The Government of India established the Employees Provident Fund Organisation as a statutory body under the Ministry of Labour and Employment administration. It was established on 4th March 1942 to help the government manage the administrative functions of provident fund pension scheme and insurance scheme for the employees or the workers working in the organised sector.
The Employees Provident Fund was created to make the employees’ lives and their dependents dignified and secure with social security. The employees' provident fund and miscellaneous provisions act 1952 enacted in 1951 extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
The Central Government regulates the Employee Provident Fund scheme. It is considered one of the best investment methods for salaried employees. This scheme also helps cultivate the habit of savings among the employees who work in the organised sector, whether private or public or government.
The official website for the EPFO portal is https://unifiedportal-emp.epfindia.gov.in/epfo/.
Employees Provident Fund Schemes
A three-party board administers the Employees Provident Fund. The Central Board of Trustees has Central and State government representatives and representatives of employers and employees. The Central Board of Trustees manages the following schemes.
The Employees Provident Funds Scheme 1952 (EPF):
The contributions under the Employees’ Provident Fund scheme provide security to the employees on their retirement. Form 10D is used for monthly pensions, and form 10C is used for withdrawing and scheme certificate.
The Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS):
Employees Pension scheme helps in monthly contribution accumulation from the employee and employer, which is used only at the retirement of that individual. In this scheme, partial withdrawal is also available.
Under this scheme,
- Form 19 is used for the final settlement.
- Form 31 is used for whole or partial withdrawal in some cases.
- Form 13 is used for the transfer of an old account to a new one.
- Form 20 is for final settlement in cases of nominee or beneficiary of the deceased member.
- Form 14 is used for financing LIC policy.
The Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI):
Under the scheme, the employee’s family gets insurance payment in case the employee passes away. The benefit provided to the family member is up to 20 times the deceased employee’s salary or Rs. 6 lakh, whichever is lower. Form 51 is used to claim the insurance benefit in the above case.
Functions of EPFO
- The basic function of EPF is to provide the employees, government, or private sector with the retirement benefit to get a certain standard of living after their retirement. Department of labour and the central bank are the two institutions that manage the employees' provident fund.
- To complete the EPFO’s objective, it registers the employers and employees under the portal specifically designed for EPFO. The EPFO portal assists in maintaining the individual accounts, investment of funds, updating the records, settlement of claims, payment of pensions without delay, and many more such activities.
- Further, as notified by the act, international workers also come under this act. Therefore, EPFO acts as a connecting agency between bilateral social security agreements and other countries to ensure proper administration.
- The Central board of trustees is the decision-making body. But EPFO ensures compliance and takes several measures to simplify the operation. Therefore, EPFO has a double role where one instance administers the act and implementation. On the other hand, it acts as a service provider for those employers and employees registered under EPFO.
Registration under EPFO
Registration under EPFO organisation is compulsory for the following:
- Factory with employees equal to 20 or more.
- For those employees who receive less than 15000 per month
- For other organisations, employing equal to or more than 20 employees during the previous year
The following steps are the steps to register:
- Step 1: To register an organisation visit the official website of the EPF organisation, https://epfindia.gov.in.
- Step 2: The official website contains an “Establishment Registration” tab. Click the tab, and it opens to another tab for “single common registration under EPFO and ESIC.”
- Step 3: The application is divided into different parts. The first thing is to complete the filling of the employer’s detail, which has the following:
- Complete details of the owner.
- PAN of the employer.
- Selection of Username for login and return filing.
- Verification of the registered mobile number and email by OTP and link, respectively.
- Step 4: Once the details are entered, and the initial registration process is complete and verified, the employer must log in for entering additional registration details. Login is done through the tab employers login.
- Step 5: Register the DSC of the employer by clicking “Establishment” from the options and click DSCR / E-SIGN, then the DSC registration tab.
- Step 6: Registration is complete by filling up the Establishment Registration Process and submitting the application.
- The payment and filing need to be done every month by logging in to the website.
- Return is filed monthly and submitted online from the establishment login.
- It is done before the 15th of every month in ECR format. They are uploaded on the ECR payment options page. The details are filled in and uploaded online directly on the portal.
- Once the uploading is complete, the return gets filed. organisation
Services on EPFO Login Portal
The following are the services that can be accessed using the EPFO login portal.
Universal account number
- The EPFO organisation has introduced a Universal Account Number, also known as UAN. It is a useful tool to create one ID instead of multiple IDS for a member who has different employers.
- The UAN is a 12 digit unique number. It is assigned to an employee to link the multiple EPF accounts under one umbrella.
- The employee can use the UAN number for different services like updating the card, updating the passbook, transfers, linking the IDs of the employees, receiving intimation of contribution in PF account and other facilities through SMS, etc.
- Employees are required to activate their UAN from the EPFO portal to use the new services offered by EPFO. It also helps in updating the details of the members, which is known as KYC details.
- E-Seva services for UAN members are available to those employees who register themselves under UAN.
Online help desk
The EPFO organisation had certain inoperative accounts. In February 2015, it established recording and tracking of the old dormant accounts under EPFO to reduce the wastage in processing the data. The EPFO settles inactive accounts and transfers them to the present owners.
Transferring EPF Online
The online transfer claim portal is a unified portal to transfer one provident fund to another account. It is paperless and easy without filing details again and again.
Online Payment of PF
The employer can easily make EPF payments on the provident fund portal.
Establishments are required to make PF payments online.
EPFO has tied up with 10 different banks for the online payment system and clearing the dues. State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Indian Bank, Union Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, and Axis Bank are the banks that are presently facilitating the process of online payment of contribution.
SMS service, Alerts, and Missed Call Services
- Registered members are allowed to access the details of their Provident Fund status for the last contributed amount or the updated PF balance, etc. They have to send an SMS in the format EPFOHO UAN followed by the first three characters of the preferred language, like ENG for English, to the number 7738299899.
- The SMS alerts are sent to registered members on the registered mobile number. It helps both the organisation and the members to keep track of the deposits. For non-deposit of dues, the employers are constantly sent messages.
Grievance redressal is one of the topmost priorities of EPFO organisation, and about 80% of grievances are now cleared within 7 days, while 97% of total grievances are solved within 15 days.
Every employee is mandatorily required to be registered by the employers and contribute a certain percentage of their salary. The contributions are made on a regular monthly basis. The employees and the employers make monthly contributions to the EPF. The rate of contribution is as follows:
- The employer’s contribution rate is 12% of the employees' basic salary, including the dearness allowance.
- The employees' contribution rate is 12% of the employees' basic salary, including the dearness allowance.
- The contribution is split into two different schemes: the employees' pension scheme(EPS) and the other one is the EDLI account. Out of the employer’s contribution, 8.33% is for the employees' pension scheme, and the remaining 3.67 % is moved into the EDLI account.
Let us understand the above with the help of an example. Suppose the employees' basic pay is ₹ 15000, then ₹ 1250 is the monthly contribution to EPF. Then 8.33% of the amount will go into the EPS, and EPFO will transfer the balance to the EDLI account.
For an establishment that hires less than 20 employees, the rates for the contribution is as follows:
- The contribution rate is 10% of the basic salary, including the dearness allowance.
- The above rate is also applicable for Bidi, Guar gum, jute, and brick factories, as notified by the rules from time to time.
The Process Of Withdrawing EPF
- You can withdraw your EPF either at retirement or after reaching 55.
- The EPFO won’t charge you any fees when you withdraw the total amount from your EPF account.
- In cases where employees leave their jobs, they can fully withdraw their EPF balance from the EPFO portal when they are unemployed for more than 60 days.
- The withdrawal process is now online, and you can do it by logging in with a UAN number and password.
- The first step after logging in is to verify the KYC details as uploaded by the employer at the portal of EPF employer.
- After verification, you have to choose the claim option from the online services tab. You use three different forms available under the menu and can as per the criteria.
- The last four digits of the Bank account under the member's detail are entered in the space given and verified.
- After verification, click Yes on the certificate of the undertaking, and submit the online application form.
- The EPFO organisation scrutinises the details and approves the amount within 10 to 15 working days.
- The amount is credited into the verified bank account.
- The most important point to remember is that while using the online facility for withdrawing the EPF funds, it is mandatory to link the UAN with the Aadhaar number.
Also Read: PF Calculator - Calculate EPF Onlin