The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recently decided to keep the Provident Fund (PF) interest rate for FY 202-21 unchanged at 8.5% as there were more withdrawals than deposits due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
PF is a government-managed retirement savings scheme. Since it earns a higher interest rate than other small saving schemes and bank FDs, it is normally advised to leave the PF kitty untouched till retirement.
However, if you are facing a cash crunch and have exhausted all your options, you may consider withdrawing from your PF account to meet your financial obligations. Before you begin, be aware of these details when withdrawing online.
UAN: Universal Account Number (UAN) is a 12 digit number provided to members of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Your employer must have provided you with the UAN. In case you have not activated it yet, you should do it by going to the EPFO website and click on the ‘Activate your UAN-based registration’ tab. Just follow the steps by keying in your UAN and mobile number, your PF office ID, and your member ID. If you don’t know these details, get them from your employer. Once done, you can click on the ‘Get Pin’ tab, a code will be sent on your registered mobile number, which when submitted, would activate your UAN.
Link Aadhaar: Once your UAN is activated and you are successfully able to login to the EPFO website, it is compulsory to link the UAN to your Aadhaar details and get the link verified by UAN. Linking to Aadhaar is important to make fresh deposits and withdraw funds. This way your PAN, UAN and Aadhaar get interlinked.
Bank Account Number: You should keep the bank account number ready in which you want to receive the PF proceeds. Your account details should be the same seeded in your PF details linked with Aadhaar. In case it is a different bank account number, you should complete the e-KYC process to update the details before submitting your PF claim request.
Besides this, ensure your EPF account is KYC-compliant and its linked mobile number is active.
To withdraw funds, you need to log in using your UAN and password via the EPFO e-SEWA portal. You need to click on the ‘Manage’ tab and select ‘KYC’ to check if your KYC details like Aadhaar, PAN and the bank details are verified.
Once the KYC details are verified, you will have to click on the ‘Online Services’ tab and select the option ‘Claim (Form-31, 19 & 10C)’ from the drop-down menu.
Enter the required details about your KYC and bank account (seeded with UAN). Once you have entered all details and required documents are uploaded, accept and click on the ‘Terms and Conditions’ tab. You will then have to click on ‘Proceed for Online Claim’ where you would be required to mention partial or full withdrawal along with the reason.
You will also be required to upload the scanned copy of your cheque or passbook for raising the withdrawal claim. While doing so, make sure the details like Account number, IFS Code, your printed name are visible and readable. Once the details are filled, a request for an OTP will be sent on the Aadhaar-registered mobile number. Your claim application will be submitted once you enter the OTP.
You can easily track your claim status on EPFO’s Member e-SEWA portal. Once the details and documents are matched and verified by EPFO, your claim will be processed and the amount will get credited to your UAN-linked bank account. Generally, the whole process takes two to four weeks.
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