EPF stands for the Employees’ Provident Fund, a social security scheme managed by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) in India. It is a mandatory retirement savings scheme for salaried employees in India’s organized sector. Both the employer and employee contribute a certain percentage of the employee’s salary to the EPF account each month, aimed at building a retirement corpus. The EPF scheme also provides benefits such as disability insurance, life insurance, and housing loans.

The accumulated funds in the EPF account can be withdrawn by the employee upon retirement, resignation, or in specific cases like purchasing a home, medical emergencies, or educational expenses. Similar to other investment options, the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is directed towards three primary financial objectives: wealth accumulation, ensuring a steady pension income post-retirement, and safeguarding the financial future of one’s family. This government-supported initiative offers employees financial stability during their retirement phase, serving as a safety net for their post-retirement years.

EPF History

The EPF scheme in India was launched in 1952 to ensure a secure future and enhanced social security for employees, acknowledging their dedication and hard work towards their respective organizations. Enforced through the EPF Act, it mandates compulsory contributions fund from the beginning. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), established in 1951, facilitates employee savings for retirement and operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

EPF and PPF constitute the two types of Provident Funds in India, with EPF primarily for organized sector employees and PPF accessible to all Indian citizens. Both serve as avenues for building a financial safety net post-retirement and achieving long-term financial objectives. In addition to all, these also provide tax benefits and are an integral part of the country’s social security system.

EPF Eligibility

The EPF scheme has specific eligibility criteria outlined as follows

  • All Indian states are eligible to avail themselves of the benefits provided by the EPF scheme.
  • It is mandatory for salaried employees earning up to ₹15,000 to register for an EPF account
  • Salaried employees earning more than ₹15,000 are eligible to register for an EPF account, provided they have to seek approval from the Assistant PF Commissioner.
  • Organizations employing over 20 individuals must enroll in the EPF scheme as per regulations.
  • Entities with fewer than twenty employees have the option to voluntarily participate in the EPF scheme.

Upon becoming active members of the EPF program, employees become entitled to various benefits, including insurance and pension benefits.

How does EPF Work?

As per the EPF Act, organizations employing more than 20 individuals must register with the EPFO. Upon commencing employment in such an establishment, both the employee and employer are obliged to contribute 12% of the basic pay to the EPF account. While the entire 12% of the employee’s basic pay is allocated to their EPF account, the employer’s contribution differs. Although the employer matches the employee’s 12% contribution, only 3.67% is directed to the employee’s EPF account.

The remaining 8.33% of the employer’s contribution is designated for the Employee’s Pension Scheme. These contributions are pooled by the government through trusts, which then invest them in securities. The EPF account remains active as long as employees continue to receive salary from their employer. 

Benefits of the EPF Scheme

Having an EPF account offers employees a range of advantages

  • Retirement Savings – The EPF is a long-term retirement savings allowing employees to regularly save money through a fixed deduction from their salaries. Contributions from both employees and their employers are accumulated to build a substantial corpus over time that is given at the time of retirement.  
  • Medical Emergency Fund – EPF funds can be withdrawn under specific circumstances outlined in section 68-J of the Employee Provident Funds Scheme, 1952. This includes financing hospitalization expenses lasting a month or longer, major surgical procedures, and medical treatments for family members. EPF funds can also be utilized for treating different medical conditions.
  • Hassle-free Premature Withdrawals – The Employee Provident Fund provides provisions for premature withdrawals under certain conditions. This allows for the financing of planned or unforeseen expenses such as home purchases, loan repayments in special cases, wedding expenses, higher education, periods of unemployment, non-payment of salary, and medical emergencies.
  • Tax Benefits – Investing in EPF enables tax savings under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961. Contributions made towards employee PF in India are tax-exempt, allowing for a tax deduction of up to ₹1.5 lakh in a financial year.

What are the key objectives of EPF?

Given below are the main objectives of the EPF

  • The EPF Scheme is designed to offer financial assistance to government, public, or private sector employees upon their retirement or separation from employment by managing their provident fund.
  • It aims to provide a lump sum amount to employees, ensuring financial stability during their post-employment phase.
  • By overseeing the provident fund of members, the scheme serves to enhance social security for its participants, offering them a sense of economic protection and well-being.

EPF Basic Structure

The EPF is not just a single scheme rather it’s a combination of three distinct schemes, where each serving has different objectives:

  • The first segment of the EPF focuses on accumulating retirement benefits, serving as the core wealth generation component of the scheme.
  • The second segment, known as the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS), is dedicated to providing pension benefits to employees once they reach the age of 58 years.
  • The third and final segment of the EPF is the Employee Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI), which offers a life insurance cover to participants.

The convenience lies in the fact that individuals do not need to register separately for each of these benefits. Upon registering for the EPF, they are automatically enrolled in EPS and EDLI as well. 

Key Features of the Employees Provident Fund

Some of the prime features of EPF include

  • The primary aim of this Act is to ensure retirement and old age benefits such as Provident Fund, Superannuation Pension, and Deposit Linked Insurance, safeguarding the interests of workers employed in factories and other establishments.
  • Provident Fund contributions are compulsory savings made by employees throughout their tenure of employment.
  • Additionally, the Provident Fund Act extends support for terminal benefits in various scenarios such as accidents, unforeseen events, or the attainment of superannuation age. These circumstances may include retirement, closure of establishments, voluntary retirement, or instances where workers become unable to continue employment due to various reasons.
  • Benefits accrued under the Provident Fund Act are typically utilized upon retirement or termination of service.

What is EPF Portal Member Login?

It’s widely understood that both employers and employees make contributions to the EPF. Therefore, the EPFO needs to have details from both parties. Thus, the EPFO has introduced the EPF Portal Sewa, enabling all EPF members to access features such as checking PF details, managing PF accounts, UAN, and more. Members of EPFO can log in to this portal to easily manage their PF and related matters. To conveniently access the EPFO Account, employees need to create an EPF member login. After creating the EPF member login, employees can manage, access, and even apply for the withdrawal through their accounts.

Steps to Create EPF Portal Member Login

Step 1 – To create an EPF login at the EPF sewa portal, employees will require their Universal Account Number that is provided by their employer.

Step 2 – After having access to their UAN, employees can visit the EPF Portal and on this page from the Services Tab and then select ‘For Employees’. Then choose Member UAN/Online Services that will lead them to the registration page.

Step 3 – Click on the activate UAN link to start the registration process. On the UAN activation employees will need to provide details like UAN number, Aadhaar Number, date of birth, mobile number, and the Captcha Code. After providing these details employees need to click on ‘get authorization pin, enter the OTP received, and create the password for their EPF login.  

Step 4 – After completing EPF registration, the system will verify employees’ details and after the verification, they will receive their login details in their emails or through text messages on the phone.

Step 5 – After having their login credentials, employees can log in to their EPF member portal and handle their PF account. They can manage their EPF passbook and check their savings.

Now to log in, employees will again need to visit the EPFO Member portal and then click on “Employee Services”, and select “Member e-SEWA”. Lastly, They have to enter their activated UAN, password, and captcha details to log in to their account.


What are the benefits of the EPF scheme?

EPF is a social security scheme designed for salaried employees in India’s organized sector. Under this scheme, both the employer and employee every month contribute a certain percentage of the salary to the EPF account. The primary aim of this scheme is to build a retirement corpus that can be withdrawn by the employees upon retirement. This scheme also provides additional benefits like disability insurance, life insurance, and housing loans.  

What are the EPF withdrawal rules?

Individuals must adhere to certain fundamental guidelines when withdrawing their EPF amount. EPF withdrawals can be either partial or complete. Complete withdrawal is permissible upon retirement or after remaining unemployed for over 2 months. Partial EPF withdrawals are allowed for specific purposes such as medical expenses, marriage, or home loan repayment. To make a withdrawal claim, individuals can fill out the EPF withdrawal form online.

What are the EPF withdrawal procedures?

EPF withdrawal procedures involve submitting a withdrawal application form online or through the respective EPF office. To withdraw EPF online, you must make sure that your UAN is activated and linked with your KYC. You need to then sign in to the UAN member portal select online services from the top menu bar and select EPF advance withdrawal form. You need to fill in the form along with the purpose for which you are withdrawing the amount. After your employer approves the withdrawal request, the requested amount will be withdrawn from your EPF account and deposited into your bank account.

How to Check EPF Claim Status?

Employees can track the status of their PF claim using either online or offline methods. To check EPF status online, employees can use the UAN member portal or the EPFO portal. They should log in to their respective portal, navigate to the services section, and then select the option to track claim status. This allows easy monitoring of their PF claim progress.

How to Transfer EPF Online?

Starting April 1st, 2024, EPFO will automatically transfer the PF accounts of members to new accounts upon job changes without requiring a form or request. To initiate an online transfer request, employees should log in to their EPF account and select the “One Member – One EPF Account” option in the online services section. They’ll provide personal and current PF account details for verification. Next, they must fill out a self-attested online PF transfer request form and submit it to their employer. The employer will receive an online notification to approve the transfer to the employee’s new account.

How to Link EPF Account with Aadhaar Online?

Employees can link their Aadhaar card to their Universal Account Number (UAN) online or offline through the EPFO website, UMANG app, or KYC portal. After logging in to the EPFO website, employees should select the KYC option under the Manage section. They will be directed to a new site to enter their Aadhaar number and name, then save the details. Validation will be done using UIDAI data, and upon KYC approval, their Aadhaar will be linked to the EPF account.

What are the differences between EPF and PPF?

Employee Provident Fund and Public Provident Fund are both investment schemes in India but differ in key aspects. EPF is mandatory for employees in organized sectors, where both employee and employer contribute. PPF is a voluntary scheme open to all individuals and offers tax benefits. EPF has a higher interest rate but is subject to withdrawal restrictions, whereas PPF allows more flexibility in deposits and withdrawals. EPF is linked to employment, while PPF is independent of employment status.

Who is eligible for EPF?

Employees in India working in organizations covered under the EPF Act are eligible for EPF. This includes establishments with 20 or more employees. Both the employer and the employee contribute a certain percentage of the employee’s salary towards EPF. Certain categories of employees, such as casual laborers and certain types of contractual workers, may also be eligible under specific circumstances.

How is EPF calculated?

EPF is calculated based on a fixed percentage of an employee’s basic salary and dearness allowance if applicable. Currently, the contribution rate is 12% each from the employee and employer. The employee’s contribution goes entirely into the EPF account, while the employer’s contribution is divided into EPF, Employee Pension Scheme, and Employee Deposit Linked Insurance schemes. The EPF interest rate is set annually by the government. The total amount accumulates with compounded interest until withdrawal.

What is EPF in salary?

EPF or Employee Provident Fund is a retirement benefit scheme where both employees and employers contribute 12% of the employee’s salary to the EPF account. This scheme enables employees to accumulate wealth during their tenure with government or private organizations, ensuring financial security post-retirement.

Is EPF contribution compulsory for employees?

Yes, the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is compulsory for most employees in India under the EPF Act, 1952. Both employers and employees contribute a certain percentage of the basic salary and dearness allowance to the EPF account each month. Currently, the contribution rate is 12% of the employee’s basic salary and dearness allowance. The EPF scheme ensures retirement savings and financial security for employees by building a corpus over their working years.

What is the retirement age for EPF?

The retirement age for Employees’ Provident Fund in India is generally considered as 58 years. It means that individuals can withdraw from their EPF account after attaining the age of 58. However, it’s important to note that EPF members can choose to continue their contributions and delay withdrawal beyond 58 years up to the age of 60, which allows for higher interest accrual and a larger corpus. After the age of 60, members can withdraw their entire EPF balance without any restrictions.

How can I check my EPF balance through a missed call?

The government provides you with the facility to check your EPF balance through missed calls. You just have to give a missed call to 011-22901406 from your registered mobile number, and then you will receive an SMS with details of your PF balance. However, to avail of this facility you must have integrated your UAN with your KYC to avail of this service. This service is provided by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and is a convenient way to stay updated on your EPF balance.

How can I request an EPF balance through SMS?

To request EPF balance through SMS, UAN members need to send a text message to 7738299899 from their registered mobile number, provided your number is linked to your UAN. The SMS should be sent in the format EPFOHO UAN ENG. Replace “UAN” with your UAN number and “ENG” with the preferred language code (e.g., ENG for English). You will shortly receive an SMS with your EPF details, including the balance.    

What is UMANG?

UMANG or Unified Mobile Application is a mobile app developed by the Indian government for new-age governance, providing access to over 1,700 government services from 325 government departments. The app is available on all major mobile platforms and on the web at wumang.gov.in. Users can access services related to EPF, Aadhaar, PAN card, gas booking, bill payments, and more through UMANG. The app is designed to simplify and streamline the process of accessing government services on mobile devices.

How can an employee register on the EPFO Unified Portal?

To register on the EPFO Unified Portal as an employee, you need to visit the EPFO website and click on the “e-Sewa” option. Then, select “Member” and click on “Register.” Enter your Universal Account Number, name, date of birth, mobile number, and email ID. Validate the OTP sent to your mobile number and email. Create a username and password for login. Once registered, you can access your EPF account details, download a passbook, and avail of online services provided by EPFO.

What is EPFO Unified Portal?

The EPFO Unified Portal is an online platform launched by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation of India. It provides a unified interface for employers, employees, and pensioners to access EPF-related services. Users can register, manage their accounts, check EPF balances, download passbooks, and update KYC details conveniently. The portal facilitates seamless interaction with EPFO for various transactions and services related to provident funds, pension, and insurance benefits.

What services are offered at the EPFO Portal?

The EPFO Portal offers various services related to provident fund management for employees, employers, and pensioners in India. These services include:

  • Online registration of establishments and employees
  • UAN activation and management
  • Checking and downloading EPF passbook
  • Filing and tracking EPF claims
  • Updating KYC details like Aadhaar, bank account, and PAN
  • Pension disbursement services
  • Accessing and updating member profiles
  • Online payment of EPF dues by employers
  • Access to the EPFO Helpdesk for assistance

How can an employer register on the EPFO Unified Portal?

Employers can register on the EPFO Unified Portal by visiting the EPFO website and selecting the “Establishment Registration” option under the “Online Services” section. They need to provide details such as PAN, Aadhaar, address, and contact information of the establishment. After submitting the registration form, a TRRN (Temporary Return Reference Number) is generated. The employer must then submit the required documents to the concerned EPFO office for approval. Once approved, the employer can access various online services and manage EPF-related activities through the portal.