EPF or Employees’ Provident Fund is a government scheme that allows all employees to do what is necessary for their future- invest to build a retirement corpus. The Ministry of Labour & Employment introduced the scheme in 1952 and it has been a mandatory contributory fund since then.
Both the employees and employers have to mandatorily contribute 12% of the employees’ dearness allowance and basic salary to the EPF every month. This accumulated corpus can be withdrawn by the employee upon his retirement or under certain conditions, in case of emergencies. The main objective of contributing to the EPF regularly is to build a corpus for the employees’ retirement as a reward for his/her hard work and dedication to his/her work.
What is an EPF Passbook?
EPF Passbook is a document containing the details of contributions made by the employee and the employer over the employment journey of the employee. The following points must be considered before downloading/viewing the EPF passbook-
- EPF members who have completed their UAN registration on the EPFO portal can only view/download the EPF passbook
- The passbook will be available to members only after 6 hours of activation/registration on the EPFO portal
- Inoperative members, settled members and exempted established members cannot access their passbook online
Contents of an EPF Passbook
An EPF Passbook contains the following information-
- Establishment ID and Employer’s Name
- Member ID and Employee’s Name
- EPFO Name and type
- Detailed contributions to EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund)
- Detailed monthly contributions towards EPS (Employees’ Pension Scheme)
- Interest on the amount accumulated in the EPF
- Monthly deposits and withdrawals by the employer and employee
- Date and time of printing of the passbook
It is important to note that if an employee has maintained only one EPF account throughout his/her employment journey, he/she will have only one EPF passbook. On the other hand, if an employee has multiple EPF accounts, he/she will have multiple EPF passbooks. It is, however, recommended that employees maintain one EPF account throughout their employment, even if they have changed their jobs.
How to Download an EPF Passbook?
Members of the Employees’ Provident Fund can easily download and print their EPF passbook online, at the comfort of their homes. All they need to do is follow these simple steps-
- Open the EPFO website on your mobile/laptop/computer
- Visit the ‘Member Passbook’ page
- Enter your credentials such as UAN and the password which is generated on the EPF member portal
- Click on the ‘Login’ button after carefully entering your credentials
- The next page that appears will display the Member IDs of all EPF accounts that are linked with your UAN
- Click on the ‘EPF Member ID’ visible under the option, ‘Select Member ID to view Passbook’
- A new tab with your EPF passbook will open in the PDF format
- You can choose to ‘Download’ or ‘Print’ your passbook from the ‘options’ tab on the screen
How is your EPF Passbook Updated?
As soon as any contribution/withdrawal is made to the member’s EPF account, EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization) updates the employees’ EPF Passbook. It is important to note that the EPF passbook does not contain the date on which the contribution is made, it has the month and year in which the contribution was made. So, if you ever notice that your EPF passbook is not updated, you must log in after a few days to check if the contribution has been updated.
Who can Access the EPF Passbook Online?
All EPF members can easily access their passbook online on the EPFO official portal. However, the following entities cannot avail this facility online-
- Exempted establishment members
- Settled members
- Inoperative members
Who can Register for Employees’ Provident Fund?
The following individuals/entities must register for the Employees’ Provident Fund-
- Salaried employees with a monthly salary of Rs. 15,000 or more must register for an EPF account
- Organizations with equal to or more than 20 employees must enroll for the EPF scheme
- All the states and union territories in India, except for Jammu & Kashmir and avail the benefits of the EPF scheme
What are the Benefits of having an EPF Account?
Following are the benefits of having an EPF account-
- The use of EPFO allows easy redressal to compliance and grievance for employees
- Since the Employees’ Provident Fund is governed by a statutory body, it is mandatory for all organizations to follow all rules and regulations set up by EPFO on a daily basis
- EPFO makes the availability of online services available easily
- With the help of EPF, the claim settlement time has been reduced from 20 days to 3 days
- EPF facilitates the promotion and encouragement of all sorts of voluntary compliance
- For employees, EPF allows them to save a lot of money in the long run
- Monthly contribution to EPF makes it easier for working professionals to save a good amount of money for their requirement, as they do not have to take out a lump sum amount for investment
- Employees can also withdraw a part of their EPF at the time of emergencies
- EPF works as a reliable source of long term investment for employees, whilst building a retirement corpus for them
- The part of an employee’s salary that is deducted towards EPF is a part of his/her non-tax deductible income
- Employees can transfer their EPF corpus from one employer to another as and when they switch jobs
- EPF is a major tax-saving instrument
EPF passbook can be easily viewed/ downloaded/printed from the EPFO online portal. However, to access the EPF passbook, members must have mandatorily registered on the unified member portal. Even after registering, members can access the passbook after 6 hours. The EPF passbook contains the details of all contributions made by the employer and the employee, the establishment date, employer ID, employee’ s name, EPFO name and type and date and time of downloading/printing the passbook.