes every year so the signature needs an update with EPFO (this is what my HR says) so I am unable to withdraw amount with old procedure, my HR is delaying this matter.

    I am also unable to use UAN based services as EPFO office has lost details of my KYC like aadhar card details, and webpage has become unresponsive to newly upload details, other KYC detail verification is not yet done from a long time, but on my UAN card the KYC status says “yes”. I am clueless as to what to do in such scenario, I am unable to withdraw my amount, what should I do now?

    • Mymoneysage says:

      Dear Sajid Mohammad

      Thanks for reading the article. It’s unfortunate that you are facing such impediments. But don’t worry. You have approached the right platform for the resolution.

      EPFO has come with a Composite Claim Form (Aadhar). If your UAN is linked to Aadhar & bank details, then just fill this form. Submit it directly to EPFO without the need of employer intervention. The link to download the form is given in the article.

      If this doesn’t work, then register your grievance at epfigms.gov.in. This is grievance redressal portal maintained by EPFO.

  • devraj singh says:

    DEAR SIR ,
    I HAVE APPLY FOR PF CLAIM 2 MARCH OR ITS SHOW 17 MARCH 10C & 19C FORM RECIVED OR IT SHOW UNDER PROCESS TILL DATE MEANS 15 APRIL 2017
    PLEASE SUGGEST WHAT I DO.

    THANKS REGards

  • sanny quadros says:

    Dear Sir/ Madam,
    I quit my last job (without resignation) in Dec 2015. I worked there for 3 years. My pf is linked to my UAN but my Aadhar number is not linked. I dont want to approach my ex boss for his signature. Please tell me of alternate option to withdraw my pf. Please help.

    • Mymoneysage says:

      Dear Sanny Quadros

      Thanks for reading the article!

      Ideally, PF withdrawal should be the last option when you have exhausted all your other alternatives. But if a withdrawal seems unavoidable, then you can do it easily. That too without approaching your previous employer!

      EPFO has introduced Online EPF withdrawal facility. In this, you can request a PF withdrawal claim by visiting EPFO website. You can do this straight from your UAN Account.

      But it’s subject to a few conditions.
      Firstly, your UAN needs to be linked to your mobile number, Aadhaar number, Bank A/c and PAN.

      To know more, visit https://www.mymoneysage.in/blog/how-to-avail-online-epf-withdrawal-facility/

      • sanny quadros says:

        Thanks a lot for your reply. I appreciate the time & efforts you take..
        Well, I understand this process but unfortunately only my mobile number is linked to my UAN. How do I link my Aadhar & Bank details? Considering the fact that my ex-employer is not willing to help & I don’t want to use methods of complaints as he happens to be a distant relative.

        Thanks a lot again for your help.

  • Techgig says:

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    I quit my last job on April 24 2017. I worked there for 4.5 years. My pf is linked to my UAN,PAN, Aadhar & Bank account. Still i am unable to process the claim online. I am getting error msg as – Claim Is Not Submitted on portal,Please try again later. I request you to kindly shed some light on the same as to why i am getting this error msg. Please help.

  • Gaurav Sharma says:

    Hi Sir,
    I have a question which is not related to EPF. I have joined a new company where I do not want to get EPF deducted from my CTC. In my last company , I was having PF deduction. My new employer says that I have to go for EPF deduction since I was getting it deducted at my last company. My question is do I have the option to be not a part of EPF now? Is there any such rule or policy that allows an employee not to be part of EPF once they change their employment?
    My basic salary is much above 15,000.
    Thanks,
    Gaurav

    • Mymoneysage says:

      Hi Gaurav,
      You do not have an option to opt out of EPF. In any case you should not be worried as EPF will help you build your retirement corpus.

  • ravi says:

    I am in service for last 11 yeard having EPF account for 10 years. I want to withdraw TS 700000, from EPF for house purchaser. will it attract tax”

  • hari says:

    I quit my last job on April 30 2017. I worked there for 2.years. i m not working anywhere. I applied final settlement PF claim online in EPFO Portal on 15 April 2018 now is 15 May but claim showing under process. i also register complain in epfo, but nobody response. I request you to kindly shed some light on the same as to why i am getting this error msg. Please help.

  • Ganesh Govind says:

    Hello Sir, I had raised an online claim October 29th, 2018. And it is still showing as “Under process”. I raised a grievance also, its status is “Under Examination at our level”. I also wrote to them by email. I have not received any information. All the phone lines are busy always. Please help me what to do next.

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