While the pandemic is on the rise, the government has made some changes in certain rules. These changes would help the citizens in facing this pandemic. One of the major changes that the government has made is in the EPF withdrawal rules.
We know that an employee can only withdraw from the EPF account after attaining the age of 54. But, while the EPFO was making these rules, they even added some exceptions to it. According to the exceptions, a person can withdraw money for medical needs and many more. These exceptions are clearly mentioned in the EPF Act.
The government has now added another rule to the EPF Act. According to the new rule, a person can withdraw the EPF amount during the time of the pandemic.
They can do so by selecting the “Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)” option. This rule applies to all employees. Moreover, the amount which the person will withdraw will be free from any kind of taxes.
But, people are in confusion and have tons of questions. To answer all these questions, the government decided to explain the whole rule in the form of FAQs. These FAQs were designed based on the most common questions related to the rule. It also consisted of the whole process. Here, the government has not only answered the questions but has even explained the rules.
But, before jumping into the FAQs, it is important to know the standard EPF withdrawal rules. It would help the person in knowing the exact process for EPF withdrawal. The new rule is like the previous rule but has some slight changes.
EPF FAQs For COVID-19
The recent changes in the EPF withdrawal rule have created confusion amongst the common people. To clear this confusion, EPFO issued a set of FAQs with answers. These FAQS will help you in understanding all the rules and regulations more simply.
1. The link ‘Know You UAN’ is not available on the unified portal. Is approaching the employer for this the only option?
If the ‘Know your UAN’ link is not available in the unified portal, you must follow the steps below.
a. Visit the official website of the unified member portal.
b. Enter your member ID, Aadhar card number or PAN.
c. Now, enter your personal details like name and date of birth. Make sure that the details you are entering the match with your EPFO records.
d. Now, select the “Get authorization pin” option.
e. The website will send you a pin on your registered mobile number.
f. Enter the pin in the dialogue box. After doing this, you would get your UAN on your registered mobile phone.
2. I have already applied advance for illness in March 2020, which is pending. I want to apply for an advance to fight the COVID pandemic now. What should I do?
Even if you have applied for an advance that is pending, you can apply for the COVI-19 advance. The government has allowed the employees to apply for the advance for the pandemic.
3. KYC updation needs approval by the employer by using his DSC. When the establishment is closed and there is no employer, who is to approve the same?
The EPFO has switched to the digital platform which has various benefits. Even if the establishment is closed and no employer is present, you can still update your KYC. The website will send a notification to the employer. The employer will approve it and then your KYC updating process will start.
4. For filing the claim, a copy of the cheque with the name of member or copy of the passbook is to be uploaded. Member does not have a name on his cheque leaf and it is now difficult to get it from the bank. Even going to the bank and getting an attested copy of the bank statement is not easy as banks are far away. What is the other option that can be made available?
As per the rules of EPFO, the employee must upload a cheque leaf which consists of his/her printed name. Another option is, the employee can upload the first page of the bank passbook or bank statement. Ensure that the passbook or bank statement should have name, account number and the IFSC code of the bank. This rule is important to check that the bank account details mentioned in the application matches the KYC details. It would avoid any kind of wrong payment.
5. I have left the service but have not yet availed the final PF withdrawal benefits. Can I still avail of the COVID advance?
Yes, you can still avail for the COVID advance as you have not yet withdrawn your PF funds. You are still a PF member, as you have not claimed the funds, and every PF member is eligible for the COVID advance.
6. My COVID claim has been rejected due to member details mismatch. How can I rectify this issue?
If your application is rejected due to details mismatch, you can update the details by visiting the e-sewa portal. Visit the website and then update the details after which you can file the claim again.
7. How can I file a COVID claim through the UMANG app?
For filing a COVID claim through the UMANG app, you need to follow the below steps.
a. Select the EPFO option in the UMANG app.
b. Now, select the “request for advance (COVID-19)” option.
c. After selecting the option, you have to enter your UAN details. Now you have to select the “Get OTP” option. You will receive the OTP on the phone number which is registered with UAN. Enter the OTP and login to your account.
d.After logging in, you have to provide the last 4 digits of your bank account. Now, from the drop-down menu, select the member ID.
e. After doing this, click on the “proceed for claim” option.
f. In the form, enter your address and then click on “next”.
g. You have to upload an image of a cheque. Make sure that the cheque consists of your name and the bank account number. After filling all the details, the website will file your claim
8. I have a balance available in my account. How many times can I get an advance to fight COVID?
You can only apply for the COVID-19 advance once. Even if you have balance in your account, you cannot apply for the claim more than once.
9. What is the last date for applying for COVID advance?
You can apply for the COVID advance as long as the pandemic stays. This claim is available for all the employees and there is no last date for applying till now
10. I have two different UANs. The first UAN is linked with one PF member ID and the second is linked with 2 different member IDs. Can I avail COVID advance benefits? How to get maximum benefit in this case?
Yes, you can avail the COVID advance even in such conditions. But, if you need maximum benefits, you need to transfer all the previous member IDs to your latest member ID. It would help you in getting the most benefit during filing for a claim. For transferring all the member IDs to the latest ID, you need to file for a transfer claim. After the transfer is over, you would see your entire PF amount on the latest member ID. By using this member ID, you can file for an advance and get the most benefit out of it.
11. I have a balance of INR 100000 in my PF account and applied for INR 75000 advance for COVID. At the rate of 75%, I should get INR 75000. Why a much lesser amount has been credited to my account?
The reason why you got a lesser amount is that only 75% of the total amount is the limit. You would only get 75% of the total EPF amount for the COVID advance. Besides that, if your 75% of the amount is more than 3 months of basic salary, then you would only get the 3 months salary. Say, if your monthly salary is INR 20000, then you would only get INR 60,000 as an advance. But, if your monthly salary is INR 30,000 or more, then the advance you will get will only be INR 75,000.
12. How To File EPF COVID Claim? I am not able to file the COVID claim. Please help me.
Here is the simple way which would help you to file for the COVID advance.
a. First login to the member interface of the unified portal which is the official website of EPFO.
b. Now, select the “online services” option after which you need to click on “Claim” (Form-31,19,10C& 10D).
c. You would find a new page. Here you have to enter your bank account number. The website will verify the bank account number.
d. After verification, you would have to select the “Proceed for the claim” option.
e. From the drop-down menu, select the PF Advance (form 81) option.
f. Now, select the purpose of advance as Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19).
g. In the dialogue box, enter the amount that you need and then upload a scanned copy of your cheque. Make sure that the cheque consists of your name and bank account number. After doing that, fill your address.
h. Select the “Get Aadhar OTP” option. The website will send an OTP to your registered phone number.I. Enter the OTP on the screen. Your claim will get submitted.
13. Why your toll-free number is not accessible?
Due to the ongoing situation, the contact services are down. All these services will resume in a short time. But, you can contact us through Facebook or Twitter. Our social media handle is “socialepfo.” You can even state your questions at epfigms.gov.in.
14. I work in a company in Jammu which was covered under the J&K PF Act. Since last year this company is covered under the Employees Provident Fund Act, 1952. Can I claim for fighting COVID pandemic?
Yes, you can claim for COVID advance as the company has registered under EPF act 1952 and you are a PF member.
15. I have applied for COVID epidemic advance. How to check the status of my claim?
You can check the status of your claim by visiting this site- https://passbook.epfindia.gov.in/MemberPassBook/Login.
Here, you would see various options. Select the “Online Services” option. After that click on track claim status. Here you need to fill your UAN number or other details and then you can see the status of your claim.
16. I need to contact the EPF office through email or phone. Please provide me with the contact details of the EPF office.
For contacting the EPF office, you can visit the site- https://www.epfindia.gov.in/site_en/Contact_us.php.
You would see a new page where you need to select the zonal office where your company is present. After doing that, click on the regional/district office. It would provide you with their contact details of the EPF office in which your company has registered.
17. I live in city A and work in city B. However, the head office of my company is in city C. Which EPF office has to be contacted for any matter?
In this case, you have to visit the EPF office where your company has registered itself. If you don’t know the EPF office where the company has registered, you can find it by visiting this site- https://unifiedportal-epfo.epfindia.gov.in/publicPortal/noauth/misReport/home/loadEstSearchHome?
a. Now follow the steps below to find the EPF office in which your company has registered.
b. After visiting the above website, you have to enter the PF code of the establishment. If you don’t know the PF code of the company, you can even enter the name of the company.
c. Enter the security code and then select the “search” option.
d. The details of the company will appear on the screen.
e. Now, you have to confirm the establishment ID of the company. After that, confirm the name and address as stated in the screen.
18. You claim to settle COVID advance claims within 72 hours? It is over 4 days when I applied. I have still not received the money in my bank account. Why?
As per the recent changes in the rules, the EPFO only takes 3 days to settle the claim. Within this time, the EPFO sends the cheque to the bank. Here, the bank takes around 2 to 3 days to credit the amount in the account. You would be able to get the advance in a day or two.
19. I have worked for two companies and working in the third one now. How to get PF accumulations of earlier companies transferred to present one so that I can file a claim for COVID advance?
You can transfer the amount from the previous PF account to your new account if all the details are same. You can apply for the transfer through online process. You have to visit the e-sewa portal and then apply for the transfer. Here, make sure that your UAN is linked with your Aadhar card.
20. Can You Apply For COVID-19 Advance If EPF Withdrawal Is Delayed?
As per the recent changes, a person can apply for a claim even if his/her previous claims are in pending conditions.
With the rise in the pandemic, the government is trying to help employees with financial support. due to this reason, it has made some changes in the EPF rules. Now, as per the new rules, anyone can apply for an advance from EPF due to the pandemic.
Even if your EPF withdrawal is pending, you can still apply for an advance. Select the “Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)” option for claiming an advance.
The approval for the COVID claim will take 3 days which is way faster than the normal withdrawal process. Moreover, the EPFO has conveyed all the PF holders to apply for a claim due to the pandemic. The EPFO has even clarified that even if an employee has a pending claim, he/she can apply for the COVID claim.
21. How EPFO Settles Tons Of Cases For COVID-19 Claims?
With the pandemic rising, people are in dire need of financial support. It is not easy for the people to bear the cost of the treatment and survive the lockdown without any job. To help the employees in some way, the government made changes in the EPF withdrawal rules.
It is well known that a person can only withdraw from the EPF account at the age of 55. An employee can withdraw some amount from the EPF account in case of emergencies. But, now the government has stated that any PF member can withdraw 75% of his/her PF amount as COVID advance. Even if an employee has not completed 5 years of service, he/she can withdraw money from the EPF account under the COVID emergency.
Till now, the government has settled around 140,000 EPF cases. Besides that, the COVID claim takes hardly 3 days to settle. It means that if you apply for COVID claim, the EPFO will complete the process in 3 days. It is possible due to the automation process that the EPFO is using.
After that, the bank will credit the amount in more 2-3 days. In simple language, you would get the amount within a week. Even if you are having any kind of pending claim, you can still apply for the COVID claim.
22. What are COVID-19 Tax Relaxations?
The government has even made some changes in the tax system of EPF withdrawal. If a person is withdrawing money from the EPF account before 5 years of service, then he/she has to pay tax on that amount. But, as per the new rules, there will be no taxes on the EPF withdrawal until the pandemic is over. Besides that, here are some changes that the government made on the tax system due to the pandemic.
TDS/TCS Rate Reduction
a. As per the new rules, there will be a reduction of 25% on the existing tax rates. This reduction is made for non-salary payments received by the residents.
b. The payment for certain transactions like commission and brokerage is eligible for a reduction in TDS rates. This reduction will be applicable until the end of the financial year of 2020
c. The rate for tax for any kind of receipts is also reduced to 25%With the reduction in TDS and TCS, there will be a relaxation on the liquidity. The TDS on mutual funds, dividend interest, and may more mentioned under Section 194A is reduced to 7.5%. Earlier this tax rate was 10%e. The TDS on e-commerce, payment for immovable property is reduced from 1% to 0.75%
23. What are Extension Of Due Dates?
a. The due date for all income tax returns for the financial year 2019-2020 is extended to November 30. Before, it was from July 31 % October 31.
b. The audit date for tax is now extended from September 30 to October 31.
c. The date for assessments which are getting barred on September 30, is now rescheduled to December 31. The ones getting barred on March 31, 2021, is not rescheduled to end of September 2021.
24. I have only worked for 3 years in a company. Can I apply for withdrawal for COVID advance?
Yes, you can apply for COVID advance even if you have worked for less than 5 years. The scheme is available for all PF members.
25. Do I have to pay taxes if I withdraw money from the EPF account?
No. The EPFO has stated that nobody has to pay taxes for withdrawing money from the EPF account during the pandemic.
26. I am working in a company which is stated as exempt. Will I be able to apply for withdrawal during the pandemic?
Yes, even if your company is exempted from EPFO, you can still apply for a withdrawal from the PF account of your company.
27. How much will I get if I claim for the COVID advance?
As per the rules of EPFO, if you are applying for a COVID advance, then you will either get 75% of the total amount in your EPF account or 3 months of equal salary. The EPFO will see the amount which is lesser and will credit it to your account.
28. I am a self-employed person but I do have a PPF account. Can I file for a claim for COVID advance? How much amount will I get?
If you are having a PPF account, then you can file for a COVID advance. As you are self-employed and do not have any fix salary, you would get 75% of the amount in your EPF account
29. How much time will it take for the EPFO to accept my claim?
Due to the pandemic, the EPFO is accepting claims within 3 days. Within 3 days, the EPFO will verify and accept your claim for advance and then send the cheque to the bank. The bank will take around 2 to 3 days to credit the amount in your account.
30. How To Withdraw Money From EPF Account?
A person can only withdraw money from the EPF account under emergencies. Else, the valid age for withdrawing money is 54. This particular rule was made to reduce premature withdrawals.
But, the main question here is how can a person withdraw money from the EPF account? But, before that, it is important to know the type of emergencies that EPF has in its rule book.
31. How to change the name of a married woman in UAN?
The process of changing the name in UAN is like that in Aadhar. The married woman has to apply online for the updating process.
The employer will approve the request digitally after which the process will start. You would have to submit the correction request either online or offline.
You also have to provide a copy of the marriage certificate and any document which states that the person had a different name before marriage. You can use the school records, birth certificate or even PAN for this process.
32. What are the Situations Under Which Employees Can Withdraw Money From EPF Account?
Below are the situations under which the EPFO allows the employee to withdraw money.
a. Construction of a house or for purchasing a house.
b. If the company is locked or closed for more than 15 days. Besides that, if the company is not providing any kind of compensation during this period.
c. If the employee has been removed from the company and the employee has filed a case against this.
d.If the establishment is closed for more than 6 months and the employee is unemployed.
e. If any calamity occurs.
f. For purchasing equipment for a physically disabled employee. Under all these cases, the employee can withdraw money from the EPF account.
These are the cases that the EPF Act recognises as “emergencies.” Along with these, there are also emergencies like wedding, medical needs and as such. The employee can also withdraw money under these circumstances.
33. What Are The Documents Required For Withdrawal?
There are certain documents that are important for the withdrawal process. These documents are mandatory and one cannot get the amount without these documents. Below are the essential documents which an employee needs to provide before the EPFO.
i. A scanned copy of passbook or a cheque. You need to upload the scanned copy in the e-sewa portal.
ii. The UAN should be active.
iii. Aadhar card should be linked with UAN.
iv. Make sure to provide correct bank details in the UAN.
v. Your EPF account should be JYC-compliant.
vi. The mobile number registered with Aadhar card should be active.
vii. If you are retiring, make sure that the DOB is present in the EPFO record. Along with that, the date of joining and leaving should also be there.
These are some of the essential documents which the employee needs to take care of. Once the verification of the documents is over, you can easily claim for the withdrawal.
34. What is the Guide To Claim For Withdrawal From EPF Account?
There is a certain process that an employee needs to follow for claiming a withdrawal. Below is the detailed process which would help you to withdraw money from your EPF account.The first step is to visit the e-sewa portal where all the EPF related work happens. The website is https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface
First you have to log in to the portal. You can do so by using your UAN. Enter the UAN, password and the security code.After successfully logging into the portal, click on the option, “Online Services.” After that, select the “Claim (Form 31,19,10C & 10D).”The “claim” option will take you to a new webpage.
In this webpage, you have to enter your bank account number which is present in the UAN account.
Click on “verify.” The portal will verify whether both the bank account details match or not.
After the verification is over, you have to agree to the terms and conditions of the EPFONow, click on the “Proceed for online claim” option on the new page.
You would be able to see a drop-down menu with certain situations. Select the emergency, for which you are withdrawing money from the EPF account. The drop-down menu will only consist of options for which you are eligible.
After selecting the option, you have to provide your complete address in the blank space. Moreover, you also have to state the amount required and upload a scanned copy of the cheque.
After uploading the required documents, select the “Get Aadhar OTP”.Now, you will get an OTP in the registered mobile number.
Enter the OTP and then select the claim option. After following the steps, the EPFO will receive your application. It will look into the application, verify the details, and then credit the amount to your account in a few days.
35. How To Track The Claim Status?
You can check the status of your application from the online portal of e-sewa. You have to visit the official website for checking the claim. After that, click on the “Track Claim Status” option, which you can find under the “Online Services” tab.
The tracker will show you the process of your application. It would notify you about the approval status of the claim. Furthermore, it would even help you know when you will receive the amount in your bank account.
36. What Is The Scenario Of EPF Withdrawal Before 5 Years Of Service?
The EPFO has made a rule that an employee cannot withdraw money before 5 years of service. If due to any cause, an employee wishes to withdraw money before the threshold period, it would be taxable. In simple language, a person has to pay tax for withdrawing the money from EPF account before 5 years of service.
a. But, there is also an exception to this case. If the EPF amount is less than INR 50,000, then the amount will be free from TDS. Here are the rules which you need to keep in mind while withdrawing money in this case.
b. The employee has to provide detailed reasoning of the amount in the PF account every year. This rule came into action recently in ITR forms 2 and 3. If you are withdrawing money before the threshold period, you have to provide details on it.
c. The EPFO will also check for any extra taxes that are liable on the withdrawal amount. If there any chances of extra taxes, then you have to pay the tax.
d. The employee has to remember that the amount in the EPF account is divided into 4 parts. The parts are the amount contributed by the employee, by the employer and the interest in each part.
e. If the employee has claimed for exemption on EPF as per the section 80C, then all 4 parts are taxable
f. If the employee has not made any claim for exemption, then only the employee’s part will be free from tax.
g. The tax on the withdrawal amount will solely depend on the current income slab of the employee’s. The tax on the withdrawal amount will be applied to the year of withdrawal. But, the consideration of the tax will be done every year.
These are some of the most essential rules to remember while withdrawing money. These rules are applicable if the person is withdrawing money before 5 years. If the person is claiming withdrawal after 5 years of completion, the EPF amount will be free from taxes.
37. What Is The Withdrawal Procedure From EPF Account After Retirement?
An employee after his/her retirement has to claim the EPF money from the EPFO. But, there are some rules that the employee needs to keep in mind. These rules will help the employee in knowing when to withdraw the money after retirement.
a. The employee has to claim fort the EPF amount when he/she reaches the age of 58. The EPFO made this rule while forming the EPF Act.
b. The EPF amount has both employees as well as the employer’s share of the amount. It also has the interest amount on both parts.
c. If the employee has worked for more than 10 years in an organisation, then he/she is eligible for the EPS amount. EPS is the pension scheme made by the EPFO, where the employee will get a monthly pension amount. The employee even gets the benefits of pension after retirement.
d. If the employee has worked for more than 10 years in an organisation, he/she can withdraw both EPF and EPS amount.
e. The withdrawal amount from the EPF account, after retirement, is free from taxes. It means that the person does not have to pay any taxes on the EPF amount after retirement.
f. But, the interest that is earned on the EPF amount is taxable. If the employee does not claim the EPF amount within 3 years of retirement then he/she has to pay tax on the interest amount.
g. An employee can claim for the EPF amount through the online process after retirement.These rules are for the safety of the employee. One can claim for the EPF amount after retirement, through the online withdrawal process. In the portal, the person would be able to see the “retirement withdrawal” option. By selecting the option, the employee will get the amount within a span of a few days.
38. What Are The PF Withdrawal Rules For The Year 2020?
With the ongoing pandemic, EPFO has made some changes in the EPF withdrawal rules. The government has added new rules in the EPF Act so that employees can withdraw money during the pandemic.
As per the new rules, the statutory rate of contribution has reduced to 10%. Earlier this rate was 12% for both employees and employer. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the government has taken these steps for the well-being of the employees.
But, the reduction does not apply to the state pubic or central public organizations. Moreover, the government is going to contribute to the EPF accounts too. But, only employees with less than INR 15,000 will get this benefit.As per the new rules, anyone can withdraw money from the EPF account during the time of the pandemic.
Even if a person has not worked for 5 years, he/she can withdraw the amount under COVID-19 relief scheme. The government has even stated that the EPF withdrawal during this time will be free from taxes.
Important Rules About EPF Withdrawal
Below are the 10 important rules that you need to follow while withdrawing from the EPF account.
a. An employee cannot withdraw money from the EPF account while he/she is working in the company. Only in case of retirement or dire emergencies, the person can withdraw money.
b. The EPFO has allowed partial withdrawal from the EPF account in case of an emergency. During this pandemic, an employee can partially withdraw money from EPF account.
c. A person can withdraw around 90% of the EPF amount after reaching the age of 54. He/she can withdraw the remaining amount at the time of retirement.
d. If a person remains unemployed for more than a month, then he/she can withdraw 75% of the money from EPF. But, the employee has to declare his/her unemployment to the EPFO.
e. It is well known that if an employee withdraws money before the age of 54, then TDS is applicable. But, if the amount that the employee is withdrawing is less than INR 50,000 then it will be free from taxes.
The government is trying its best to help the employees during this pandemic. As the rules are now different for EPF withdrawal, many people were confused. To avoid such confusion, the EPFO decided to release a set of FAQs with answers. In these FAQs, a person can understand the whole process easier. The pandemic has brought down the economy and to help people in surviving this pandemic, the EPFO decided to allow for EPF withdrawal.
We know that this is a high alert emergency and people would need money. If you are applying for a COVID claim now, you will get the amount in your account within a week. The EPFO is made to help people in dealing with financial needs and this is the time to help the people.
Moreover, the advance for COVID-19 is non-refundable. It means that a person does not have to repay the amount. Anyone can apply for an advance by selecting the “Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)” option and get an advance. It is highly suggested that an employee should only apply for an advance when it is of utmost necessity.