How To?

How to Open an Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Account

Personal Finance

Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a popular retirement fund in India. If you are a salaried employee, you can open an Employee Provident Fund (EPF) account in your name. However, this requires that you become an EPF member. You must contribute 10% of your earnings from all sources, from 16 to 59 years old. Here is a step-by-step guide to opening an EPF account. 

What is EPF Account?

EPF means Employee Provident Fund. It is a mandatory savings plan for Indian workers that gives them a lot of benefits. It is one of the safest ways to invest, so you should learn how to create an EPF account.

Employees put some of their income into an EPF account to save for retirement. This helps them build up their retirement funds. Every salaried worker can join the EPF scheme.

Benefits of an EPF Account

The EPF gives employees many benefits, some of which are:

  • Tax exemption on EPF investments under 80C.
  • Interest earned on investments is not taxed.
  • One-time payment at retirement.
  • Selective withdrawal for things like college, marriage, and house purchases.
  • There is no tax on partial withdrawals either.
  • A monthly pension when you retire.

EPF offers many benefits and is one of the safest SIPs for workers. EPF is one of the best schemes and is a risk-free option. It’s always a good idea to open an account and start investing money in an EPF account.

Eligibility of an EPF Account

The Employee Provident Fund is open to all workers in India, whether for the government or a private company. Every company in India with 20 or more employees can apply for EPF accounts.

Employees who join the EPF get several benefits, such as a lump sum, insurance coverage, and a pension when they retire.

Documents Required to Open an EPF Account

Here are the documents that employers need to attach to the “Registration Form for EPFO” for an EPF account:

  • The PAN Card of the Owner, Partner, or Director of the Business.
  • Address proof, like the registered office’s electric, water, or phone bill (not older than 2 months).
  • The Aadhar card of the owner, partner, or director.
  • GST Certificate, Shop and Establishment Certificate, or any licence the government has given to the shop.
  • The owner’s, partner’s, or director’s digital signature.
  • A cancelled check or bank statement of the entity.
  • Any hired, rented or leased agreement.
  • Proof of licence from the identifier or licencing authority

Types of EPF Forms

Form 2EPF Nomination and Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS)
Form 5New employee registration form for EPS and EPF
Form 5(IF)Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme claim form
Form 10CEPS withdrawal
Form 10DPension application form
Form 11Automatic transfer of EPF
Form 14LIC Policy
Form 15GEPF tax saving form
Form 19EPF settlement form
Form 20EPF settlement in case of employee’s death
Form 31Withdrawal of EPF

How to Apply for an EPF account?

For EPF account registration, the employer must do the following:

Step 1: The organisation must sign up with EPFO. Visit the EPFO website and register your business through a single portal called “Establishment Registration.”

Step 2: Get the user guide and read it. After clicking “Establishment Registration,” you’ll see an option for “Instructions/User Manual,” which you must download and read before moving on.

Step 3: After reading this user guide carefully, sign up for the Unified Shram Suvidha Portal (USSP) of EPFO. When you click on the “Establishment Registration” tab on the main website, the USSP sign-up page will open. Then, click on the “Sign Up” tab.

Step 4: When you click “Sign Up,” you need to fill in your name, phone number, and email address. After that, enter the verification code. 

Step 5: Sign in to USSP and look for a section on the left side of the screen displaying “Registration for EPFO-ESIC v1.1.” Then, choose one of the “Apply for New Registration” options on the right side of the screen.

Step 6: When you click, you’ll see two options: “Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act 1952” and “Employees’ State Insurance Act 1948.” As an employer, you should choose the option that says “Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act 1952” and then tap “Submit.”

Step 7: After clicking the “Submit” button, a “Registration Form for EPFO” page is shown. You must enter information about your job, branch, or division, contact details, business activities, and identifiers here.

Step 8: After finishing the registration form and providing all essential papers, the employer’s DSC must be uploaded. When you upload the DSC, the Unified Shram Suvidha Platform will send you an email to let you know that the EPF registration was successful. If the employer has already signed up, they can log in with their Universal Account Number (UAN) and password.

UAN Number Activation

A UAN number is a universal account number given to all members of EPF. To enter the EPF website, every member needs a UAN. Follow these steps to activate or open your UAN:

Step 1: Go to the EPF Members Portal or EPF e-SEWA.

Step 2: In the right corner, you’ll find a button that says “Activate UAN.” Just click on it.

Step 3: The home dashboard will open. According to EPFO records, you must fill out your basic information and mobile number.

Step 5: Type in the “captcha” to get the credential PIN on the phone number you gave to EPFO.

Step 6: Use the one-time password (OTP) to verify and activate the UAN online.

Step 7: An additional message will be sent to your mobile to verify the UAN activation.

Step 8: Once the UAN is set up, you can sign in to the website. You can find out about your provident fund online.

How to Find Out the EPF Balance?

There are four ways to find out how much money you have in your EPF:

  • Using the EPFO portal: The EPFO member portal makes it easy to check your EPF balance. You should use your UAN and password to log in to EPF. After logging in, you can see the member ID to see the EPF balance.
  • Using the UMANG app: You can check your EPF balance on your phone by downloading the Unified Mobile Application for New-Age Governance (UMANG) app. This app can also be used to file and track claims. 
  • Using the missed call service: You can check your EPF balance by making a missed call from your registered mobile number to 011-22901406.
  • Using an SMS service: If your UAN is active, you can review your EPF balance by sending an SMS to 7738299899.

Summing Up

EPF is a long-term financial scheme. It works best if you plan for retirement. Since this instrument is meant to build a retirement corpus. If you have short-term goals, it’s best to put as little as possible into the EPF account and use the rest of the money for other liquid investments. You should know your risk tolerance and how long you have to reach your goals. 

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