The coronavirus pandemic has upended everyone’s life and also their financial situation, forcing them to look for ways to meet their immediate expenses. To help people face this unprecedented situation, the government, last year, relaxed rules to allow Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers withdraw a portion of their retirement savings. An EPFO member can withdraw an amount equal to three months of basic salary and dearness allowance or 75 per cent of the credit balance in the account, whichever is lower.
The EPFO has also made provisions for partial withdrawal in some other cases, such as for healthcare needs, marriage, calamity, and house renovation. A detailed guide for premature/partial withdrawal is also available on the EPFO website. However, a complete withdrawal from an EPF account is only possible if an individual retires or remains unemployed for more than two months.
Money from the EPF can be withdrawn either offline or online. But before you start withdrawing your money, you must satisfy these three conditions.
- Your Universal Account Number (UAN) must be activated.
- Your Aadhaar number must be verified and linked with UAN.
- Your bank account, with the correct IFSC code, must be linked to UAN.
You are now ready to apply for EPF withdrawal. Follow these steps next:
- Visit the UAN Member e-Sewa portal.
- Login to your account at the top right corner of the website page, using your UAN.
- Go to Online Services and select claim (Form -31, 19,10C, and 10D).
- A new webpage will appear with your details. It will ask you to enter your bank account number. Do that and click verify.
- Then a pop-up will appear on your screen asking you to give a ‘Certificate of undertaking’.
- Once the bank account number is verified, click on ‘proceed for online claim’.
- The claim form will now require you to enter whether you are applying for advance PF withdrawal.
- From the drop-down menu, select ‘PF advance (Form 31)’.
- Then you will have to select the purpose of withdrawal as ‘outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)’ or any other from the list of options provided in the drop-down menu.
- Enter the amount required and upload the scanned copy of the cheque and enter your mailing address.
- A one-time password (OTP) will be sent to your mobile phone number linked to your Aadhaar. Enter the OTP and submit the certificate.
- The EPFO site may ask you to submit scanned documents for the purpose for which you have filled the claim form. The request will need to be approved by your employer.
It may take 15-20 days to receive the money in your bank account if the details you provided match with those in the EPFO database and your claim is accepted by it.
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