• Investment
  • Car
  • Bike
  • Taxi
  • Term Life
  • Health
  • Travel

EPFO: Services, Structure and Functions

Established on November 15th, 1951, the Employees' Provident Fund Organization or EPFO is the Indian government’s initiative to provide social services and financial assistance to every resident Indian who is employed. The EPFO was replaced by Employees’ Provident Funds Act, 1952 under the Ministry of Labor and Employment, Government of India. The various schemes under this program are Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme (EPF) and Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI). These schemes are applicable all over India, except in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Structure of the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO)

The overall structure of the EPFO across India is as follows.

Each of the states in India are divided into zones headed by an Additional Central Provident Fund Commissioner. This is further represented by regional offices headed by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioners (RPFC) (Grade I), assisted by Regional Provident Fund Commissioners (Grade II). Every district in a state has an Enforcement Officer who is responsible for inspecting and overseeing the local establishments and grievances.

Services Offered by the EPFO

For all tax paying individuals who are part of the working class, the EPFO is applicable. The services offered by the Employee Provident Fund Organization are provided to employees, their employers, pensioners and international workers. Read more to know in-depth details about EPFO’s services.

For Employers

Applicability of the Act

Schedule 1 of the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 provides a listing of all the factories and establishment that have to adhere to the rules as stated in the Act.

The Act is applicable to:

  • Establishments listed under the list of factories provided as per the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

  • Establishments that do not come under the specifications laid down by the Act, but in which the Employer as well as a majority of the employees voluntarily wish to participate.

  • Establishments that already have a PF code, but wish to be allotted another PF code for its subsidiary unit or branch, for the benefit of convenient administration. For this purpose, they need not register again but can use the ECR login and fill Form 5A and submit it online.

Registration of the Establishment

This is the second most important role played by the EPFO. The entire process can be done through the internet via Online Registration of Establishment (OLRE) portal. OLRE was introduced in order to allot Employees’ Provident Fund Code numbers to establishments. The portal also provides access to Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) login.

UAN - Unique Identity Number

The employers can find out their UAN number from the official website of EPFO - unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface. Once you login, you need to provide basic details such as the EPFO office, establishment code, the establishment’s extension number and the mobile number registered in the ECR portal. Next you need to submit these details to generate an OTP and authenticate your identity. Once the OTP is generated and authenticated, you can see all relevant details of the UAN.

Erroneous KYC (Aadhar)

The employer can download KYC details through the same steps mentioned above, in case there is erroneous KYC data. They can rectify the same from the online portal.

EPFO grievance management system (EPFiGMS) for Employers

An employer can address any related grievances through the EPFO grievance management system. The employer has to fill an online form with the following details such as basic status (EPF pensioner/employer/EPF member/any other category) of the aggrieved, PF account number, the area under which the account holder’s PF office falls, name and address of the organization along with the details of the complainants such as the name, address and other contact details.

Next, the employer has to choose the type of grievance that he wishes to raise with the following details such as PF withdrawal or final settlement, transfer of PF accumulations, scheme certificate, pension settlement, issue of PF slip, payment of insured amount, misplaced cheque and other categories. Post submission of these details, the employer is issued a grievance registration number in order to check the status of the complaint.

Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) portal

In order to generate a user ID and password, the employer has to register with the e-sewa portal and login to the e-sewa website where they have to upload the Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) long with the digital signature of the employer.

Online transfer of employees account / Claim settlement

Every time an individual switches jobs within a single financial year, the money contributed by them to their respective PF account has to be transferred to their new employer. The sum transfer can be done both online and offline. Online transfers are generally more preferred over offline transactions as it is more convenient and it allows an employee to keep track of their claim status with regular updates on the same.

Principal Employer

Under this facility, the principal can be interlinked with the respective employer contractors. The principal employer is required to upload the details with respect to the contract workers/work orders/outsourced job contracts extend coverage of EPF to more eligible employers.

Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana

The Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) scheme is offered by the Government of India to respective employers where the Government of India makes payments towards the pension scheme of the employee. The primary intention of the government is to provide employment as well as social security to the people.

  • TRRN Query: It refers to the Temporary Return Reference Number (TRRN). The status of a TRNN can be checked online.

  • Helpdesk: There exists two separate helpdesk facilities catering specifically to employers and employees. The employer can raise their queries via phone call or email.

Services for Employees

  • e-Seva for UAN Members: If an employee has their UAN number, they can register for the e-Sewa service using this number by logging into the online e-sewa service. Once you have logged in, you can download the UAN card, account passbook, update KYC details and check their employer’s member ID.

  • EPFO grievance management system (EPFiGMS) for Employees: Employees can raise and address grievances under the EPFO grievance management system (EPFiGMS) for Employees. To register a complaint online, an employee needs to fill a form under the Register Grievance Tab available on the web portal at EPFiGMS.gov.in. You need to mention the type of grievance and upload along the relevant documents in the portal. Once you have submitted the form, you will receive a grievance registration number in order to check the status of your complaint.

  • UAN generation status: Employees can know the details of their UAN from the EPFO portal and enter the details of the PF number such as concerned state code, office code, region code, establishment code, extension code and the account number.

  • Online transfer of Employees’ Account / Claim Settlement: Under this facility, every employee with a UAN can transfer their EPF sum online from the portal - epfindia.gov.in, in case they have recently migrated employers. To begin with, you need to select the Online Transfer Claim Portal tab to check if your former and later EPF accounts are eligible for an OCTP. If you are, then you need to select the type of document and fill the account number and contact number to gets access to the Claim Application. Once you submit, you will receive a pin code via SMS. This pin is required to gain access to the claim form for PF transfer.

  • COC Application Form: This refers to a certificate of coverage (COC) application form. The COC application form can be filled online with the following information such as the name and registered address of the employer and the employee.

  • Inoperative Accounts Helpdesk: Apart from the general helpdesk, there is a separate helpdesk facility for inoperative accounts. The helpdesk assists employee members in tracing their accounts and combining it with their present account or withdraw money from the same.

  • UAN Helpdesk for Employees: In order to utilise UAN helpdesk for employees, an employee has to register for this service and choose the particular problem that they are facing with respect to their PF account. The various options are Pending KYC with employer, UAN activation, Claim status and passbook details.

If you are a first time user, you need to select ‘What is my UAN’ section in order to generate your UAN number. For this you need to enter basic details such as the member ID, EPF Office details, region, member name, father’s name, current mobile number, date of birth, etc.

Services offered to International Workers

The Government of India has extended social security of EPFO to Indians (International Workers) working abroad by signing various agreements with different countries across the globe. The countries that have signed the agreement with the Government of India are - Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Denmark, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Finland, Hungary, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, and Canada.

The international workers have to apply for a COC application form EPFO’s online portal. It is mandatory for the international workers to have the following identity proofs to complete their application for the UAN - Aadhar Card, PAN card, passport or the voters ID.

Schemes by the Employees Provident Fund Organization

The three schemes offered by the Employees Provident Fund Organization are:

  • Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme (EPF).

  • Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS).

  • Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI).

  • Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme (EPF): This scheme is offered to all employees working in India. It comprises of the employer's as well as the employee’s contribution on a monthly basis. The amount is directly deducted from the employee’s salary.

Features of this scheme:

  • The deposits are made regularly on a monthly basis.

  • The amount to be contributed towards this fund is fixed and is pre-decided along with the interest.

  • The amount of interest and total deposit amount is tax free.

  • This amount can also be withdrawn by the nominee or the legal heir of the employee post-death or can be withdrawn by the employee post resignation.

Employee’s/Employer’s contribution to the scheme

Under this scheme, the sum is contributed equally both by the employer as well as the employee on a monthly basis. The fixed contribution rate depends upon the employee’s basic pay along with the dearness allowance received.

This rate stands at 12%. It might stand at 10% if:

  • A company employs a maximum of 19 workers.

  • An Industry is declared as a sick mill by the BIFR.

  • An organization is suffering annual loss much more as compared to their net value.

  • It is a Coir, guar gum, beedi, brick and jute business.

  • An organization is operating under a wage limit of ₹6,500.

Benefits of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme

Mentioned below are the various benefits of having an EPF scheme.

  • The contribution made by the employee equal to 12% of the basic salary while the contribution made by the employer is equal to 12% and 8.33%, subject to a maximum of Rs. 541 goes towards the EPS scheme and the remainder is added to the provident fund of the employee.

  • The EPF amount can be withdrawn for any personal expense such as marriage or higher education of the child.

  • Withdrawals are allowed only if the account holder has served for a minimum period of 7 years in an organization.

  • The account holder can also utilize the balance in his Employees’ Provident Fund account if he requires funds for buying a house, construction, repair or renovations or payment of the home loan.

  • If the account holder wants to repay his housing loan, he can withdraw a maximum of 3 years’ wages from his account if he has completed 10 years of service.

  • For construction or buying a new house, a maximum of 3 years’ wages can be withdrawn from the EPF account after completing 5 years of service.

  • For meeting any medical exigency too, withdrawals from the balance of EPF account are allowed.

  • Withdrawals are allowed only for major surgeries and treatments or to individuals who are suffering from critical ailments such as cancer and heart related ailments.

  • The EPF can also be used for buying equipment required for physically handicapped individuals.

Employees Pension Scheme (EPS)

Under this scheme, the entire contribution made by the employee is directed towards their provident fund account, while the contributions made by the employer is divided into 3 parts vis-à-vis the Employees’ Provident Fund account, EPS account and an EDLI account. This scheme was implemented in the year 1995 as per the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.

Advantages of EPS

  • The entire pension amount is paid to the employee till retirement or till the time they are alive.
  • In case of death, the entire amount is transferred to the nominee/beneficiary or to the family of the employee.
  • In case of death, the children receive pension benefits only when they reach the age of 25 years.

Features of EPS

  • EPS does not attract any kind of interest and the funds deposited under EPS are totally interest free.
  • You are not liable to make any kind of deposit in this account.
  • The central government contributes 1.16% of the wages as defined under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
  • This amount should be deposited with the exchequer within a span of 15 days of the end of the month.

Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI) Scheme

An EDLI scheme is an assurance benefit scheme linked to the contribution made by the employee and the employer towards the Employees’ Provident Fund. It is a comprehensive group term insurance plan which was implemented in the year 1976.

Features of EDLI

  • The claim amount is decided based on the last drawn salary of the employee.

  • The claim amount is limited to 30 times the last drawn salary or ₹6 lakhs whichever is less.

  • There is a bonus which is equal to 50% of the balance in the Employees Provident Fund account or Rs 1.5 lakhs whichever is less.

  • The total amount payable under the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme is limited to Rs 7.5 lakhs.

  • Administrative charges incurred in the transfer of funds are borne by the employer.

  • The family of Provident Fund account holders is entitled to receive the benefits of the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, if they die prematurely.

Amount Payable to the Beneficiary under EDLI

The amount payable in case of death of the employee is calculated based on the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance (Amendment) Scheme, 2011.

The amount payable is defined as highest of the following:

  • 20 times the monthly salary of the deceased in the last 12 months immediately prior to the month of death.

  • There is a limit on the monthly basic salary which is Rs. 6,500. Thus, the maximum amount payable in this instance is (6500*20) = Rs. 1.3 lakhs.

  • The average balance in the Provident Fund account of the deceased in the last 12 months immediately prior to the month of death.

  • If the average balance is lower than Rs. 50,000, then a minimum amount of Rs. 50,000 would be payable to the nominee. However, if the average balance is higher than Rs. 50, 000, then the amount payable would be Rs. 50,000 + 40% of the amount which exceeds. Rs 50,000.

  • The aggregate of this computation should not be more than Rs. 1 lakh.

  • When a group insurance scheme is not provided by the employer, the employer is mandated to contribute 0.5% of the basic monthly salary of the employee subject to a maximum of Rs. 6,500.

The amount of insurance cover would be calculated as higher of the two things:

  • 20 times the average salary in the last 12 months provided the monthly basic salary is capped at Rs. 6,500.
  • The balance of the Provident Fund account up to Rs. 50,000 and then 40% of the remainder.

Claim Settlement / Withdrawals

The Government of India has mentioned different timelines for claim settlement.

  • Death Claim: This claim should be settled within 7 days from the date of receipt of the claim.

  • Retirement Claim: The organization should work proactively to settle retirement claims on or before the retirement: Up to 90% of corpus balance with interest can be withdrawn if you as an employee have attain 54 years of age.

Forms to be submitted while claiming EPF, EPS and EDLI

For Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme (EPF), the mentioned forms have to be submitted:

  • Form 19 for final PF settlement of an employee.
  • Form 13 for the transfer of the old PF account to the new one.
  • Form 31 for PF withdrawal permitted in certain cases.
  • Form 14 for financing the employee’s LIC Policy.
  • Form 20 for the final settlement of the PF account balance in favor of the chosen nominee or the beneficiary of a deceased employee, who is a member of this scheme.

For Employees’ Pensions Scheme (EPS), the mentioned forms have to be submitted:

  • Form 10 D for receiving monthly pension.
  • Form 10 C for receiving the withdrawal benefit and the Pension Scheme Certificate.

For Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme

  • Form 5IF is to be submitted by the nominee or the beneficiary of the employee for claiming the insurance benefit in the event of death of the member while in service.

How EPFO operates

The EPFO operates in India by providing the following schemes.

The Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme 1952 (EPF)

A scheme to provide social security to all the working professional in India. The contribution is made by both, the employer and the employee.

The Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS)

A scheme where the entire contribution is allocated towards an employees’ provident fund with additional contributions made by the employer.

The Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI)

An assurance benefit scheme where the contribution is made by the employer and employee.

How to check your EPF/ Pension Claim Status Online

You can check your claim status for Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme (EPF) and Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) online from the official web portal of EPFO. Ensure that you have PF account number ready for logging in.

To check your claim status:

  • Select the Claim Status Information tab.

  • Select the state in which your PF office is located and choose the EPFO office.

  • Next, enter the code of the establishment (maximum length should be only 7 digits) followed by the extension code of the establishment.

  • Next, enter the PF account number.

  • Click on submit and you will receive all the details related to your claim status online.

How to Login to EPFO Member Portal

There are no specific credentials required to login to the EPFO member portal. You as an employee can simply use your registered mobile number and KYC details such as PAN, bank account number, passport number, Voter’s ID, driving license, Aadhaar number, etc to register a login at the online portal.

EPFO Headquarter and Offices

The EPFO has its headquarters in New Delhi. Following is the address for the same.

EPFO Head Office,

Bhavishya Nidhi Bhawan,

14, Bhikaiji Cama Place,

New Delhi - 110 066.


What is the prevailing interest rate on Provident Fund accumulations?

The current rate of interest applicable on Provident Fund accumulations is 8.75%.

How can I know what my UAN is?

In order to know your UAN, you can contact your employer. All employers are to have details pertaining to an employee’s UAN. The same also may be available on the salary slips.

Can I use text messaging as a service to figure my PF number?

Yes, if you are an active UAN member with a registered mobile number, simply send a text message in the format “EPFOHO UAN” to 7738299899 in order to know your latest PF contribution and balance.

How can I activate my UAN?

You need to login to the EPFO website and select the option “Know Your UAN Status”. Next, enter the details of PAN or Aadhaar and submit them to receive an authorization pin. Next, an OTP will be sent to the mobile number entered. Now, the UAN and the status of the UAN will be sent to the employee’s mobile number.

How can I register my mobile number in UAN?

You can register your mobile number in UAN from the official web portal of EPFO by submitting your UAN details and updating the mobile number for the same.

How can I check my EPF?

Now, registered and active users have an option of checking their EPF by giving a missed call. Simply give a missed call on the following number 011 229 01 406 and you will receive an SMS that will show your PF number, age, name, and balance.

How can I check PF balance?

The five ways of checking your PF balance are through the Umang App, EPFO Portal, Via SMS, by giving a missed call or by using the EPFO app.

How is PF calculated

You can calculate your EPF amount through the following steps: Identify your EPF contribution - This amount usually appears on your payslip as 'PF deduction'. Usually it is 12% of (Basic Salary + Dearness Allowance, if applicable) or 12% of Rs.15,000 i.e., Rs.1,800.

How can I activate my PF account?

for activating your provident fund account, you will have to Log in to the official EPFO website and select the “Activate UAN” option. This can be done either through UAN, PAN or Aadhaar number. You can select one of three options mentioned and enter the personal details including your mobile number. Now an OTP will be sent to your registered mobile number, which you have to submit to receive an activation status of your PF account.

How can I figure out my UAN number from my PF number?

UAN allows you to access your Provident Fund account with ease. If you know your UAN number then you can check if the same has been activated.

What is EPF account?

An Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) is a retirement benefit scheme that’s available to all salaried employees. Every month, an amount is deducted from the salary and contributed towards the EPF account of the employee.

What is pension contribution in PF?

An employer contributes only up to Rs. 541 per month (8.33% of Rs. 6,500 in the employee’s pension scheme account).

How can I link my old PF account to UAN?

If you want to link your old PF account to UAN then you will need to merge the existing EPFO accounts. For this, you will have to visit the EPFO website and under the “Services” tab, click on “One employee - One EPF account” button. Now, fill up the requested form and submit the same with all the correct details.

Can I withdraw my PF?

You can only withdraw the full PF balance and the EPS amount if you resign from a job before the age of 58 years.

How is PF calculated for employer?

You and your company both contribute 12% of your basic salary (plus dearness allowances, if any) into your EPF account.

How PF pension is calculated?

The monthly contribution to EPS is restricted to 8.33% of 6500 or Rs 541 p.m. and from Sep 2014 Rs. 1250 (8.33% of 15,000).

How do you calculate bonus?

Bonus to be paid under Payment of Bonus Act,1965 is to be calculated as under the percentage on which your company wants to give bonus to its employees. The minimum bonus is 8.33% of basic salary earned during the accounting year and maximum is 20% under the payment of Bonus Act,1965.

Is PF taxable

As per Income Tax Act, a premature withdrawal of your PF balance will NOT be taxed, only if you committed a continuous service of 5 years or more.

What is meant by UAN?

UAN or Universal Account Number is a 12-digit number that will be allotted to each member who contributes to the EPF Scheme and this will be generated by EPFO for each PF member.

What is a PF Account?

PF is Provident Fund is a part of your salary, which is deducted every month and deposited on your behalf. If you work in a private firm, then the company pays the same amount as it is deducted from your account and when you leave the firm you can apply and withdraw the amount saved.

What is a typical bonus?

A company sets aside a predetermined amount; a typical bonus percentage would be 2.5 to 7.5 percent of payroll. Sometimes, it is as high as 15 percent, as a bonus on top of base salary.

Is EPF and PF same?

Yes, the Employee Provident Fund, or provident fund as it is normally referred to, is a retirement benefit scheme that is available to salaried employees.

Is it mandatory to deduct PF?

Yes, its mandatory to deduct pf from salary. Yes, it is mandatory to deduct PF from salary if the minimum wage of an employee is ₹15,000 p.m. The minimum mandatory PF contribution (and deduction) is ₹1,800 per month (12% of ₹15,000).

What is member ID in PF?

A member ID is just another name for your PF number. Depending on the number of employees contributing to your PF account, the more likely the number of member IDs.

What is PF account number?

A PF account number is a social security number introduced by the Universal Account Number (UAN) for active employees. This number allows you to port your PF account from one employer to another.

What is Estd code?

An establishment code is a 5 digit code which is part of your PF account number.

What is universal account number for PF?

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) issues the Universal Account Number (UAN). This number allows portability of PF accounts if you switch from one employer to another.

What is the meaning of provident fund?

It is an investment fund contributed by employees, employers, and (sometimes) the state, out of which a lump sum is provided to each employee on retirement.

Is the Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme introduced by (EPFO) mandatory?

Yes, the Provident Fund Scheme, Pension Scheme and an Insurance Scheme introduced by Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is mandatory, especially for employees who fall under the wage ceiling set by the organization.