Withdrawals from the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) have never been easy. Earlier, you could withdraw only at the time of retirement or when you have been unemployed for more than two months. However, the government has now made it easier for members to withdraw money under special circumstances. Today, you can withdraw money from your EPF for the following reasons.
- For funding the purchase of a house or for repaying a home loan
- To meet medical expenses of self or family member
- To meet wedding expenses of children.
- To meet professional education expenses of children
- If the member is going abroad and will not be coming to India in the near future
There are limits to the amount of money that a member can withdraw under each of these circumstances. They are as below:
- Purchase of house/construction of the house – You can withdraw up to 90% of your EPF balance for purchasing or constructing a house. This will include the employee contribution, the employer contribution and the interest earned on the EPF.
- Repayment of the home loan – You can avail of monthly instalments from the EPF for repaying any outstanding home loan. The loan can be in the name of the member or their spouse’s name. However, only if both are EPF members, the facility can be availed.
However, for purchase or construction of a home or repaying a home loan, the member’s EPF account should have completed at least three years. The balance in the EPF account should be more than Rs 20,000. You can withdraw only once for the mentioned purposes. Note that the payments will be made for both construction and repayment of the loan will be made to the bank and not the member. Earlier, the member had to provide a declaration form for withdrawing from EPF for these purposes. However, now no declaration form is required.
- House renovation – The member can get up to 12 times their basic salary and dearness allowance or the employee contribution with interest or the cost of renovation, whichever is lower.
- Marriage and Education – Once the EPF account completes seven years, up to 50% of the employee contribution and interest can be withdrawn. While marriage expenses can be that of the member, their children or siblings, members can withdraw EPF only to meet education expenses of children.
- Medical expenses – There is no need to be an EPF member for withdrawing from your EPF account for medical expenses. Members can withdraw up to 6 months basic salary and dearness allowance or employee contribution with interest, whichever is lower. The withdrawal can be made to meet medical treatment of the member or their family members. A doctor’s certificate will be required for this.
The EPF office has come up with a single, composite form for all types of withdrawals. There are two composite claim forms – one with Aadhaar (requires you to give your Aadhaar number) and another without Aadhaar.
Also, with the amendments made by the EPFO to withdrawal rules last year, members now will not require the attestation of their employer to make withdrawals from EPF. Members should have their Universal Account Number (UAN). UAN will ensure that all the EPF accounts of a member are linked to one id. The member’s UAN has to be linked to their Aadhaar details. Members can submit their withdrawals requests online and also check the status of their claims online.