Out of the total 24% (12% + 12%), 8.33% goes to Pension Fund. This is to help employees in the long term, by providing monthly pension.
However, people frequently shift jobs are not able to carry their EPF account to their new organisation and hence are forced to withdraw their benefits.
As Pension fund has to be maintained for few years (I forgot the period), withdrawl within this period will result in not getting the entire pension fund. The actual idea is to prevent withdrawls. Many people withdraw many times before retirement and and hence, this is one way of preventing this.

From India, Mumbai

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