From checking balances via Missed Call, SMS, or UMANG App to understanding withdrawal procedures, we break down all things EPF for you.
The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), accessible only to employees in establishments registered under the EPF Act, is a mandatory retirement savings scheme where a portion of the employee’s salary is set aside every month. With a current interest rate offering of 8.15%, this fund plays a crucial role in planning financial security for retirement. This guide aims to demystify the process of checking your EPF balance and understanding the withdrawal procedures.
Checking Your EPF Balance
EPF balance, the amount accumulated in your EPF account, can be checked through several convenient methods, including missed call, SMS, UMANG app, and the EPFO online portal. Here are the detailed steps:
- Through Missed Call: Dial 011-22901406 from your registered mobile number. If your Universal Account Number (UAN) is linked with your Aadhaar, PAN, and bank account number, you will receive details of your last contribution and current PF balance.
- Through SMS: Send “EPFOHO UAN ENG” to 7738299899 from your registered mobile number.
- Through UMANG App: Download the UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) app on your mobile device. Log in using your UAN and password to check your EPF balance.
- Through EPFO online portal: Visit the EPFO online portal, login using your UAN and password, go to ‘Our Services’ and select ‘For Employees’. Click on ‘Services’, then ‘Member Passbook’ to view your EPF balance.
EPF Withdrawal: Conditions and Procedure
While primarily a retirement fund, EPF allows partial withdrawal under certain conditions. An account holder can withdraw up to 75% of the corpus after one month of unemployment and the remaining 25% after two months of unemployment.
If you wish to submit an EPF withdrawal claim, it’s critical to consider the following factors to avoid rejection:
- Accurate Details: Ensure the details given match the records with EPFO. The name and date of birth of the claimant should align with the EPFO record.
- Complete KYC: EPFO may reject the withdrawal claim if your KYC details are incomplete. Complete the KYC formalities before applying for withdrawal to avoid delays or rejections.
- Linking Aadhaar and UAN: For withdrawal purposes, your Aadhaar and UAN should be linked. The absence of this link can result in a declined request.
- Updated Bank Details: Ensure your operational bank account number and IFSC code are updated on the EPFO portal. Any discrepancy in these details can lead to the denial of your request.
- Clear Signature: The signature should match the one in official records to avoid delays or rejection.
Current Interest Rates on EPF
The EPF is currently offering an interest of 8.15%. However, in March 2022, the EPFO lowered the interest rate for 2021-22 to an over four-decade low of 8.1% for its about five crore subscribers, down from 8.5% in 2020-21. This was the lowest since 1977-78 when the EPF interest rate stood at 8%.
For the fiscal year 2020-21, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) decided on an interest rate of 8.5% on EPF deposits in March 2021. Despite the rate cuts, EPF remains one of the most attractive fixed-income saving instruments, offering a higher rate than most small saving schemes.
Navigating your EPF account, from balance checks to withdrawal procedures, is an essential part of managing your financial health. Make sure to familiarize yourself with these steps to take full control of your retirement savings.