Employees keep changing jobs for better career and higher salary. One might have multiple EPF accounts during such change in jobs within India. There are a number of reasons one would continue multiple EPF accounts. One of the pain area is tracking the balance manually. Many of them are not aware how to handle such situation and leave as-is. In this article, we would provide how to merge two or more EPF accounts online in India. We would also provide the benefits of merging EPF accounts.
What is Employee Provident Fund (EPF)?
You can skip this section if you are already familiar with EPF.
Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF) is a collection of funds contributed by the employer and his employee on a regular monthly basis. The scheme basically aims at promoting savings to be used by the employee post-retirement. Under this scheme, the employer and the employee each contribute 12% of the employee’s salary (which consists of basic salary and dearness allowance) to the EPF. These funds earn interest set by the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) that works under the direct jurisdiction of the government. It is managed through the Ministry of Labor and Employment. Although the interest is calculated on a monthly basis, it is deposited directly to the employee’s Provident Fund account yearly. The interest earned, along with the total accumulated funds is all tax-exempt.
What are the benefits of EPF?
The following are the benefits of EPF account.
EPF is the best medium for accumulating corpus for post-retirement life. The sum deposited towards the EPF helps to build a good retirement corpus in the long run. Such a corpus lends a sense of financial security and independence after retirement.
The EPF scheme offers a pre-fixed interest on the deposit that ensures growth in the employee’s funds and accelerate capital appreciation.
Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961, the contribution made by the employee towards the EPF account is eligible for tax exemption. Moreover, the interest generated through the EPS scheme is all tax-exempt.
The members of EPF are entitled to avail the benefits of accumulated funds for specific requirements. The individuals can make partial withdrawals from the EPF account for the purposes like to pursue higher education for children, owning a house, availing medical treatment or bearing wedding expenses for children.
Why there would be multiple EPF accounts?
Multiple EPF accounts emerge typically due to change in job. Whenever the employee switches his job, it results in a new EPF account with a new employer. It becomes very difficult for the employee to manage many EPF accounts. With the introduction of Universal Account Number (UAN), EPFO facilitates its members to merge or consolidate their multiple EPF accounts.
What is UAN?
UAN is the acronym to Universal Account Number. It is a 12-digit identification number that is allotted to every employee. If an employee change organization, the 12-digit UAN remains the same. In case, he did not inform the new organization about the UAN, he may be allotted a new UAN from EPFO. In that case, he must inform the new employer or write an email to EPFO to cancel the old UAN. A verification process will be conducted by the EPFO to resolve the issue and once the verification is done, the old EPFO is canceled. Then, the old EPF account needs to be merged in the new one using the given steps or withdraw the amount in order to save the account from being dormant.
What are dormant accounts?
Dormant account is the account that have not witnessed any deposits for 36 or more months. Probably, the individual has changed the job and forgot about the previous contributions. Such accounts keep on receiving interest at the prescribed rates untill the employee attains the retirement age. These accounts can be merged into another EPF account or individuals can withdraw the amount using UAN number. If there are no transactions for over 3 years, EPFO rules of 2016 indicate that the account would become inoperative after 3 years post retirement. So, one should withdraw before that.
Step-by-step Process to merge EPF accounts online in India
Many EPF account holders hold more than one EPF account but now it is possible to merge different EPF accounts into one on the EPFO portal. The following is the step-by-step procedure to merge EPF accounts. acc
1) Go to the EPFO website here
2) Under the tab ‘Services’, go to “For Employees”.
3) Here, under the Services, you will find the option-One Employee-One EPF Account.
4) Now enter UAN number and password.
5) Click on online services —> One member – One EPF account (Transfer request) option
6) Go to section – Step-1 : Select details of previous accounts (which are to be transferred)
7) Select previous employer and enter member ID / UAN. Member ID is the last 7 digits of the EPF account which you wan to transfer
8) Once you enter the details, click on OTP. A One Time Password (OTP) is generated and sent to your registered mobile number.
9) Enter the OTP received. This step is for your authentication.
10) You will be redirected to the page that asks for old EPF account details for the merger. Once the old EPF account details are entered and declaration is allowed and submitted, the request for the merger of that account to the existing account will be sent to EPFO.
11) If you possess more than two EPF accounts, repeat this process for another old EPF account too.
One should note that the facility of merging the accounts is available only for three days after activation of the UAN. To avail the benefits of this service, the employee needs to have his UAN KYC (Know Your Client) and Aadhar details updated and registered with the EPFO.
FAQs about merging EPF accounts
1) Is it necessary to merge two pf accounts?
If you have multiple EPF accounts, it is good to merge them else it is difficult to track your EPF balances. Even in the future, you cannot do proper withdrawals as you EPF balance is in multiple accounts.
2) What are the benefits of merging EPF accounts?
There are certain benefits of merging.
i) You can have all your PF accounts under one UAN and you can check your balance anytime.
ii) If there are no transactions in your EPF (due to exit from job) and your age crosses 55 years, you need to withdraw EPF, otherwise, it would become inoperative.
3) How long it would take to merge EPF accounts?
Earlier the process of merging EPF accounts was taking anywhere between 2-3 weeks time. Now with EPF merging happening online, one can expect to close lesser than this period.
You may like: What is supperannuation benefit in India?
4) How can I transfer my PF balance from one UAN to another?
One you merge EPF accounts with the process indicated above, your EPF balance in the old EPF account would be automatically transferred to your new EPF account.
5) Can I withdraw my EPF online?
Yes, you can withdraw an EPF online for various reasons. There are certain terms and conditions and withdrawal limits.
6) How to check the EPF balance in India?
You can check your EPF balance in several ways:
i) You can log in to UAN portal and select passbook and view your EPF balance
ii) You can send SMS as “EPFOHO UAN” to 77382 93899. Replace UAN with your UAN number indicated in your payslip
iii) You can give missed call to 011 229 01 406 and get EPF balance on your mobile
Conclusion: On changing the jobs, many employees are unaware of handling the old EPF account. This article gives you the perfect guide to how to merge the old or dormant EPF accounts in the current one.
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How to merge two or more EPF accounts in India
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