Employees’ Provident Fund is one of the social security schemes initiated by the government as a welfare measure. The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, is the concerned social security legislation of the EPF. This particular social security legislation provided various schemes like the Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952, The Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995, and The Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme, 1976.
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As on December 2017, the accumulated EPF funds in debt investments were Rs 5,66,031.95 Crores and Rs 25,034.85 Crores in equity and related investments at cost value. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has recently furnished 14 situations where a member can partially withdraw money from the EPF account. This ensures that members have funds during ill health, joblessness and other situations.
Following are the 14 cases where EPFO allows members to partially withdraw their EPF accounts:
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For post-matriculation studies of subscriber’s children, withdrawal is limited to 50% of the member’s share in the contribution.
50% of the member’s share in the contribution can be withdrawn for the member’s, their children and siblings’ marriage. Also, the withdrawal is allowed when the member has seven years membership in the fund.
If an employee is rendered unemployed without any compensation for more than 15 days, they can withdraw from the EPF in case:
If an employee is dismissed or retrenched and this is challenged by the employee in a court of law, a withdrawal of up to 50% of the funds is allowed.
If a factory remains closed for more than 6 months, a member can withdraw 100% of the employer’s contribution + interest, if they continue to remain unemployed and no compensation is received.
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Withdrawal can also be made in case of illness due to tuberculosis, leprosy, paralysis, cancer, mental derangement, heart ailment, and so on. Withdrawal is limited to the lower of:
If a member’s property sustains damages arising from unforeseen natural calamities like floods, earthquakes or riots, they can withdraw an amount that is lower of:
A non-refundable advance is allowed if there is a cut in the supply of electricity to a factory in which a member is employed. The supply cut is required to be certified by:
A physically-handicapped member can withdraw EPF money for purchasing equipment required to minimize their hardship. A medical certificate from a competent medical practitioner is required to be produced. Withdrawal is restricted to the lowest of:
Withdrawal of up to 90% of the EPF amount can be made after attaining 54 years of age or within a year before actual retirement on superannuation.
Withdrawal is also allowed for construction/purchase of house/flat or purchase of a plot of land. This is only allowed if the member has completed 5 years’ membership in the EPFO.
Withdrawals can be made to pay outstanding principal + interest on a loan. Withdrawals can be made from the amount standing to the credit of the member. Also, withdrawal can be made only if the loan is under the name of the member or spouse, or if the loan is taken jointly by them.
Members can withdraw 75% of the EPF balance if they have been unemployed for a month. If they are unemployed for more than two months, they can withdraw the entire amount.
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