New Delhi: Employees Provident Fund is one of the tax saving investments which typically gets initiated when an individual begins the first job. In the EPF account, both the employee and employer contribute a proportionate amount following which the individual can claim tax break to the equivalent amount deposited in the EPF account. The amount accumulated in the EPF account can be withdrawn only after the retirement, however, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) allows to withdraw the partial amount in specific cases.
That means a person can withdraw partial money from the EPF account on periodic intervals according to the cases mentioned by the EPFO. According to the prescribed guidelines by the EPFO, a person is allowed to withdraw partial money for a set of purposes including illness, education, marriage, purchase of the house. The percentage of the amount which can be withdrawn varies from situation to situation.
Recently, the EPFO has relaxed the norms for partial withdrawals from EPF account following which individuals can withdraw up to 75 per cent of the amount underlying in the PF account in case of unemployment of one or more months. Whereas, a person can withdraw up to 90 per cent of the amount underlying in the EPF account at any time after attaining the age of 54 years or within one year before the actual retirement on superannuation.
Other than the partial withdrawals, the EPFO also provides the facility of loans against the EPF deposits. A person can either take a refundable loan or a non-refundable loan against the deposits in the EPF account. Refundable loans are required to be repaid back, while non-refundable loans are similar to the partial withdrawals.
A person is eligible to withdraw up to 50 per cent of the money from the EPF account only after completion of seven years of service for the purpose of own marriage, the marriage of a daughter/son, sister, brother and to pursue post-matriculation education of self, son or daughter.
In case of illness, individuals are allowed to withdraw up to 6 months of their basic and Dearness Allowance (DA) or the total contribution, whichever is least. EPFO hasn’t put a lock-in period on partial withdrawals for illness.
In order to purchase or construct a house, all the EPF members are eligible to withdraw up to 36 months of basic pay and DA or the entire contribution by employee & employer (along with interest), or the total cost of the house, whichever is lower, only after completion of five-year services. The ownership of the house should lie with the EPF member, spouse of the member or jointly with member and spouse.