EPF Pandemic Advance Facility
To help meet any economic constraints or emergency fund needs during the lockdown to fight COVID-19, EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) has introduced ‘pandemic advance facility’ to employees, wherein members can withdraw up 75 percent of the amount or 3 months’ basic salary and dearness allowance, whichever is less.
EPFO has introduced ‘ Pandemic advance facility’ for employees’. “Please note that the COVID-19 has been declared a Pandemic by appropriate Government for the entire country and therefore the employees working in establishments and factories across entire India, who are members of the EPF Scheme, 1952, are eligible for the benefits of non-refundable advance under the sub-para (3) of Para 68L which has come into force from today (28.03.2020),” the EPFO said in a circular.
The benefit has been extended to all workers who are registered with EPFO. The Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme 1952 has been accordingly amended to facilitate non-refundable advance to EPF members as they deal with the pandemic and its consequences.
How much can one withdraw?
One can withdraw up to 75 percent of their EPF account balance or three months’ basic wages (plus DA) or the required amount, whichever is lower.
To apply for claim online, an EPF account holder should satisfy three conditions:
a) Universal Account Number (UAN) of the EPF member must be activated
b) Aadhaar should be verified and linked with UAN
c) Bank account of the EPF member with IFSC Code should be seeded with UAN.
According to the FAQs issued by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), no certificate or documents are to be submitted by the member or his/her employer for availing the benefit. However, an individual must keep the scanned copy of cheque ready as this will be required to be uploaded while applying for withdrawal from EPF account online.
The EPFO via tweet has also asked its member to ensure that correct bank details are mentioned to avoid failure of EPF credit.
To be able to apply for the advance, you need to have an active UAN (Universal Account Number) which must be linked to your mobile number. The UAN should also be KYC (Know Your Customer) compliant with updated information about your Aadhaar, PAN and bank account details.
Your Aadhaar needs to be linked with UAN. If you have not activated your UAN, activate your uan by click this link How to activate UAN online?
How much can be withdrawn
For example, Mr X, an employee of a factory with an annual salary of Rs 5.2 lakh desires to obtain an advance from his EPF account as the factory is shut down due to the spread of COVID-19. Mr X has a basic salary + DA of Rs. 3 lakh which is Rs 25,000 per month. Mr X has been in employment for more than three years and his accumulated balance in EPF account stands at Rs. 1.08 lakh. Here, Mr X can withdraw lower of the below amounts:
1. Rs. 75,000 (Rs. 25,000*3): Basic salary + DA for three months
2. Rs 81,000 (75% of Rs 1,08,000): 75% of the balance standing in the member’s account.
Mr X can withdraw Rs. 75,000 as non-refundable advance from his EPF account.
How to apply for the pandemic advance facility?
Step 1: Login into the EPFO portal for employees with UAN and password and enter the Captcha.
Step 2: Go to online services and click on claim form.
Step 3: ‘Member Details’ will be displayed on the screen. Enter the last 4 digits of your bank account and click on ‘Verify’ then click on Proceed for Online Claim.
Step 4: You will then have to click on PF advance form 31 and then from the drop down list for reasons you need to select “OUTBREAK OF PANDEMIC COVID-19”.
Step 5: Then you need to feed details such as amount required as advance, upload scanned copy of cheque or bank passbook (account linked with UAN) and enter your address.
Step 6: Click on “Get Aadhaar OTP.” Enter the OTP received on Aadhaar linked mobile.
Once your claim is processed, on approval the amount will be credited directly to the bank account.
Things to remember
While applying for withdrawal, check whether your organisation is exempted. If your organisation is exempted, then you will have to contact your employer for the withdrawal. Exempted organisations are those having private trusts to manage the EPF of employees.