In a significant move towards rationalisation of provident fund
withdrawal procedure, employees can now withdraw their provident
fund money without employers' permission. Until now, employees
were also required to obtain prior approval from employers while
withdrawing employees' provident fund (EPF) corpus – an
additional step which also lead to unwarranted delays. The
Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), vide its
circular dated 1 December 2015 (No WSU/10(1)2011/Changes in
MAP/31406), has notified this change with immediate effect.
Who can avail benefit from the circular?
This benefit can be availed by employees whose (i) details such
as Aadhaar number and bank account number have been linked to the
EPF universal account number (UAN) and (ii) know-your-customer
(KYC) verification has been verified by the employer (using digital
What are the further filings required to avail benefit?
Employees, upon linking their details (such as the Aadhaar
number and bank account number) with the UAN and activation of the
UAN, may submit claims in Form 19, Form 10C and Form 31 directly to
the concerned regional provident fund commissioner without
attestation of their employers, in a manner as may be specified by
the central provident fund commissioner, for fast settlement of
Even though the government had allowed EPF number portability
through UAN (allocating a single PF number to an employee for the
entire professional life, regardless of the employer), in the past
one year, it is understood that not all EPF subscribers have
activated their UAN on the EPFO portal for a variety of reasons.
This has been largely attributed to a lack of awareness amongst the
employee, pending KYC or lack of digital signature of the
With this notification, employees can now avail themselves of a
convenient and speedy withdrawal from the provident fund account.
Employers should actively encourage their employees and take steps
towards increasing awareness amongst them about the benefits of the
newly introduced fast track withdrawal process. Increased employee
participation through linking of details with UAN and adopting the
new withdrawal process will eventually also result in seamless
employee transitions with minimum administrative delays and
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On 31 December 2015 the President gave his assent to certain amendments to the Payment of Bonus Act, 1965. The amendments have increased the wage threshold for determining applicability of the Act from INR 10,000 to INR 21,000 per month.
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 provides for the payment of statutory bonus to eligible employees. The bonus payable is to be determined on the basis of profits or on the basis of production or productivity of the establishment.
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