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19June

PF and its Benefits

The Provident Fund (aka) PF is another name for the pension fund. Though it is a forced saving, it is one of the very good forms of investments. PF serves as a social security for employees working in India. The key purpose of PF is to help employees to save a fraction of their salary every month so that the same can be used in situations such as - he/she is temporarily unable to work or no longer able to work, or at the time of retirement. 

Both the employer and employee contribute 12 percent of the basic salary towards EPF. The employees’ 12 percent contribution goes to their EPF, while from the employer’s contribution, 8.33 percent of the total 12 percent is invested in EPS or pension scheme, and the balance 3.67 percent is invested in EPF. Further, the employer also contributes to the administration of the benefits under the Act.

The EPF offers several benefits for the employees. EPFO recently highlighted 5 important advantages for being the member of EPF, which are as follows:
  • EPF is one of the best investments we can make. It’s not only about savings till retirement, but also, you can earn interest for that amount. Your EPF account continues to earn interest even if it has been inoperative for more than 3years or 36 months.
  • If something unfortunate happens, then under the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, insurance benefit of upto Rs.6 lakh is admissible to the survivor of the deceased member.
  • If you contribute for 10 years, then as per the Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995, you are eligible to get lifelong pension. The retirement body has three social security schemes, namely 
  1. Employees’ Provident Fund 1952, 
  2. Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995, and 
  3. Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976 
to provide provident fund, pension, and group term insurance to its subscribers.
  • The Aadhaar-linked UAN number (verified and authenticated) facilitates the linking of previous accounts of the members in case of any job change. This means that the new joiners don’t have to file separate EPF transfer claims using Form-13 after changing their jobs.
  • EPFO subscribers can avail the facility of withdrawals for purchase/construction of a house, repayment of a house, illness, higher education, marriage, etc. 
What is UAN Number?
The Universal Account Number (UAN) is a 12-digit number allotted to each Employee Provident Fund member by the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) which gives control of their EPF account and minimizes the role of an employer. The UAN number is typically allotted by the employer when you start working and your employer offers EPF.

How does the Member ID differ from the UAN number?
An employee can hold just one Universal Account Number, which as the name implies will remain the same forever. It will maintain all your Member IDs. You can have multiple Savings bank account, but all these are tied to your one Permanent Account Number (PAN). Therefore, when you change your job, your new employer would give you a new Member ID, if the company contributes to EPF.

A Member must activate his UAN account to avail various facilities such as UAN card download, member passbook download, updating KYC information, listing all his member IDs to UAN, as well as file and view transfer claim. It is a major enhancement by the EPFO.

You can check your Provident Fund balance by:
  • Using the Umang app 
  • Using the EPFO portal 
Umang Mobile App:
Want to download Umang app? It’s very simple. You can directly download it from your Google/Apple Play Store. The Umang is a user-friendly mobile application that can be used to get access to a wide range of government services at the click of a button through your smartphone.
To access all the services, you must register yourself with the app. On completing the registration process, you can login to your account and will be able to see your establishment name and member ID.

Clicking on the member ID, you can view Employee share, Employer share, and pension contribution for each month. By this way, the employees can ensure that the deducted employee share of PF and employer share of PF are being saved in their PF savings.

How to Use Umang App?
Step 1: Download the Umang app from Google/Apple Play Store 
Step 2: Create your ‘Profile’ by providing personal details such as name, mobile number, age. There is also an option to upload a profile photo
Step 3: You can also link your Aadhaar number to the app and other social media accounts
Step 4: After profile creation, you can log in and go to the ‘Sort & Filter’ section to browse through the services and categories
Step 5: Go to the search option to look for a service

How to Register/Set Up Umang App Using Mobile Number
Step 1: Download the Umang app from Google/Apple App Store
Step 2: Launch the app and click on ‘New User’.
Step 3: On the ‘Registration’ screen, key in the mobile number and click ‘Proceed’. You will see the mobile number verification screen
Step 4: Now, key in the OTP and proceed to set MPIN. Type MPIN and click ‘Confirm MPIN’
Step 5: Choose ‘Proceed’. Answer the security questions and click on “continue”
Step 6: Now, enter Aadhar number if you want to link it or click ‘Skip’ to move on to the ‘Profile Information Screen’, where you will have to enter profile details and click ‘Save & Proceed’
Step 7: This completes the registration process and you will be redirected to the home screen
Step 8: View passbook and click on the member id to view your employee contribution, employer contribution and pension contribution for each month.

What is an EPF e-Passbook?
The EPF e-passbook is an online version of the employee’s Provident Fund account. Transactions are recorded date-wise and these can be tracked easily by the member. You can check your EPF balance online anytime you wish to.

How to Register Online? 
Registration on the EPFO website is necessary to avail the e-passbook facility. Follow the below steps to complete your online registration: 
  • Visit the EPFO members site - http://members.epfoservices.in/
  • Click on the “Register” at the bottom of the page or “Click here to Register” button under the Login area. 
  • You will reach the registration page, where you will have to enter your mobile number mandatorily. You will also need to enter your date of birth, email ID, and select one of the eight documents (PAN number, Aadhar (UID), NPR (National Population Register), bank account number, voter ID card, driving license, passport number, or ration card number) along with its unique number and your name as it is in the document. On entering a six-digit unique text character, you will have to click “GET PIN” to get a four-digit authorization PIN on your mobile.
  • Once you receive the PIN on your mobile, you will have to enter this PIN in the box provided at the bottom of the page. Check the “I agree” box and click on “Submit” button. 
  • After clicking on “Submit”, your registration will be complete, and you will get a confirmation message on your mobile. This completes the registration process on the EPFO member website.
To make it simple, 
  • Register
  • Mention mobile number & date of birth
  • Add other details
  • Press on Get Pin
  • PIN is sent on your cell phone
  • Update the PIN
  • Submit
How to Generate e-Passbook?
Once you’ve completed the registration successfully, you can login to your account in the member login area and generate the e-passbook. You can follow the below steps to generate your e-passbook: 
  • Go to https://passbook.epfindia.gov.in/MemberPassBook/Login.jsp
  • Enter your UAN number
  • Enter your password and Captcha. 
  • Now you will be able to see your e-Passbook.
  • EPF passbook allows an employee to see whether Employer is contributing to his EPF account, the interest added by EPFO, the transfer claim if any made.
How to Apply EPF Balance Withdrawal Online (EPFO Portal)?
Employees can make a PF withdrawal claim on the EPFO member portal by following the below steps. As already mentioned, if the employee has seeded his/her Aadhaar card details with one’s UAN account, they do not require the attestation of their employer to make a PF withdrawal.
  • Visit the EPFO member portal
  • Login using your UAN and password, or registered mobile number, or Aadhaar card details, etc.
  • Choose the “For Employees” tab
  • Click on the “Manage” tab and check your KYC details to ensure if they are correct
  • Click on the “Online Service” tab to proceed with the withdrawal if all the KYC details are correct
  • Choose “Claim” from the drop-down menu
  • Select the “Proceed for Claim” tab on the claim screen that includes one’s KYC and PF details
  • On the “I want to apply for” option, choose the type of withdrawal you wish to make - final settlement, partial withdrawal, pension withdrawal, etc.
  • Once you select the type of claim you wish to make, fill in the composite claims form and authenticate using your Aadhaar card details
  • Enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number
  • Once your claim for a withdrawal or final settlement has been made, you can check your claim status by clicking on the “Track Claim” tab
Conclusion: 
When it comes to preparing for the financial safety of your family and your loved ones, PF savings could be the ideal way for employees, like us, working across various industry sectors. Through Umang app, anybody can monitor their PF account and check the balance at their own convenience.



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