Government had issued a notification dated 10th February 2016 regarding rules for withdrawal from EPF Funds by the members. Under the revised rules, the employee was permitted to withdraw the employees’ share from the fund (which is 12% of the wages). However, it was prescribed that the employers’ share of contribution towards the Provident Fund (which is 3.67% of wage) would be allowed to be withdrawn only at the age of retirement (58 years). The objective was to provide a minimum social security to the workers at the time of retirement. It was noticed that over 80% of the claims settled by EPFO belonged to pre-mature withdrawal of funds, treating the EPF accounts as savings accounts, and not a Social Security instrument.
In order to address the issues the amendment stated above was carried out with the consent of Trade Unions and with the intention of promoting a decent accumulation of provident fund for the members at the end of their working lifetimes.
However, considering the representations received from various quarters and after consultations with the various stakeholders, Minister of State (IC) Labour and Employment, Sh Bandaru Dattatreya announced that the government has decided to withdraw the said 10th February 2016 Notification with immediate effect.
Accordingly, the workers are now allowed to withdraw the entire amount from the provident fund as per existing provisions of the EPF Scheme 1952 including the employers’ share of 3.67%.