PF withdrawal

Almost all of us are working for a company and we contribute a small percentage of our monthly salary into our EPF accounts. We all know that PF is a great saving instrument and it will help us generate a corpus for our retirement. All that being said, many of us do not know the fact that we can withdraw money from our PF account for emergency cash requirements. Yes, you read me right. WE CAN withdraw money from our PF accounts. After all, it is our money and we definitely have the right to take it when we need it the most.

A Word of Caution before we proceed:

The Purpose of the PF account is to generate a corpus for our retirement. So, we cannot and should not treat it like a bank account. We cannot try and withdraw every few months of whatever is left in our account. If possible, try to manage the situation without having to dip into the PF Savings. If nothing works, then check if you meet any of the below mentioned criterion and if you do, get the money from your PF Account.


Premature withdrawals can be made from your EPF corpus if the reason falls under any of the below mentioned categories and you satisfy all the necessary requirements.

Justified Reasons for PF Withdrawal
Reason Requirements Amount You Can Withdraw No. of Times allowed
Marriage or Education 1. Must have completed 7 years of Service
2. Can withdraw for self/children/siblings marriage
3. Can withdraw for self/childrens education
50% of the corpus 3 times during your Total service
Medical Treatment 1. Can withdraw for medical treatment of self/children/spouse/parents
2. No Restrictions on No. of years of service
Total corpus or 6 times your Monthly Salary (Whichever is lesser) No Restrictions (Anytime)
Purchase or Construction of House 1. Must have completed 5 years of Service
2. House must be registered in your name or spouse's name or jointly owned
Upto 36 times your Monthly Salary Only Once in your Total Service
Repayment of Housing Loan 1. Must have completed 10 years of service
2. House must be registered in your name or spouse's name or jointly owned
Upto 36 times your Monthly Salary Only Once in your Total Service
Purchase of Plot 1. Must have completed 5 years of service
2. House must be registered in your name or spouse's name or jointly owned
Upto 24 times your Monthly Salary Only Once in your Total Service
Alteration of House 1. Must have completed 5 years of Service
2. House must be registered in your name or spouse's name or jointly owned
Upto 12 times your Monthly Salary Only Once in your Total Service
Pre-Retirement 1. Must be 54 years of age or
2. One year before Retirement whichever is Later
90% of your Total Corpus Only Once in your Total Service

Documents Required:

In the below section, the most important documents required to apply for the withdrawal facility is mentioned. Note that, the term Member here refers to the person on whose name the Employee Provident Fund account is held (a.k.a The Employee/You/Me)

Marriage:

Marriage Invitation card should be submitted along with form as proof for marriage through employer.

Education:

Member should apply in Form 31 through employer. A Bonafide certificate duly indicating the fees payable from the educational institution must be submitted as proof.

For Medical Treatment:

Member should obtain certificate from ESI or from employer that E.S.I. facility are not available for the member. A doctor of the hospital certifies that a surgical operation or hospitalization for 1 month or more is/was necessary. Incase of TB or leprosy etc, a specialist doctor should certify the disease. A certified proof for the said disease has to be submitted along with the application in Form 31 through employer.

Purchase of Flat/House:

House/Flat should be free from encumbrances or Legal Issues. An Agreement with the Flat promoter should be registered under the Indian Registration Act and submitted as proof along with the application form.

Alteration / Modification of House:

The Member must have resided atleast 5 years or more in the house that he/she wishes to alter/modify. I could not find any concrete evidence about the documents required in this case. I assume you will need some sort of quotation that will state the amount you will incur in the alteration of the house from a registered contractor/builder. Without this, there is no way to know if you really are going to alter your house.

Repayment of Loan:

Property must be singly or jointly owned by the Member. Proof of owning the property & repayment of the loan must be submitted along with the application form. The amount will be paid directly to the loan lending agency and will not be released to the member.


To Conclude: As mentioned in the beginning of the article, the purpose of the EPF corpus is to help us post Retirement. It is advisable to leave it as such and reap the full benefits of compounding post retirement. Of course, if it is an emergency the money is all yours to spend.

Happy Saving!!!

Some Additions - 19-Oct-2012:

One of our blog readers had emailed me asking what could he do to withdraw his EPF corpus after he quit his job. The employer too wrapped up and went out of business. So, he is now stuck without know how to get his money. I believe some of our blog readers who resign from a company in not-so-good kind of terms with their current employer too face scenarios where they do not cooperate in the withdrawal of our life savings. So this next section is for them:

What happens if my past employer is Unavailable?

In the rare scenario that your old employer is unavailable (They closed down or for whatever reason) you can still get the Transfer/Withdrawal completed.

In such a case – the employee (you) has to submit an identity proof (PAN Card, Voters ID Card, Ration Card or Passport) and proof of residence (Copy of electricity bill, landline phone bill or drivers license) must be submitted along with the form.

The Withdrawal request is usually attested by the employer involved. In this case, if the old employer around to attest it you can get the form attested by the bank manager (of the bank branch where you hold an account, the account where the PF money will get credited) and then submit it to the PF Office.


Where can I get the PF Forms?

The following website has all the forms you will need with respect to your EPF Accounts.
http://www.epfochennai.tn.nic.in/forms_download.html


Things to remember:

1. Final settlement withdrawal request can be made only after 2 full months after resignation
2. Any payment above Rs. 2000/- will be done via direct credit into the bank account.

An Appeal:

If you feel this article would be useful to all your friends and colleagues employed in India, please share the link to them. Let them also get this important information that maybe useful in future.


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