Are EPF contributions compulsory?
EPF contributions are compulsory for those earning a basic salary of 6500 rupees and below. But for those with a basic of above 6500 rupees, contributions to the EPF are voluntary. But despite being voluntary for the latter category, it is important to contribute to the EPF owing to the many and varied benefits that come with being a member of the fund.
What should be my next course of action after switching jobs? Also what should I do after I quit a job and I don’t take up employment thereafter?
Transferring the provident fund balance from your old employer to your current employer is what you should do when you change jobs. The balance accumulated from the previous employer will remain as it is while the new employer will start making new contributions starting from the date of commencement of your new job.
But in instances where you have quit employment but you don’t take up any other employment, you can withdraw the provident fund balance. For this to happen though you have to declare that you have no intention of working in the next half year.
What interest rates do I enjoy on my EPF account?
The interest rates that EPF account members enjoy varies from year to year. This always depends on the revenues generated by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation in the previous year. However the interest rates has consistently managed to beat the inflation rate.
How can I access a statement of my EPF account remotely?
Members of the Employee Provident Fund can get statements of their EPF accounts by visiting the web address: www.epfindia.gov.in.
However access to online statements is limited to active members. Dormant members who have not been making their EPF contributions will be denied access.
When am I allowed to make EPF withdrawals?
You are allowed to make withdrawals from your EPF account to cater for medical emergencies, education expenses, wedding expenses for children, oneself or other family members and also for buying or constructing a house. EPF Balance Withdrawal Forms available.
There are certain conditions that have to be fulfilled though before withdrawing from your EPF account can be allowed. These conditions include the following:
- At least seven years of service should have been completed. The only exception to this rule is in case of medical emergencies where there’s no minimum period you are required to have been in service. But the maximum withdrawable amount should at the maximum be six times your basic salary. You will also be required to provide proof of the medical emergency.
- The maximum amount you can withdraw should not exceed half of the total amount you have personally contributed.
- You can only withdraw a maximum of three times in the duration in which you possess an Employee Provident Fund Account.
- In case you are withdrawing to construct a house or to buy one, withdrawals from an EPF account can only be made once in the duration of you whole life in employment. You will also be required to have been in service for at least five years. The maximum amount you can withdraw in this case is 24 times your net salary in the case of buying a house or 36 times your net salary in the case of constructing a house.