“I am working in ABC company since 2008. On Checking my PF on website SMS shows EE amt : 47631 & ER amt: 14571.( account updated 31/03/2014). If today I leave job how much would I get from PF” or “I checked my EPF account, EE & ER should be same but it is showing me different amount? ” Why is it so? This article gives an overview of Employee Provident Fund (EPF), how to check EPF balance, decodes the EPF SMS one gets on checking, What is EE, What is ER?
Basics of EPF
Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is an integral part of earning for all working professional in India. Most of the employees(government and private) save a small fraction of their salary through EPF, which is automatically debited from their salary and credited to their EPF accounts by their employer. The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) managed by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) ensures that an individual puts away enough for retirement every month. With 12% of his basic salary and a matching contribution by his employer, a subscriber to the EPF should be able to accumulate a decent amount by the time he retires. For example If someone started working at the age of 25 in April 2000 at a basic salary of Rs 20,000 a month and got a raise of 10% every year, he would roughly have accumulated Rs 32 lakh in his PF account by now. If the trend continues, he would have saved about Rs 2.46 crore by the time he is 55 years old and more than Rs 3.5 crore of tax-free money on retirement at 58. Let’s go over the basic facts of EPF .
- EPF actually consists of Provident Fund(which we shall PF) and Pension scheme(EPS).
- Normally, both the employer and employee contribute 12% each of the basic salary of the employee plus DA (if any) to EPF. (Employee can contribute more towards EPF voluntarily which is called VPF)
- The entire 12% of employees contribution is added towards PF.
- 8.33% out of the total 12% of the employers contribution is diverted to the EPS or pension scheme and the balance 3.67% is invested in PF. However, if the basic pay of an employee exceeds Rs. 6,500 per month, the contribution towards pension scheme is restricted to 8.33% of Rs. 6,500 (i.e. Rs. 541 per month) and the balance of employers contribution goes into EPF. EPFO has now raised the eligibility ceiling for EPS to Rs 15,000 a month.
- The employer contribution is exempt from tax and employee’s contribution is taxable but eligible for deduction under section 80C of Income tax Act.
- The EPF interest rate is decided by the central government with the consultation of Central Board of Trustees. It is announced on annual basis.
- The accounting period of PF is from March to February every year.
- At the beginning of the each fiscal, there would be an opening balance, the amount accumulated till then. Thus, for next fiscal the new opening balance would be: Old opening balance + monthly contribution throughout the year + interest (old opening balance + contribution).
- Interest rate on PF part of EPF is credited annually at the end of financial year on 31 Mar of financial year .
- EPS being a pension scheme, interest is not applicable. Hence, no interest is earned on the amount accumulated in EPS.
Our article Basics of Employee Provident Fund: EPF, EPS, EDLIS and Understanding Employee Pension Scheme or EPS explains these in detail. EPF Calculator can be used to find how much would you have on retirementby contributing to EPF.
As Employer’s contribution goes towards EPS, Employer’s share in EPF will be less than EE or Employee Contribution in EPF. It’s only 541 Rs a month you may think. But the monthly contribution of Rs 541 can grow into a huge amount over the long-term. Even at a modest interest rate of 8%, this tiny amount can burgeon into Rs 12.41 lakh in 35 years. So that’s what you are missing out because of EPS. Sample of EPF passbook which shows monthly contribution of Employee, Employer and how it is split into Pension fund and Provident Fund,how interest is added to Employee Contribution and Employer Contribution but not to EPS. Image below shows, parts from EPF passbook. You can see the transaction date, the date on which contribution was made in your EPF account, when the EPF account was update, details or Particulars like Contribution was for which month (12013 means 1st month of 2013 or Jan 2013), how much was employee’s contribution, how much was Employer’s contribution in EPF and Employer’s contribution in EPS . Employer’s share in EPF + Pension Fund is usually equal to Employee’s share.
How to check EPF balance?
EPFO has been using technology to turn into a more professional and nimble organisation. It has made several other investor-friendly changes in the past. Now you can check your EPF balance through SMS, see your passbook. It has introduced online facility for transferring the balance to a new account. Going forward, all members will have a Universal Account Number(UAN) which will be portable across employers and cities. UANs have already been allotted to 4.17 crore active contributors to the EPF
You can check your EPF balance through various ways. Our article How to get information about EPF balance : Annual Statement, SMS, E-Passbook explains the various methods of getting EPF balance in detail.
EPF balance by SMS : From July 2011 one can check the EPF Account balance online.
- Go to http://www.epfindia.com/site_en/KYEPFB.php
- Select EPFO Office
- Enter PF Account Number which is in the format : EPFO Office Code/Establishment Code(Max. 7 Digits)/Extension(Max. 3 digits)/Account Number (Max 7 digit) (PF Account Number may not have Extension code, in that case leave it blank).
- Enter your Mobile and Name, Accept Terms and condition and Submit.
- You will get SMS alert from EPFO : EE amount : Rs XXXXX and ER amount Rs:XXXXX as on <Today’s Date>(Account updated upto Date).
EPF Balance SMS :What is EE , What is ER
When you get information from EPFO the information is in terms of EE , ER and EPS. The SMS is kind of coded so let’s try to decode it. The SMS says:
EPF Balance in A/C No. BGBNG0451230000134 is EE Amt: Rs. 67009, ER Amt: Rs. 47000 as on 27-08-14 (Accounts updated upto 31-03-2014)-EPFO.
So what is EE and ER? Decoding the EPF balance SMS from EPFO:
- A/C No: This is your EPF account number. You EPF account number have your area code, company or establishment code and your account number.
- EE Amt: Employee Contribution i.e. your total contribution in the EPF account. The sum total of PF amount deducted monthly from your salary.
- ER Amt: Employer Contribution i.e your company contribution. The sum total of PF amount monthly contributed into your EPF account by your employer.
- As on [Date]: The date till which your monthly contribution has been updated in your EPF account. In the example above, contributions in EPF upto 27-08-14 are shown
- Accounts updated upto [Date]: This tells you till when the accounts were updated. Usually accounts are updated at the end of financial year when the interest till this date has been added into your EPF account. From the example above, it tells that interest till 31st March 2014 has been added into your EPF account. It does not show current balance of PF Account as on the day you asked for information.
You can see that EE(Employee Contribution) is more than ER(Employer Contribution). Because Employer’s contribution is split into two halves, the Pension fund(EPS) and Provident Fund(PF). SMS does not show the information about Pension fund but EPF passbook does.
When the PF amount is withdrawn before five years of continuous service, it is be taxable in the hands of the individual as if the fund was not recognised from the start of the contributions.Provident Fund would be treated as an Unrecognised Fund from the beginning.
- Basics of Employee Provident Fund: EPF, EPS, EDLIS
- Understanding Employee Pension Scheme or EPS
- Voluntary Provident Fund, Difference between EPF and PPF
- Tax on EPF withdrawal
- Transfer EPF account online : OTCP