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The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation, India (EPFO) has been taking several measures to streamline the online withdrawal and the claim process for the employees as far as their provident fund (PF) is concerned.
As a recent step in that direction, the erstwhile OTCP - 'online transfer claim portal' stands replaced by the launch of transfer claims under 'unified portal' of the EPFO.
While the online transfer process was available earlier too, the process has been revised. Now, if the employee wants to apply for the transfer of PF from one's previous employer to his or her new employer, it has to be from the 'unified portal'. Before proceeding, make sure these following are in place:
* The employee needs to have the UAN.
* The KYC (Aadhaar and bank details including IFSC code) against their UAN have been seeded.
* The present employer should have approved/verified the e-KYC.
Online transfer claim process
* Login to the Unified Portal website here (https://unifiedportal.epfindia.gov.in/)
* Click on UAN Member e-Sewa
*Or, click here directly. (https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.g...mberinterface/)
* Log-in using one's UAN and password.
* Click on 'online services' and place the 'transfer request'
* Fill up the Transfer Claim Form online
* Download Transfer Claim Form (In pdf format)
* Physically submit to one's employer after signing, within 10 days
* After receiving the signed Transfer Form, the employer has to digitally approve the transfer by accessing the employer interface of the Unified Portal.
Recently, the EPFO had introduced measures and revamped its Unified Portal to effectively bring down the time taken for withdrawals to 5 days.
Transfer initiated post-March 1, 2017
As an employee, if you had initiated a transfer process from the OTCP - online transfer claim portal anytime after March 1, 2017, you will have to resubmit your claim. As per the rules, the employer is required to take the printout of the Transfer Claim Form and get it signed by the employee. EPFO has asked the employers to clear any such in-process claims within the next month.
After attesting it, the employer has to send it to the EPFO office for processing. To ensure smoother transfer claim process, ensure that the date of leaving and date of joining are correct as any mismatch could delay the process. Also, these dates help EPFO in determining the service period of the employee for the EPS benefit.
Why transfer rather than withdraw
Typically, in early and mid-years of their careers, employees tend to switch jobs. After leaving, they have two options with regard to their employees' provident fund (EPF). Either they can withdraw it after waiting for 60 days (if unemployed) or transfer the balance to the new employer.
The EPF withdrawal is not taxable if one has completed at least five years of continuous service. If one has switched jobs in less than five years but transferred the EPF to the new employer, it will be counted as continuous service. Someone, for instance, works for 1.5 years and then joins another organisation. He transfers his PF balance on to the new employer where he continues to work for 3.5 years. Taken together, it will be five continuous years of service for the employee. It's, therefore, better to transfer your existing PF to your new employer.
Conclusion
EPF represents the debt portion of one's investment portfolio. The E-E-E (exempt-exempt-exempt) nature of EPF makes it an ideal savings vehicle directed towards retirement savings. Currently (2016-17), the EPF interest rate stands at 8.65 per cent. Your monthly savings into EPF is mandatorily through SIP as 12 percent of monthly basic salary moves into EPF. In addition, choose to invest through SIP in equity mutual funds till about 3 years away from retirement. To bring the best out of the power of compounding, keep transferring your PF funds as you switch jobs to lay a strong foundation for your retired life.
Source: Economic Times
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