If you are a salaried employee, then you must be holding an Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Account with the EPFO. It is quite necessary to open an EPF account if you are an employed person and draws a salary of up to Rs. 15,000 per month. However, it is optional for those individuals who are earning more than this amount.
The EPF is managed and controlled solely by the Employees Provident Fund Organization of India (EPFO) and any organization who employs more than 20 persons is necessarily required to get registered with the EPFO to avail EPF benefits.
Here, we bring you the top Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to EPF and its operation.
Is a contribution to the EPF mandatory?
No. Contribution to EPF is not at all necessary for everyone but it is mandatory for those individuals who earn a basic salary of up to Rs. 6,500 per month. However, it is totally voluntary for those individuals who have a basic salary of more than Rs. 6,500. But in practical cases, it is strongly recommended to make such contributions to avail of the various benefits from an EPF account.
What am I supposed to do if I change my job? And what if I quit my job without joining elsewhere?
In such a case, one may transfer his balance from one employer to another employer. Whatever balance you have in your PF account that will remain in that account only and your new employer can start making fresh contributions in it. And in case if you quit your job, PF can be withdrawn after providing a declaration in written format.
What is the current rate of interest on EPF Account?
Every year, the interest rates on EPF accounts are revised by the central government depending upon the revenues made by the EPFO during the previous year on its deposits. For FY19, the interest rate on EPF is 8.00%.
From where can I check my EPF account statement online?
EPF subscribers can access their account statements online by visiting the official website of EPFO (www.epfindia.gov.in). This facility is available only to those EPF account holders who are currently active and are making contributions in the EPF account.
Can I contribute more than 12% of my basic salary towards EPF?
Yes, you can via VPF or Voluntary Provident Fund. The money contributed to VPF will earn the same interest as the EPF contribution and is subject to all rules and regulations that are applicable to EPF.
How would I know about the accumulated amount in my PF account?
You may know about your accumulations in the PF account by having a look at your annual statement sent by the PF office at the end of the financial year through your employer. It contains details like opening balance, the amount contributed, total withdrawal, interest earned and the closing balance in the PF account.
How long does a usual EPF Withdrawl take?
Usually, the processing time for your EPF withdrawal takes around 2-3 weeks. But you will receive the final amount not before than 90 days. It is because your previous employer cannot submit the withdrawal request for taking out your accumulated amount until 60 days pass after you resigned. After that, the EPF office will take other 2-3 weeks and eventually you will get your PF money at the end of the 3rd month.
Additional Reading:- EPF Withdrawal Rules And Tax Implications
It is very important to know each and every minute details before you start making contributions in your EPF account. These several sets of questions will help you to make a better and informed decision.