Subscribers of retirement fund body EPFO can now withdrawal money from their PF account using one common form and will not be required to file documents like marriage invitation cards for taking advances.
Besides, the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has also done away with the practice of filing utlisation certificates for advances taken from their PF accounts and can submit self-utlisation certificate.
"To add further convenience, these forms (different form for various advances and withdrwals) now have been further simplified and replaced with a single page Composite Claim Form (Aadhar). This new Composite Claim Form (Aadhar), can be submitted without the attestation of employers," EPFO said in statement.
According to the statement, subscribers, who have seeded Aadhaar and bank account details, to their Universal Account Number (UAN) have the facility to submit claim forms directly to the EPFO without attestation of the employers by preferring claims in Forms No 19 (UAN), 10C (UAN) & 31(UAN).
It said that for subscribers, who are yet to seed Aadhaar and Bank details with their UAN, the new Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhar) replaces the existing Forms No 19, 10C & 31.
The new single page composite claim form (Non-Aadhar), can be submitted with the attestation of employers.
It said that self-certification replaces various certificates prescribed at present.
The Composite Claim Form (Aadhar) / Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhar) now comes with self-certification.
Under the Para 68B of the EPF Scheme, the "New Declaration Form" required to be appended with Form No 31 for housing loan/purchase of site/house/flat or for construction/addition, alteration in existing house/repayment of housing loan is discontinued.
The requirement of "Utilisation Certificate" has also been dispensed with. No document would be required to be submitted by the subscriber in respect of these partial withdrawals, it said.
Similarly, under Para 68H, for grant of advances in case of closure of factories, no document would be required to be submitted by the subscriber.
Under the Para 68K, for the marriage advance & for availing advance for post-matriculation education of children, no document, including marriage card, would be required to be submitted by the subscribers.
Also under Para 68L, for advance in abnormal condition, the member may self-certify that his property has been damaged. No document would be required to be submitted by the subscriber.
Submission of Composite Claim Form (Aadhar) / (Composite Claim form (Non-Aadhar) duly signed by the EPF subscriber shall be construed as 'self-certification' for the said partial withdrawals, for which no document would be required to be submitted to the EPFO offices, it said.Here are 10 things to know:
1) For now, subscribers who have seeded Aadhaar and bank account details to their UAN (Universal Account Number) have the facility to submit claim form directly to EPFO without the attestation of employers. EPFO had in 2014 launched a Universal Account Number or UAN-based portal to provide a number of facilities to its members through a single window. (Also read: EPFO may invest more money in stock markets soon)
2) However, for subscribers who are yet to seed Aadhaar and bank details, a new composite claim form has been introduced which has to be submitted with attestation of employers for any claims.
3) EPFO has made it mandatory for all subscribers as well as pensioners to submit their Aadhaar numbers. The PF body has recently extended the deadline for submitting Aadhaar for its subscribers and pensioners till March 31, 2017.
4) Provident fund (PF) is meant for saving towards post-retirement years. Financial planners don't advise withdrawal from the corpus before retirement. According to provident fund norms, 12 per cent of an employee's salary goes into the fund along with a matching contribution from the employer. But 8.33 per cent of that goes into Employees' Pension Scheme. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO or every year announces interest rate to be paid on the accumulated provident fund corpus.
5) A provident fund subscriber can go for partial withdrawal/advance from his or her corpus for specific purposes like purchase of flat, construction, marriage/education of children etc.
6) However, to be eligible for these partial withdrawal/loan benefits, a person has to be a subscriber for a minimum number of years. And the advance amount depends on the specific situation.
7) For example, to buy a house, the subscriber has to be a member of at least five years.
8) To further simplify the provident fund claims, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO plans to launch an online facility by May this year, EPFO Central Provident Fund Commissioner VP Joy told news agency Press Trust of India recently.
9) EPFO has an ambitious plan to settle the claims within a few hours after filing of application. Currently, the PF body settles most of the withdrawal-related claims within the stipulated 20 days.
10) PF money can be withdrawn after two months from the cessation of employment. To encourage long-term savings, the government has formulated tax laws accordingly. If the withdrawal from a recognised PF happens after five years of continuous employment, it attracts no tax liability.