Breaking News: EPF Now Accessible for Employees Under 6 Months of Service

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EPF Now Accessible for Employees Under 6 Months of Service

In a significant move to bolster social security for Indian employees, the government has recently amended the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995. This change now allows EPS members with less than six months of contributory service to avail themselves of withdrawal benefits.

Let’s explore the details of this amendment and its implications for employees across the country.


Previously, EPS members could only claim withdrawal benefits after completing a minimum of six months of contributory service. This requirement often led to many members’ claims being rejected, especially those who exited the scheme before reaching the ten-year mark necessary for pension eligibility.

The benefits were calculated based on the period of completed contributory service in years and the wages on which EPS contributions were made​.

The Recent Amendment

The Ministry of Labour’s recent amendment addresses these issues, extending withdrawal benefits to EPS members with less than six months of contributory service. This change is expected to provide financial relief to over 700,000 EPS members annually who leave the scheme early.

Here’s a detailed look at the key points of this amendment:

Eligibility Criteria

  • New Eligibility: EPS members with less than six months of contributory service are now eligible for withdrawal benefits.
  • Proportionate Benefit: The calculation of withdrawal benefits has been rationalized to ensure fairness. Benefits are now calculated based on every completed month of service, taking into account the wages on which EPS contributions were received​.

Key Changes in Calculation

  • Table D Modification: The government has revised Table D under the EPS, which previously outlined withdrawal benefits based on years of service. With the amendment, every month of service now counts, ensuring proportionate benefits for all members.

Impact of the Amendment

  • Broad Beneficiaries: It is estimated that this modification will benefit more than 2.3 million members annually​.
  • Fairer Benefits: The new rules ensure that members receive benefits that are directly proportional to the service rendered, making the scheme fairer and more inclusive​.

Detailed Breakdown of Changes

Eligibility Expansion

  • Previous Requirement: Members needed to have completed six months of contributory service to be eligible for withdrawal benefits.
  • New Provision: The amendment removes this six-month requirement, allowing all members, regardless of service duration, to access their funds​.

Calculation of Benefits

  • Service Months Count: Benefits are now calculated based on each month of service completed. This change ensures that even short-term contributors receive their due benefits.
  • Wages Consideration: The benefits are also calculated based on the wages on which EPS contributions were made, ensuring that the amount is fair and reflective of the actual contributions​..

Revised Table D

  • Former Structure: Before the amendment, Table D provided benefits based on completed years of service.
  • Updated Table: The new Table D now includes a breakdown of benefits for each month of service, enhancing the clarity and fairness of the benefit distribution​​.

Impact on Employees and Employers

For Employees

  • Immediate Access to Funds: The amendment provides immediate access to PF savings for those who leave their jobs early, reducing financial stress​​.
  • Enhanced Social Security: This change aligns with the government’s goal to enhance social security and ensure that all employees have access to their hard-earned savings​.

For Employers

  • Simplified Process: Employers will benefit from a simplified process for managing employee withdrawals. This change is expected to reduce administrative burdens and improve compliance​.
  • Increased Employee Satisfaction: By facilitating easier access to PF savings, employers may see increased employee satisfaction and retention.

How to Claim EPF Withdrawal Benefits

Online Process

  1. Activate Your UAN: Ensure your Universal Account Number (UAN) is active and linked with Aadhaar, PAN, and bank details.
  2. Log In: Access the EPFO member portal using your UAN and password.
  3. Verify KYC: Check and verify your KYC details on the portal.
  4. Submit Withdrawal Request: Fill out the online withdrawal form, specifying the reason for withdrawal.
  5. Approval and Transfer: Submit your request, and the funds will be transferred to your linked bank account​.

Offline Process

  • Fill Out Composite Claim Form: Obtain and complete the composite claim form.
  • Submit to EPFO Office: Submit the form, attested by your employer, to the nearest EPFO office.
  • Processing: The EPFO will process your claim and transfer the funds to your account​.

Other Benefits of the EPF Scheme

Capital Appreciation

  • Interest Rate: The EPF offers a pre-fixed interest rate of 8.15% per annum, ensuring the growth of your savings​.
  • Compound Growth: The interest is compounded annually, enhancing the corpus over time.

Retirement Corpus

  • Pension Scheme: Part of the employer’s contribution (8.33%) goes towards the Employee Pension Scheme, building a robust retirement corpus​​.
  • Financial Security: This corpus ensures financial security and independence after retirement​​.

Emergency Fund

  • Accessibility: The EPF can serve as an emergency fund, available for medical expenses, higher education, or home construction​​.
  • Financial Safety Net: This provision ensures that employees have a financial safety net during unforeseen circumstances​​.

Tax Benefits

  • Tax Deduction: Contributions to the EPF are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act​.
  • Tax-Free Earnings: Interest earned on EPF savings is also tax-free, up to a certain limit​​.

Key Takeaway Points

  • Extension of Benefits: EPS members with less than six months of service are now eligible for withdrawal benefits, enhancing financial security for short-term employees.
  • Proportional Benefits: The amendment ensures benefits are proportional to the service duration, calculated monthly rather than annually.
  • Wider Impact: This change is expected to benefit over 2.3 million members annually, making the EPS more inclusive and fair.
  • Simplified Withdrawal Process: Both online and offline processes for withdrawal have been streamlined, making it easier for members to access their funds.

Also Read: New EPF Rules: EPFO Updates Policy on Cheque Leaf and Bank Passbook Uploads

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