Permanently Close Your PF Account
Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a financial scheme designed to secure the financial future of salaried employees in India. It allows employees and employers to contribute a portion of the employee’s salary towards a savings account, which accumulates interest over time. While the EPF account is typically intended to be accessed after retirement, there are circumstances in which you might need to close it prematurely. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on permanently closing your PF account.
Is It Possible to Close Your EPF Account?
Closing your EPF account is not as straightforward as closing a bank account. There are specific scenarios in which you can close your EPF account:
- Upon the Death of the Employee: In the unfortunate event of an employee’s demise, the full EPF amount will be disbursed to the nominee designated during the account initiation.
- Upon Leaving Employment or Retirement: Employees can withdraw the entire EPF amount when they resign or retire. However, some conditions must be considered for PF withdrawal.
Conditions for PF Withdrawal After Leaving Employment:
- Incomplete Service Period: Even if you have not completed 10 years of service, you can still claim the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) and PF amounts. You must complete the Composite Claim form and select ‘pension withdrawal’ and ‘final PF balance.’ If you decide to rejoin the workforce, you can submit Form 10C.
- Service Period of 10 Years: If you have completed a service period of 10 years and fall between the ages of 50 and 58, you can claim an early pension. Fill out the Composite Claim form and Form 10D for the scheme certificate.
- Service Period More than 10 Years (Below 58): If you have served for over 10 years but are younger than 58, you cannot withdraw your EPS amount. You can complete the Composite Claim form and Form 10C but will receive your pension after turning 58.
- Age 58 and Above: If you are 58 years or older, you are eligible to receive the full EPF amount and can claim your pension by submitting Form 10D.
Depending on your situation, you can choose the appropriate forms to enjoy the benefits of the EPF and PF schemes after retirement. It’s worth noting that providing your Universal Account Number (UAN) to your new employer is now mandatory when changing jobs, making it challenging to close an EPF account before retirement.
How to Withdraw PF Amount from Your EPF Account?
Withdrawing the entire PF amount during the final settlement after retirement is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:
- Visit the official EPFO website.
- Enter your UAN, password, and captcha code. Click ‘Sign In.’
- Under the ‘Online Services’ tab, select ‘Claim (Form-31, 19, 10D & 10C).’
- Enter all the required information and click ‘Verify.’
- Select ‘Yes’ to sign the ‘Certificate of Undertaking.’
- Choose ‘only PF withdrawal (Form 19)’ from the drop-down menu.
- Enter your complete address, acknowledge the disclaimer, and click ‘Get Aadhaar OTP.’
- You will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number. Enter it in the required field and submit your application.
- After successful submission, a reference number will be generated.
- Within 15-20 days, the full amount will be deposited into the bank account linked with your UAN.
If you prefer an offline approach, follow these steps:
- Download the Composite Claim form (Aadhaar and non-Aadhaar) from the official EPFO website.
- For the Composite Claim form (Aadhaar), please fill it out and submit it to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office without needing employer attestation.
- For the Composite Claim form (Non-Aadhaar), please fill it out and submit it to the jurisdictional EPFO office along with your employer’s attestation.
Documents Required for EPF Withdrawal:
For online EPF claims, you don’t need to provide any additional documents. However, you must upload a scanned copy of your passbook or chequebook on the EPFO portal. Ensure that all the details, such as your bank account number, IFSC code, and name, are visible.
The Universal Account Number (UAN) introduction has simplified the transfer and withdrawal of PF amounts from EPF. However, closing your PF account should be considered carefully, considering the scenarios and conditions determining whether a complete withdrawal is applicable.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I withdraw my EPF balance from my PF account?
Yes, you can withdraw your EPF balance either partially or entirely. You can withdraw the full amount after retirement or if you have been unemployed for over two months. However, withdrawal may require attestation from a gazetted officer.
2. How can I close my PF account completely?
To close your PF account, you need to withdraw your PF amount. You can download the Composite Claim form from the official website and follow the steps to submit your request. Alternatively, you can visit the EPFO office and submit a duly filled Composite Claim form for this process.
3. Is it mandatory to provide a PAN card for EPF withdrawal?
No, providing a PAN card is not mandatory. However, it is advisable to provide it during EPF withdrawal, as failing to do so may result in a TDS (Tax Deducted at Source) deduction of 30%.
4. What are the different types of PF withdrawal claim forms?
Different forms for PF withdrawal include:
- Form 19 for claiming final PF settlement.
- Form 31 for making partial EPF withdrawal.
- Form 10D for withdrawing monthly pension.
- Form 10C for pension withdrawal.
Note that the new EPF Composite Claim form has replaced forms such as 19, 10C, and 31.
5. How much time will it take to process an EPF withdrawal?
The processing time for EPF withdrawal can vary, taking 15-20 days from submitting the withdrawal request to employer approval.