In the past, withdrawing your EPF was a tedious and cumbersome process. You had to fill up forms, provide a plethora of details and wait for the HR department of your company to submit the forms on your behalf.
Moreover, withdrawals needed your employer’s approval. If you had to do it on your own, it was even more difficult. People had absolutely no idea what to expect from the withdrawal process or even how to keep track of their application.
The EPFO has now launched a new, single-page withdrawal form that makes is easier to fill up, while ensuring that you claim the correct amount you have been investing.
In this article, we will list out and discuss the 5 major features of this form.
- No attestation of employer required
This is the major reform in EPF rules. In the past, you had to fill up the form and submit it to your past employer. The employer would then submit the form to the EPF office and only then would the withdrawal process begin.
It was up to the employer to submit the form. All you could have done back then was check with your ex-employer from time to time to find out if your form was submitted.
You could have done this on your own as well as long as you procured the attestation of your ex-employer, but this always proved difficult, especially if you were withdrawing the money after leaving the employer, which is most often the case.
As per the new guidelines, there will be no need to get the attestation of the employer to claim your EPF withdrawal.
- Filling the form is easier
The one-page EPF claim form is a composite form. This means you do not need to fill up multiple forms.
The composite form is of two types: Aadhaar-based and non-Aadhaar based. The Aadhaar based composite form can be used by people who have attached their UAN with their Aadhaar number.
The UAN is a universal account number that was issued in order to track your EPF account. It is a single number that can be used with any employer so that employees do not have to worry about a new account number every time they change employer.
The Aadhaar-based composite form can be used to withdraw your EPF either fully or partially, with minimal details and hassles. All you have to do is fill up a few basic details with your Aadhaar number and UAN, along with the correct data about your period of employment. You will not be required to get your employer’s attestation.
However, for the non-Aadhaar-based composite form, more details are required. You also need your employer’s attestation in order to make a withdrawal. Hence it is advisable for the employee to seed their Aadhaar number with their UAN so that withdrawals become hassle-free.
- Partial withdrawal made easier
Unlike in the past, where a partial withdrawal required a ‘proof of purpose’ for which money is withdrawn, the new form makes it easier to withdraw via a signature only.
However, there is a penalty clause if the withdrawal is used for any other purpose than the purpose mentioned. In case of misuse, the EPF account holder will have to deposit the withdrawn money along with interest.
- No revenue stamp
In the new form, you will not be required to paste a revenue stamp.
- Tax on withdrawal
TDS will be deducted if the EPF investment is less than five years old. At the same time, you must submit your PAN card details to reduce this tax incidence. A PAN card submission will result in 10% tax, while the absence of your PAN card details will set you back by 34.65% of the withdrawal amount through taxes.
Finally, while the EPFO has made the process of withdrawal much easier, you should not exercise this option unless it is extremely urgent. Remember that your EPF investment is for your retirement. Therefore, remain invested and reap the benefits of compounded returns post your retirement.