Restrictions on EPF delayed, to come into effect on August 1

The central retirement fund body, Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), has deferred the implementation of the new norms till August 1, giving eligible members more time to withdraw 100 per cent of their provident fund (PF) under the old norms.

Following the February budget session, the labour ministry announced changes that restricted 100 per cent withdrawal by members unemployed for two months or more. Instead, they announced that one can withdraw only their contribution to the fund and the interest earned on it, and not the employer’s contribution.

Every month, a salaried individual contributes 12% of their salary to the EPF account and the employer matches this.

The rules also barred subscribers from claiming PF after 54 years of age. They will have to wait till they turn 57. As per the earlier norms, subscribers were allowed to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations in their PF account at the age of 54 years and their claims were settled just a year before their retirement.

The changes were expected to come into effect from May 1, 2016.

However, there are no changes to the rules on withdrawal of PF money in emergency situations. As was the case earlier, members will be allowed to withdraw to fund housing, major medical treatment for oneself and family members, education of children in medical, dental and engineering courses, and weddings.

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