Unlocking Your Retirement Funds: A Step-by-Step Guide to Withdrawing EPF Pension Contributions
Looking for a way to secure your future? If you currently hold an active Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) account, both you and your employer will have contributed a specific amount to it. This tool helps you accumulate a considerable corpus for your post-retirement years.
Once you retire, you have two options: you can withdraw the entire amount or make premature withdrawals from the EPF account after meeting specific withdrawal criteria before retiring.
But before you can withdraw your contributions, it's vital to understand the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS). It was formulated in 1995 by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to help those working under companies and organisations accrue an employee pension scheme.
Both you and your employer will contribute 12% to your EPF account, with 8.33% (up to a limit of INR 15,000) of the employers' contribution allocated to EPS, while the remaining amount goes to the EPF. Keep in mind that EPF is mandatory for those with a monthly income below INR 15,000.
Now, when can you withdraw your pension contribution?
The EPF Act states that any individual who retires after completing their service can get their pension amount by following the proper procedure. However, some criteria or conditions must be met before you can withdraw your EPFO pension:
1. If you've worked for ten years and reached 50 years, you can withdraw your pension early, although it will only be a reduced pension. The rate of pension reduction is 4% every year until you reach the age of 50.
2. If you've served for less than ten years but more than six months, you can withdraw your pension contribution, but only after being unemployed for approximately two months.
3. If you've reached the retirement age of 58 but have not served for ten years or more (generally because you joined the organised sector after age 48), you're not eligible for a monthly pension. However, you can still withdraw the entire amount from your EPS account in a single payment.
To withdraw your pension contribution, you'll require certain documents:
1. Address proof
2. Bank account statement
3. Two revenue stamps
4. Identity proof
Additionally, there are limits to how much you can withdraw from your EPF account before retirement, depending on specific conditions, such as a wedding ceremony or a medical emergency.
To withdraw EPS, you can do so through both online and offline modes. The online process involves linking your Aadhaar with your UAN before logging into Member Sewa and following the steps provided. Alternatively, download the composite claim form (with or without Aadhaar) from the EPFO website and submit the completed form to the jurisdictional EPF Office.
In conclusion, the EPF is an optimal saving option for securing your future, allowing you to save money, earn interest, and save on taxes.
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