Lesser known facts about Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

We have discussed the basic of EPF.

Listed below are the specific rules regarding EPF for your reference.

You can increase the contribution to EPF

You can contribute more than 12% mandatory contribution to your EPF account. You can contribute up to 100% of your basic pay if you want but the employer is under no obligation to match your EPF contribution. You will get the benefit of your personal contribution (in excess of the basic limit) in section 80C of the Act. All other rules of EPF will apply to the additional contribution.

EPF withdrawal is taxable

The investment in the provident fund is tax-free. According to the rules of EPF, the maturity proceeds and interest on it are tax-free. We take the tax benefit of EPF contribution. We never think of the tax on EPF Withdrawal amount.

If you try to withdraw the EPF balance before 5 years, you must pay back the tax benefit, you had availed at the time of investment. EPF  will deduct the TDS on the withdrawn amount before depositing the same in your bank account (where money is withdrawn before 5 years).

An employer cannot withhold your EPF balance

After resignation, many employees leave the company without serving the notice period and sometimes on a bad note with their employer. In such a situation, the EPF balance is the only handle to arm-twist the employee. Some employer’s never forward the PF withdrawal form to the regional PF office.

The Employer has no right to do so. The Rules of EPF say that an employer can never withhold the EPF balance. The money never remains with them. The employers are the mere facilitator of the EPF scheme. The erring employer can be also punished for this behaviour.

You can withdraw your EPF balance without the signature of the employee. You can do the same by taking signatures and other formalities from the banker.

You cannot withdraw 100% of your EPF corpus

You can withdraw the EPF corpus if you have been unemployed for 2 months. But this withdrawal would not be for the full amount. The is a new rule of EPF withdrawal. Now, you can withdraw only your contribution to the EPF and interest on it. The employer’s contribution and interest will remain in the PF account till the retirement age  (58 years).

You can opt out of EPF

We generally think EPF is a mandatory contribution. However, this is not the case. EPFO guidelines say that if an employee’s salary is more than INR 15,000 per month he/she can avail the option of not being a part of the EPF scheme. If this scheme has opted, the entire salary is paid out to the employee, without any deduction, towards EPF every month.

Having said that, it is important to note here that an employee has to opt out of Provident Fund at the start of his job and if he/she is part of EPF programme even once in his life, this option of opting out stands null and void.

EPF provides life insurance as well

A lot of people are not aware of this benefit. Let us explain how this works. If a company does not provide insurance coverage to its employees under the group life insurance plan, then the companies are required to contribute 0.5% of monthly basic pay towards Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme. This contribution is capped at INR 15000. Companies that are already covering employees for insurance are exempted from this plan of EPFO.

Check your personal details with EPFO

Many times people realize at the time of withdrawal or transfer of EPF that incorrect personal details are submitted with EPF. In such cases, you must check and rectify the same while creating an account with the UAN. You must inform your employer to get the same updated.

We will be posting a detailed article on how to change the same through UAN.

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