6 things you must know about Employee Provident Fund

The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is one of the most common forms of investment among salaried individuals. A small part of your salary is invested in EPF and that amount is matched by your employer every month.

The employees and employers contribution is maintained by the Employees Provident Find Organisation (EPFO), under the administrative control of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

Here’s all you need to know about Employee Provident Fund :

Equity: Since the EPF is invested in fixed income alone, it is expected to offer a good rate of return when invested in equities. The EPFO has also started investing in stock market through exchange-traded funds. The government has approved for 5-15% of EPF money to be invested in the volatile stock market.

Nomination: Did you know that you can assign a nominee for the amount of provident fund you’ve been investing every month? The nominee listed in your account will be contacted at the time of death and handed over all your money. The Form 2 provided by the EPFO department will allow you to nominate and update nomination changes.

Employee Pension Scheme (EPS): 12% of your salary every month goes into your provident fund. However, out of the money your employer matches, 8.33% of it or a maximum of Rs 1,250 goes into your Provident fund and the rest into your pension scheme. You are liable for pension only if you’ve survived 9.5 years of work life and your EPF has been transferred when you changed jobs.

Withdrawal: Did you know that it’s illegal to withdraw your EPF amount when you’re switching jobs? Yes, you can only withdraw your provident fund money if you don’t have a job at the time of withdrawal. You are only supposed to transfer your EPF account when you are changing jobs.

Opt out of EPF: If your basic salary is more than Rs 15,000 then you have an option to opt out of employee provident fund. However, you will have to make this choice at the start of your job. If you’ve been a part of the EPFO family even once, then you don’t get the choice of opting out.

RTI: If there is any kind of information you would like to know about employee provident fund, all you have to do is access your right to information. You can file an RTI application for any issues regarding your provident fund, be it transfer, withdrawal or balance enquiry.