The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 is a social security legislation. It came into force to provide schemes like the Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952; The Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995; and The Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme, 1976.
According to a report, the accumulated fund in EPFO towards EPF as on December 2017 is Rs 5,66,031.95 crore in debt investments. The accumulated fund in EPF as of December 2017 is Rs 25,034.85 crore in equity and related investments at cost value. The EPFO recently allowed contributors to withdraw 75% of the EPF balance if they remain unemployed for a month. The latest rule allows a complete withdrawal of EPF money if a contributor is unemployed for more than 2 months.
However, according to the Employees’ Provident Fund scheme, there are 14 other cases when an EPFO member can partially withdraw the money.
1. Withdrawal of money from the EPFO fund is allowed for the post-matriculation education of a member’s son or daughter. However, the withdrawal is limited to 50 per cent of the member’s share in the contribution.
2. The withdrawal is allowed for the member’s marriage, the marriage of his or her daughter, son, sister or brother. However, the withdrawal is limited to 50 per cent of the member’s share in the contribution.
In both the cases, the withdrawal is allowed only when the member has completed seven years membership of the fund.
3) If employees are rendered unemployed without any compensation for more than 15 days, in case a firm is closed down, or when an employee does not receive his/her wages for a continuous period of two months or more, money can be withdrawn from the EPF pot.
4) In cases where the employee is dismissed or retrenched and the same is challenged by the member in a court of law, the member is allowed withdrawal up to 50 per cent of the amount in the fund.
5) If a factory or similar establishment remain closed for more than six months, the member can withdraw 100 per cent of the employer’s contribution and interest if he continues to remain unemployed and no compensation is paid to him.
6) Illness due to tuberculosis, leprosy, paralysis, cancer, mental derangement or heart ailment etc allows withdrawal from the EPF pot. The lower of the member’s basic wages and dearness allowances for six months or member’s share of contribution with interest is allowed to be withdrawn.
7) If a member’s property is damaged by unforeseen natural calamities like floods and earthquakes or riots, he/she can seek lower of Rs 5,000 or 50 per cent of his/her contribution from the EPF money.
8) A member may be allowed a non-refundable advance from the EPFO account if there is a cut in the supply of electricity to a factory in which he is employed. The state government has to certify that the cut in the supply of electricity was enforced in the area. Also, the employer has to certify that the fall in the member’s pay was due to the cut in the supply of electricity.
9) Withdrawal from the EPFO kitty is allowed to a physically-handicapped member for purchasing equipment required to minimize the hardship. The member is required to produce a medical certificate from the competent medical practitioner. The lowest of the member’s basic wages and dearness allowance for six months or, his/her own share of contributions with interest thereon or the cost of the equipment is allowed to be withdrawn.
10) Withdrawal up to 90 per cent of the EPF amount is allowed, the later of the attainment of the age of 54 years or within one year before actual retirement on superannuation.
11) EPF withdrawal of up to 90 per cent of the total corpus at any time after attaining the age of 55 years by the member is allowed, if the amount is to be transferred to the Life Insurance Corporation of India for investment in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana.
12) EPFO members can withdraw money for construction of house or purchase of a house/flat to live or purchase of a construction site. The member is required to have completed five years’ membership of the EPFO.
13) In order to pay the outstanding principal and interest of a loan, withdrawal is allowed from the amount standing to the credit of the member in the fund. Withdrawal is allowed if the loan is obtained in the member’s name or spouse’s name or taken jointly by the member and the spouse.
14) EPFO members can withdraw money for construction of house or purchase of a dwelling house/flat. It includes a flat in a building jointly owned with others. The purchase or construction must be from the Central government, state government or a housing agency under a housing scheme. A five years’ membership with the EPFO is required to be completed.