Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) withdrawal for Coronavirus (Covid-19) Pandemic: Amid Coronavirus crisis, soon “Pandemic” can be cited by EPF subscribers as the reason to withdraw up to 75 per cent of the Provident Fund balance as a non-refundable advance. At a press conference on Thursday to unveil the ‘PM Garib Kalyan Package’ to help the poor face the novel coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced, “Employees’ Provident Fund Regulations will be amended to include Pandemic as the reason to allow non-refundable advance of 75 percent of the amount or three months of the wages, whichever is lower, from their accounts.” This decision will likely benefit families of four crore workers registered under the EPF, she said.
Currently, subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) can withdraw a non-refundable advance from their PF accounts under various terms and conditions, including for issues like illness, marriage, education, and purchase of house etc. Here, “non-refundable” means the subscriber doesn’t have to return the deposit after withdrawing the advance.
As per the latest announcement by the Finance Minister, PF subscribers will be able to withdraw up to 75 per cent of their PF money, or three months of salary, whichever is lower, to face the financial troubles caused by coronavirus pandemic. The new decision of the government will help all those EPF subscribers who may face a pay cut, or run short of money amid nationwide lockdown till April 14, which may be extended if the situation goes out of control.
PF withdrawal requests can now be submitted online by subscribers. The EPFO is expected to come up with detailed guidelines on EPF advance for pandemic.
Watch: How to withdraw PF online
FM Sitharaman today unveiled Rs 1.7 lakh crore ‘PM Garib Kalyan Package’ to provide relief to the poor amid Coronavirus crisis. She also said that the government will pay the employers’ and well as the employees’ contribution towards PF for organisations having up to 100 workers, with 90 per cent of whom having less than Rs 15,000/month. “Wage-earners below Rs 15,000 per month in businesses having less than 100 workers are at risk of losing their employment. Under this package, government proposes to pay 24 per cent of their monthly wages in to their PF accounts for next three months. This would prevent disruption in their employment,” the FM said.