A sizeable retirement corpus is an absolute need to meet your expenses after getting retired from your job. This is where your Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account will support you. Basically, Employee Provident Fund (PF) is a scheme in favour of employees where both the employee and the employer contribute equally. All you need to know about the Mortgage Loan. The employee gets the total EPF accumulated amount contributed by himself and his employer with interest in his retirement. Here you will get to know the fundamentals about PF such as eligibility, withdrawals, checking PF account balance etc.
The EPF schemes are managed by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). EPFO covers every organisation working with 20 or more employees and certain organizations as exemptions also even if they have less than 20 employees.
The contributions are payable on the maximum wage ceiling of Rs.15,000. An employee with a salary of less than Rs.15,000 monthly is eligible for the EPF scheme. Have you been burdened with home loan EMI payments, read about it. It is mandatory for them to become a member of the EPFO. An employee with a salary more than Rs.15,000 needs the permission of Assistant PF Commissioner to join EPF scheme if he and his employer both agree.
Generally, the statutory rate is 12% of the total of basic wages, DA and retaining allowance to be paid by the employee and the employer as well. For some establishments, it is limited to 10%. For private-sector employees, it is 12% of the basic salary.
It should be known that not the entire amount of an employer’s contribution is deposited in the PF account. If the basic wage ceiling is less than Rs.15000, 8.33% out of 12% will go into the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS).
An employee has the choice of paying a higher contribution to PF than 12%. It is called the Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF). Interest on VPF is tax-free interest. The employer needs to match this voluntary contribution.
To withdraw a PF, an active bank account should be linked to your Universal Account Number (UAN). EPFO allows a UAN. Make sure the IFSC of the linked account is correct. If the bank account is not linked, PF withdrawal can be delayed. Here you can check the process of getting CKYC for investing in FD. UAN is Know Your Customer (KYC) compliant that makes PF withdrawal much easier than before. Make sure that your employer has verified and activated UAN. Only then you can use various services offered by EPFO like checking PF balance etc.
How to Check PF Balance
Employees can check provident fund balances online in many ways. If your PF account is managed by the exempted establishment, then an employer can check PF fund balance and update you. To check PF balance following facilities are available.
1. EPFO Portal
You can go to EPFO Member e-Sewa portal to check your PF balance. You will see a maintained passbook there that is printable. Follows these steps to use the EPFO portal:
Go to epfindia.gov.in > Our services > select For employees > click on Services > select the Member passbook option > enter your UAN and password.
Your passbook will be on your screen.
2. EPFO Application
You can use the m-Seva app also launched by the Central government to check details of your provident fund. Install and open the app. Click on ‘Members’. Enter details such as your mobile number, UAN, etc. Enter password. Click on Passbook to view your PF balance.
3. Umang App
The Umang app is launched by the government to check PF balance. You need to register your phone number to use this app. It is a convenient way to get your passbook, raise the claim and track the claim.
4. Through SMS
If you have registered your UAN with your KYC details, EPFO allows you to check PF balance through SMS easily in different languages i.e. English, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Kannada, Tamil, Bengali and Malayalam. You need to send a message containing text ‘EPFOHO UAN ENG’ to 7738299899. To get a reply in another language than English, change ENG in the above message with the first three letters of the desired language from the supported ones.
5. By Giving a Missed Call
If you have integrated your UAN with your KYC details along with your mobile number, you can get PF balance by a missed call to 011-22901406. Use your registered number only. You will get an SMS containing the PF balance and the last contribution made to your PF account.
How to Grow Your PF Corpus
To multiply your retirement corpus, you can look at term deposits. Term deposits interest rates are lucrative enough. For example, with you can grow your EPF corpus at higher interest rates up to 7.25% if you invest in fixed deposit. Such high interest rates can help you beat inflation. Moreover, fixed deposit is more liquid than PF. You can go for premature withdrawal of fixed deposit or take a loan against FD easily. Also, corporate FDs offer more flexibility in terms of investment tenor, unlike provident fund investment.