If you are a salaried person who switched jobs or left the typical 9-to-5 job to start something of your own, chances are good that you might have missed to transfer or withdraw your provident fund money.
Many of us think that EPF transfer or withdrawal process is tedious. If you have not withdrawn or transferred the money from your EPF account yet, here are few things that you should know.
1) If you don’t contribute to your EPF account for more than three years, it is classified as a dormant account. No interest is paid on such dormant accounts. In order to discourage people from leaving inoperative accounts and parking money in such accounts, the government stopped payment of interest to such dormant accounts from April 1, 2011.
2) Suppose you have Rs. 1 lakh lying in your inoperative provident fund account. This money could more than double to Rs. 2.26 lakh, assuming the interest rate on EPF remains constant at 8.5 per cent in 10 years. So if you keep your money lying in the inoperative PF account for a long time, you lose out on the interest benefit.
3) If you have changed job, all you need to do is simply declare your Universal Account Number (UAN) to your employer. Your employer will mark the new EPF account to the allotted UAN. UAN is a unique number issued by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to a member to act as an umbrella for the multiple provident fund accounts.
4) If you have already joined the new organization, you can transfer the balance in the previous account through both online and offline mode. For online transfer, your previous employer needs to have digital signature to attest your EPF transfer form. To transfer through offline mode, you need to submit the EPF transfer form with your current employer, who will get in touch with the previous employer.
5) If you have quit employment and are unemployed for more than two months, you can withdraw money from the account using Form 19. You can download the form from EPFO’s website. If you withdraw before completing five years of continuous employment and amount is more than Rs. 50,000, EPFO will deduct tax at source (TDS) at the rate 10 per cent. If you withdraw after five years, the amount is completely tax free.