EPFO or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has been taking a number of measures to ease the withdrawal process for the benefit of nearly four crore customers. From paying hospital bills to purchase of house/land through PF deposits to a new loyalty scheme, EPFO has announced a number of measures for the welfare of subscribers.
In another development, the government has approved an interest rate of 8.65 per cent on EPF or employee provident fund deposits for 2016-17. The Employees Provident Fund Organisation has asked field offices to credit interest at the rate of 8.65 per cent into the accounts of subscribers. Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation trustees had approved the 8.65 per cent rate on EPF in December last year.
EPFO has made partial withdrawal easier from provident fund for medical and other purposes like purchase of house, education and marriage of children. For this purpose, the EPFO subscriber is no longer required to submit various certificates or documents.
EFPO subscribers can seek withdrawal from their employee provident fund (EPF) accounts on various grounds by using a composite form along with a self-declaration. The submission of composite claim form signed by the EPF subscriber will be construed as self-certification for partial withdrawals, according to the retirement fund body.
The subscribers of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation can withdraw up to 90 per cent of their accumulations in their PF account for purchase of homes. They can also pay EMIs for home loan.
EPFO has also proposed a loyalty-cum-life benefit of up to Rs. 50,000 at the time of retirement for contributing to the scheme for 20 years or more. The benefit will also be provided in case of permanent disability even if the members have contributed for less than 20 years, the board has decided. The benefits will be available for EPFO subscribers after approval from the government.
The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), which is the EPFO’s apex decision-making body, has also recommended a minimum sum assured of Rs. 2.5 lakh in the event of death of a subscriber. At present, the dependants of the deceased get a sum assured of up to Rs. 6 lakh. There is no provision of minimum insurance and any benefit for surviving members or in cases of permanent disability under the scheme. The benefits will be available for EPFO subscribers after approval from the government.
Nearly four crore members of retirement fund body EPFO will soon be able to settle their claims like EPF withdrawal through mobile application UMANG. “The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is developing online claims settlement process by receiving application online,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had earlier said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.