PF Balance Check
Employee Provident Fund or simply EPF Balance, is a retirement scheme offered by the Government of India through the Ministry of Labor & Employment. It is the oldest and most popular instrument for planning one’s retirement and the fund is maintained and overseen by the Employees Provident Fund Organization of India (EPFO) and any company with over 20 employees is required by law to register with the EPFO portal.
The prime idea, while launching this scheme in 1951, was to ensure financial independence of salaried class people after they retire from their career. This is open to all employees irrespective of whether he/she is works in government sector or in private sector. As this scheme is introduced & run by the Government of India, it is totally safe and carries no risk to the invested amount. Further, the invested amount also earns assured returns in the form of interest income at a rate that is declared by the government every year. So if you are planning to invest for your retirement with no risk to the capital, EPF is the best option to consider.
Due to these reasons, this scheme has gradually this has become one of the preferred saving options among the salaried class, especially the private sector employees who intend to ensure a comfortable post-retirement life.
Basically, the savings in the EPF scheme happens in a three pronged manner. Every month, an equal contribution is made towards the EPF account by the employee (worker) and the employer (the organization / company / factory etc.). This is usually 12% of the basic monthly wages. The total contribution to the account therefore becomes 24% of the total basic monthly payment of the employee. In addition, the government contributes a fixed-rate of interest to the amount to ensure that the amount deposited in the employee’s PF account grows over time.
How Does EPF Work?
As explained earlier, when one starts working, the employer and the employee both contribute 12% of the basic monthly income (plus dearness allowances, if any) towards EPF. While the employee’s 12% contribution goes fully towards the EPF, the employer’s contribution of 12% is segregated as below:
- 33% (out of 12%) towards Employee Pension Scheme (EPS)
- 67% (out of 12%) towards Employee Provident Fund
It’s important to note that if your basic pay is above the threshold limit of Rs. 15,000 per month, your employer can only contribute 8.33% of 15,000 (i.e. Rs. 1,250) to your EPS and the balance goes into your EPF account.
The fund of all employees are then combined together and then invested by a trust. This generates an interest of 8% – 10% (click here for the official historic interest rates declared by the EPFO since year 1952), which is decided by the government and the central board of trustees. The annual interest rate is available on the official EPF India website, and is currently at 8.65% for FY 2016-17.
The Provident Fund becomes automatically active every time you receive your pay. If you’re changing jobs, it’s important to also share your UAN Number (more about this in a separate article) linked with your EPF account with your new company, so that they can continue the contribution in the same account.
How to Check your EPF balance online
Now that you are familiar with the intricacies of the EPF and how it works, you must be wondering about how to check your EPF account and check current EPF balance.
Well, it’s important to regularly monitor the EPF balance which can help you to plan your retirement and manage your budget. In fact, the corpus can also be utilized when one is in urgent need of money for critical life events (wedding in the family, family urgency, purchasing a home etc.). During such situation, knowing exactly how much you have in your EPF account can be very useful. EPF rules allow you to withdraw a partial amount during such eventualities. If required, one can even apply for a loan against the EPF balance, which then serves as evidence that the individual can repay the loan.
Till few years back people had to personally visit the regional EPFO office to know their EPF balance. However the government recently developed digital infrastructure that allows individuals to check their EPF balance online while sitting in comfort of their homes. The service is known as KYEPFB). In addition to providing your EPF balance information, the website also offers an overview of your account activity. You can easily view all your EPF account information with the click of few mouse buttons. The information also includes the employer’s contribution and the interest credited to the account.
Even if one is not computer savvy, he / she can easily check the EPF balance online. Here’s how it can be done. Just follow the following steps to check your EPF Balance Online.
- Make sure you have your 12-digit EPF account number handy.
- Open the relevant web-page Know Your PF Balance (KYEPFB) in the internet browser.
- Near the bottom of the page, click on the text “Click here to know Your PF Balance”.
- From the drop down list, select the state of your EPF office.
- On the next page, select your city-specific EPF office from the list of offices located in your selected state. Select the office that maintains your EPF account.
- Enter the EPF account number, your full name (as mentioned in the Pay slip or the PF Slip), and your mobile number. Generally the EPF number is in format like GJ/BRD/XXXXXXX/XXX/XXXXXXX. If your EPF account number does not have the middle three digits, you can leave that box blank.
- Read through the general terms and conditions and check the “I Agree” box.
- Click the Submit button.
- Within minutes you will receive your PF balance on your mobile number via SMS.
Check EPF Balance by Alternative Methods
EPFO, in 2015, introduced facility of checking one’s EPF balance by various other methods (SMS, Mobile App and Missed Call Service). Please note this facility is available to those who have activated their UAN status number (more about this in a separate article). To get EPF balance status by these methods, you should use only your UAN registered mobile number.
Checking the EPF Balance by an SMS
Send below message from your UAN registered mobile to 773 8299 899:
EPFOHO UAN <ENG>
The information can be received in various Indian languages like Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi, Malayalam, Tamil, Bengali and others. For example, in order to receive the message in the Hindi language, change the language code to <HIN> instead of <ENG>
Once you send this SMS to the given number, the EPF balance will be sent to your mobile number by an SMS. The SMS will include member details, last contribution, and total EPF balance.
Missed Call Service
Here is something very convenient for mobile users without the internet. You do not even need to send any text message. Just make a missed call on the following number to get the PF account details on phone via SMS:
Give a missed call to: 01122901406
It should be ensured that the mobile phone from which the call is being made should be the one registered in the UAN database. Once you give a missed call, you will receive an SMS in few minutes. The SMS will contain your member details and PF account balance.
EPFO Mobile App for EPFO Member Balance
The third service launched lately by EPFO is for checking EPF balance using an application called EPFO Mobile App (m-epf). This is a free mobile application and can be downloaded from the Google Play store by clicking on the following link:
Apart from knowing the EPF balance, the app provides several other EPF related facilities on your phone vis-à-vis viewing monthly PF account statements, activating UAN accounts from the handsets etc. Employers can also view details of the remittances they have made.
So all in all, it is very simple to check EPF balance using any of the above mentioned methods. Also it is very important to keep a regular track of the money getting accumulated in the Provident Fund account. Visit our website for regular or new updates of EPF related information like how to login at EPFO member portal, EPF status, UAN status, PF status, online EPF payment, etc. In case there is any difficulty, one can call the official toll-free helpline of the EPFO at 1800118005 which have been dedicated to help such members.