According to data presented by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation added about 1.2 Crore new members between the years 2017 and 2018. The data also shows that the highest number of fresh enrolments – about 31.36 Lakh individuals, belonged to the age group of 22-25 years. This data shows that more individuals in the country are choosing schemes under EPFO as viable options for retirement planning and social security for the future.
EPF allows individuals to accumulate a strong invested corpus at the time of retirement, or one month post-unemployment. One can raise a withdrawal claim from their EPF by online filing of EPF claim form.
Also Read: How to Check PF Details Online Using UAN?
EPF withdrawal forms
EPF is one of the most popular schemes that individuals invest in to plan their post-retirement life. Apart from this, one can also withdraw from their account during the term of their unemployment.
According to the mandated rules by EPFO, 75% of the EPF account balance can be withdrawn after 1 month of an individual’s unemployment, while the remaining 25% can be withdrawn after 2 months.
But to file EPF withdrawal online, it is first crucial for individuals to learn about the types of forms they can choose from.
While filing an online claim, individuals will find 3 EPF claim forms. These are –
- Form 31 – For advance/partial withdrawal
This form allows individuals to withdraw a part of the corpus from their EPF to cover emergency expenses that can arise in due course of their employment. This form is also viable for individuals withdrawing from their account on terms of unemployment. To withdraw from EPF by using this form, you also have to mention your purpose for withdrawal. The amount allowed for withdrawal is subject to the following factors –
- Funds accumulated in the account.
- Allowable limit for withdrawal.
Employed individuals can withdraw from the account to meet wedding expenses, healthcare requirements, higher education costs, etc. These regulations can help you manage your money more effectively.
- Form 19 – For final settlement/complete withdrawal
Individuals wishing to withdraw the entire accumulated corpus in their account, post retirement, can do the same with this form. For this final settlement, individuals need to fill in a few personal and employment details. These include – Aadhaar number, PAN, UAN, postal address, bank details, date of joining and leaving services, reason for leaving, etc.
- Form 10C – For pension withdrawal
This form is for withdrawal of pension amount from the Employees’ Pension Scheme account. On the other hand, individuals wishing to withdraw from their provident fund under grounds of unemployment require filing their request under Form 10C alongside Form 31. The fields mentioned under this form are similar to that of Form 19.
These are the 3 EPF claim forms which can allow individuals to withdraw from their EPF fund to cover various expenses.
Process of online EPF withdrawal
The online process to withdraw from EPF can be explained in 10 simple steps, viz. –
- To file claim online, you will first have to sign in to the Universal Account Number portal by using your UAN and respective password. UAN is a 12-digit unique number that is provided to each EPFO member.
- After signing in, you will have to select the “online services” tab from the menu bar at the top and select from Form numbers 19, 10C or 31.
- You will then have to fill up the member details, provide the last 4 digits of your bank account and verify the same.
- Next, to proceed further, you will have to agree to certain terms of undertaking.
- Next, you will have to choose the option – proceed for online claim.
- For online EPF withdrawal, you will have to select Form 31.
- This form selection will then appear as a fresh page on your screen, where you will have to provide details like purpose of fund withdrawal, employees’ address and amount required.
- Next, submit your application by ticking the certification.
- In this step, you will also have to submit a few scanned documents, as required.
- In this final step, your employer will approve your request, and the amount will be withdrawn from EPF and deposited in your account.
With these steps, you can withdraw from your EPF account online without any hassle. EPF, thus, makes for one of the best savings schemes in India for various risk profiles to gather a corpus for post-retirement expenses. The only drawback of this investment option is its lock-in period, which allows funds to be withdrawn only after retirement or in cases of emergency or unemployment.
To avoid this, individuals can alternatively opt for a Fixed Deposit from financial institutions like Bajaj Finance, which offers industry-first features, flexible lock-in periods and attractive interest rates. Fixed deposits also make for stable investment options that allow individuals to generate a substantial amount of investments to cover post-retirement expenses.