The EPFO will allow the non-refundable advance to the employees which will be 75 per cent of PF balance or 3 months of wages, whichever is less.
PF Withdrawal COVID 19: The EPFO has released a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for the benefit of those who wish to avail the PF advance. Before applying, it’s important to know how much can be withdrawn, will your company be eligible and the amount be taxable? Being an advance, the employee need not have to put the money back into the provident fund (PF) account.
The government had earlier relaxed the EPFO rules regarding the withdrawal of PF money keeping the difficulties employees may face during the lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The new PF advance or PF withdrawal rule will apply to all establishments across the country. This is because COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by appropriate authorities for the entire country and, therefore, employees working in establishments and factories across entire India, who are members of the EPF Scheme, 1952 are eligible for the benefits of non-refundable advance.
As per the notification, the employee is permitted to make PF withdrawal of up to the amount of basic wages and dearness allowance for 3 months or up to 75 per cent of the amount standing to member’s credit in the EPF account, whichever is less. The PF balance includes employee and the share of employer including the interest earned on their contributions. To avail the PF advance, the employee need not show any document or certificate to the EPFO.
For example, if the PF balance of an employee is Rs 50,000 and his or her basic salary plus DA is Rs 15,000 per month, then the PF advance of Rs 37,500 may be withdrawn by the employee.
To apply for PF advance, an employee can log on to the EPF India website or even access the Unified Portal from one’s phone.
How to apply for PF advance
a. Login to Member Interface of Unified Portal
b. Go to Online Services and then click Claim (Form-31,19,10C & 10D)
c. Enter last 4 digits of your Bank Account and verify
d. Click on “Proceed for Online Claim”
e. Select PF Advance (Form 31) from the drop down
f. Select purpose as “Outbreak of pandemic (COVID-19)” from the drop down
g. Enter amount required and Upload scanned copy of cheque and enter your address
h. Click on “Get Aadhaar OTP”
i. Enter the OTP received on Aadhaar linked mobile.
j. Claim is submitted
How to apply from mobile
i) Login to (https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface) and follow steps as to be used while filing from website OR
ii) Through UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) Mobile APP Home> EPFO> Employee Centric Services> Raise Claim> Login with your UAN and OTP received on your mobile number registered with UAN to file claim.
If you are working in an exempted organisation, you may also make PF advance. As per EPFO, The ‘Terms and conditions of exemption’ in Para 27AA of EPF Scheme, 1952, provides that any amendment to EPF Scheme, 1952, which is more beneficial to the employees becomes applicable to exempted establishments pending formal amendment of Trust Rules.
So, an employee of an exempted establishment can withdraw from his PF account maintained with the PF Trust of the establishment by making an application to the PF Trust.
Importantly, even if you have availed a PF advance earlier for medical or any other eligible needs, you can go in for this advance. Also, EPFO has stated that income tax is not applicable on any advance availed under the EPF Scheme.