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Everything You Need to Know About Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Balance

How to Check Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Balance, and More

It is no secret that the Employee Provident Fund, or EPF, plays an extremely important role in an employee's financial life. It acts like an effective retirement fund supported by equal monthly contributions from the employee and the company.

To keep track of the long-term contributions from both parties, a digital EPF member passbook is usually made available to every employee who is an EPFO member, wherein the EPF balance placed into the account is shown.

Employee Provident Fund (EPF) contributions generally comprise 12% of an employee's gross income plus a matching amount from the employer. While taxes are not applied to the employer's EPF contribution, the employee can benefit from a tax deduction for contributions made to the EPF under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act.

In other words, from an employee's perspective, payments to the EPF, interest that accrues on the PF balance, and withdrawals of money after the requisite specified duration (5 years) are all completely tax-free.

When the employees retire, they get a tax-free lump payment from the Employee Provident Fund, which, as expected, includes the full contribution from both the company and the employee (EPFO), wherein the organisation determines the fixed annual interest rate.

When calculating the interest accrued to the EPF account, the account's balance comes into play. While the annual percentage rate used to compute interest is 8.75%, every year on April 1st, the interest is computed on the total amount in the EPF account.

All employees must be aware that although EPF withdrawals occur regularly, interest is determined annually. Therefore, it becomes much more important to regularly conduct your PF Balance check, especially at the start of the year.

Understanding the Universal Account Number (UAN)

All salaried employees who pay a portion of their salary to the EPF are given a 12-digit unique identification number called a UAN, or Universal Account Number, by EPFO. A UAN is given to each EPFO member, and it is valid for the duration of their employment.

Every time the employee changes jobs, they are given a new PF account number, and each of these PF accounts is connected to a single UAN. Therefore, the unification of information means that with only a few clicks of a few buttons, you may transfer or withdraw cash from your PF account or check the balance of your EPF account using the UAN.

If the company has 20 or more employees, the employer must have the UAN produced for the new hire when they start working. In the other case, if the employee was given a UAN at the prior company, they must also give it to the new employer.

As already stated, the UAN does not change during an employee's career. So even when a person switches jobs, a new member ID is granted, but at the end of the day, all of the employee's member IDs are connected to a single UAN. As a result, the UAN enables you to keep track of all of your EPF contributions—under both your prior and present employers—in one consolidated location.

PF withdrawal, transfer, etc., have also become simpler and hassle-free as all of an employee's PF accounts are gathered together under a single umbrella-UAN. Let's look at some of the prominent advantages of having a UAN for employees:

  • Since all PF accounts of an employee are linked under one common umbrella, it makes the presence of UAN universal.
  • Employer participation in withdrawals has decreased thanks to UAN since, after KYC verification is finished, the PF from the previous company may seamlessly be transferred to the new PF account.
  • Also, the hassle of fund transfer is eliminated as once the employee gives their UAN details and KYC to the new employer, the old PF is transferred to the new PF account post-verification.
  • Following registration at the UAN site, employees get SMS alerts anytime an employer contribution is made, ensuring easy management and tracking of funds.

In modern times, checking your PF balance has become way more simplified. Instead of waiting for the employer's annual EPF statement, employees can now easily leverage multiple online and offline avenues to conduct their EPF balance checks. Let's take a look at some of the ways.

How to Check EPF Balance With a Missed Call

Making a missed call to the number 011-22901406 is one of the simplest ways to check your EPF balance. You will receive information on the most recent contribution along with the balance.

To avail of this luxury, bear in mind that you have the following pre-requisites met:

  • The member's mobile number has to be registered with the UAN since missed calls can only be received from registered numbers.
  • Needless to say, the member's UAN should be activated when the call is made.
  • Other significant papers like PAN, Aadhaar, and bank accounts should be seeded into the UAN.

How to Check EPF Balance With an SMS

Another hassle-free way to check your EPF balance is to send an SMS to EPFO using your registered mobile number to get information about your account. You can refer to the message template below to shoot out a PF balance check inquiry to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation:

EPFOHO UAN to 7738299899

Since the default language is English, you will receive a response in English, but you can gladly choose from the 10 other languages available. Make sure to add the language code in the SMS for the preferred language-specific response. The available languages and their corresponding codes are as follows;

English (Default), Hindi (HIN), Gujarati (GUJ), Punjabi (PUN), Marathi (MAR), Kannada (KAN), Malayalam (MAL), Tamil (TAM), Telugu (TEL) and Bengali (BEN).

You can follow the SMS template below to receive EPF account balance details in Hindi or Marathi, or Bengali:

EPFOHO UAN HIN to 7738299899
EPFOHO UAN MAR to 7738299899
EPFOHO UAN BEN to 7738299899

As is the norm, remember that you may only utilize this option to conduct an EPF balance check if your UAN is operational and has been seeded with your Aadhaar, bank account, and PAN. If you haven't already, you must first finish the eKYC with UAN if you haven't seeded your UAN with the papers mentioned above.

How to Check EPF Balance by Leveraging the Umang App

Through the government's unified mobile app, popularly known as Umang, EPFO offers several services. By simply logging in with your UAN and OTP, you may access the Umang App to check your EPF balance and acquire your PF passbook.

Here are the Steps to conduct a PF balance check using Umang App:

Step 1: Install the application from Google PlayStore by typing 'UMANG' in the search bar. Check if the MeitY, Government Of India, has published the app.

Step 2: Once downloaded and installed, open the Umang app on your smartphone and choose your preferred language. Make sure to go through the terms and conditions of the "End to End License Agreement".

Step 3: Now it's time to get your mobile number verified and then register.

Step 4: You need to click on the 'All Services' option at the bottom.

Step 5: From the list of options that pops up, select 'EPFO'.

Step 6: You can click on 'View Passbook 'to go ahead with your balance check.

Step 7: Enter your UAN and click on Get OTP to receive the One Time Password on your registered mobile number. Enter the OTP and click on 'Login'.

Your required passbook and your PF balance will then be displayed on the screen.

How to Check EPF Balance by Using the EPFO Portal

The EPFO website now makes it possible for employees who are EPFO members to check their EPF balance with their UAN number. You can follow these steps to check your PF balance online via the EPFO portal:

Step 1- Visit the official EPFO Website.

Step 2: Look for the 'Our Services' drop-down menu and click on 'For Employees'.

Step 3: You can either go to the 'Services' menu and click on 'Member Passbook'

Step 4: Now it's time to log in with your UAN and Password.

Step 5: After logging in, you'll see all the member IDs of all the accounts linked with your UAN so far.

Step 6: You'll need to click on the Member ID of the EPF account you want to check the balance, and the corresponding EPF passbook will appear on the screen.

Understanding EPF Balance for Inoperative Accounts

It has been observed that the lengthy EPF transfer procedures and employees' preference to register new accounts while changing employment were the main causes of accounts being inoperative. A major factor in this is also a breakdown in communication between a person's present and prior employment.

Even inactive accounts will continue to earn interest (as per a notification the government released in November 2016), and they will no longer be regarded as inoperative. Since 2011, EPFO has no longer paid interest to inactive accounts. But as soon as the new amendment takes effect, all inactive accounts will receive interest payments at 8.5% annually.

The contribution will be paid up to the earlier of the date of withdrawal or when you turn 58 years old. Employees who cannot locate the information for their previous inactive accounts can contact the EPFO support desk to have their balance moved to the current account.

How to Check EPF Balance of Exempted Establishments/Private Trusts

When it comes to an exempted establishment or private trust, the PF contribution is directed straight to the company-managed trust (instead of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation as usual). Only the company-managed trust holds the power to reveal the EPF balance. In addition, EPFO does not come forth with a standard passbook facility for members of exempted establishments.

Exempted establishments like Godrej, HDFC, Nestle, TCS, Infosys, etc., host the power to possess EPF trusts inside their ecosystem rather than contributing the EPF corpus to the EPFO in the usual fashion. These in-house trusts are expected to deliver higher returns than the EPFO and are governed by similar rules. Here's how employees in this situation can conduct a PF balance check:

  • Many such large-scale conglomerates host all the major online information on employee portals. Employees can log in and check the EPF section to get hold of their PF balance and statement.
  • Larger firms require sturdy HR frameworks, which are usually tasked with handling the provident funds of the employees. Workers can then reach out to HR folks and have their EPF queries answered promptly.
  • Usually, the pay stubs received in internal emails contain the PF balance and the contribution data. This information can be embedded in the payslip or a separate EPF slip.

Additional Information About EPF Balance

When you change jobs, you can either withdraw or transfer your EPF balance to the EPF account created by your new employer. Transferring the balance is recommended over withdrawing it, mainly because if you have fewer than five years of employment (with an EPF-registered employer), withdrawing the money results in a tax deduction at source (colloquially known as TDS). 

More precisely, When you withdraw money before completing five years of service and your PAN data is connected to your UAN, TDS will be withheld at a 10% rate. 34.6% TDS will be taken off if your PAN is not connected to your EPF account.

Through the UAN Member Portal, you can transfer the accumulated funds in your EPF account into your new account simply by using your UAN and password to sign in to the EPFO member's site.

Conclusion

People begin investigating various investing and savings plans as soon as they make money. Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), a well-known savings programme created by the Employees' Provident Fund Organization, is funded partly by the salaries of the country's salaried class (EPFO).

A significant retirement corpus may be developed by encouraging employees to develop a saving habit, which is the goal of the EPF plan. Therefore, it is no secret that arguably one of the best and most well-known investment plans for Indian salaried people is the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF). These programmes include provident funds, pensions, and insurance.

Now that the EPFO has equipped itself with digital services to the members through its portal, transparency, efficiency and comfort are sky-high. A new online tool was recently introduced to help members transfer their PF accounts online from one organisation to another. If the EPF & MP Act of 1952 is in effect at both places, an employee may now seek to transfer their PF account with a simple online process if they switch jobs.

The Employees' Provident Fund Organization, a statutory organisation under the Ministry of Labour and Employment of the Government of India, is responsible for managing the social security programmes for industrial workers established under the Employees' Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

FAQs

What is an Inoperative EPF Account?

Simply put, it is that EPF account in which no PF contributions have been made for three years following retirement, a death, or a permanent move. Therefore, no interest is due when something is deemed inoperative. Please take notice that interest will be credited to the account for members up to the age of 58, even for inoperative accounts.

Is It Possible to Check Your EPF Balance Through SMS Without a UAN-Linked Mobile Number?

No. To check your EPF balance, the number from which the missed call is made has to be registered with your UAN. Therefore, you must mandatorily link your 10-digit mobile number with your UAN to avail of the missed call service.

Is It Possible for an Employee to Check Their EPF Balance for a Previous Employer?

Yes, an individual can check out their EPF balance in their previous company. To access the EPF balance of their former employer, the person must first log in to the EPFO portal using their UAN (Universal Account Number) and password and then choose the relevant Member ID. Each unique member ID on the online portal is connected to the person's EPF accounts from their former jobs.

Is It Possible to Avail of a loan Against EPF Balance?

You may be eligible for a loan against your EPF amount based on the years you've worked. Your employer must submit Form 31, which includes information about your EPF account number, pay, and other details, to EPFO on your behalf. The employer should also submit additional pertinent papers.

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