All about Employee Provident Fund (EPF)

Table of Contents

The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is a savings tool for the workforce. It is a scheme managed under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

Under the EPF scheme, an employee has to pay a certain percentage from his pay and an equal amount is contributed by the employer. The employee gets a lump sum amount (which includes his own and employer’s contributions) with interest upon retirement or two months after switching jobs.

Documents required

  • UAN
  • KYC verification
  • Aadhaar information
  • PAN details
  • Mobile number
  • Bank account details

How to link account

To get UAN (Universal Account Number), a unique identification number for those contributing towards EPF, you need to either check monthly salary slip or contact human resource department. UAN is a 12-digit number issued by your employer and can be different for different companies. Ensure your UAN is activated and linked with bank account, PAN, mobile number, and Aadhaar. Then register on the EPFO website and get a password.

5 ways to check Provident Fund balance

Check balance on EPFO portal

The easiest and most common way to check your EPF balance is the EPFO website. After logging in on the EPFO website ( using UAN number and password, click on ‘For Employees’ option and select ‘Our Services’ before clicking on ‘Member Passbook’ option. Enter your UAN and password details on the new page, and your provident fund details will be reflected. You can even save a PDF copy of the EPF details.

UMANG mobile app

UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-age Governance) provides a single platform to access pan India e-gov services, including EPF details. To do so, you have to click on UMANG app on the EPFO website and it will direct you to the mobile app page ( Click on ‘services’ section and go to employment and skills option, and submit all details on the mobile app. Once all the details like mobile number, Aadhaar, etc, are filled, you can check EPF balance, claim it and even track the claim processing.

m-Seva app

You can check the provident fund balance on the government’s e-Seva mobile app. The app service is only available for Android OS users. Go to Play Store on your mobile and download the m-Seva mobile app. After you open the app, click on ‘members’ and enter details mobile number, employee number, UAN, etc, to activate your UAN. Once these details are filled, log in using UAN and password, and click on passbook to view your EPF balance.

SMS service

Type EPFOHO UAN ENG and send an SMS from your mobile number to 7738299899, and you will receive a message from the EPFO, displaying provident fund details. You can select any of the 10 languages, including English, Hindi, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali, and Telugu. You need to use first three words of the language in which you want to see PF details (eg. type EPFOHO UAN HIN for Hindi) and send it to 7738299899. However, ensure your UAN is connected before you send the SMS.

Missed call

Give a missed call on the number 011-22901406 from your registered mobile number, and you can get details about the balance PF. Before this, make sure UAN number is activated and linked with Aadhaar, mobile number, bank account, and PAN number, etc.

When can EPF be withdrawn

One may choose to withdraw EPF completely or partially. EPF can be completely withdrawn under any of the following circumstances:

A       When an individual retires from employment

B       When an individual remains unemployed for a period of 2 months or more. Here, it needs a mention that the fact that the individual is unemployed for more than 2 months has to be certified by a gazetted officer.

Further, complete withdrawal of EPF while switching over from one job to another without remaining unemployed for 2 months or more (i.e. during the interim period between changing jobs), will be against the PF rules and regulations and therefore illegal.

Procedure for EPF withdrawal

Broadly, withdrawal of EPF can be done either by:

  • Submission of a physical application for withdrawal
  • Submission of an online application
  1. Submission of a physical application

For this, one can download the new composite claim (Aadhar)/ composite claim form (Non-Aadhar) EPF application here.

The new composite claim form (Aadhar) can be filled and submitted to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office without the attestation of the employer whereas, the new composite claim form (Non-aadhaar) shall be filled and submitted with the attestation of the employer to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office.

One may also note, that in case of partial withdrawal of EPF amount by an employee for various circumstances as discussed in the above table, very recently, the requirement to furnish various certificates has been done away with and the option of self-certification has been introduced for the EPF subscribers.

  1. Submission of an online application

Interestingly, the EPFO has very recently come up with the online facility of withdrawal which has rendered the entire process easier and less time-consuming.

Prerequisite: To apply for withdrawal of EPF online through EPF Portal, make sure that the following conditions are met:

  • UAN (Universal Account Number) is activated and the mobile number
    used for activating the UAN is in working condition
  • UAN is linked with your KYC i.e. Aadhaar, PAN and bank details
    along with the IFSC code.

If the above conditions are met, then the requirement of an attestation of the previous employer to carry out the process of withdrawal can be done away with.