EPF rules changed for getting non-refundable advance

To help tide over hardship caused by the coronavirus lockdown, Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) rules will be relaxed, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced today. EPF subscribers can now withdraw 75% of their PF balance or 3 month wages as a non-refundable advance, whichever is lower. This will benefit about benefit 4.8 crore employees.

Experts have welcomed the move. “The proposal to permit non-refundable advance to employees out of their PF balances will help employees to tide over their liquidity issues,” says Saraswathi Kasturirangan, partner at Deloitte India.

Currently non-refundable advances are permitted only for specified purposes such as housing, marriage etc. Even these are permitted where the employee has put in a minimum services period.

The finance minister’s proposal will enable employees to withdraw up to 75% of the PF balances limited to 3 months wages as non refundable advance enhancing liquidity of employees, she said.

The finance minister also said that the government of India will pay the Employees’ Provident Fund(EPF) contribution, both of employer and employee, put together 24% of an employee’s basic salary*, for next 3 months. This is applicable for those establishments which have up to 100 employees and 90% of them earn less that ₹15,000.

Women Jan Dhan account holders will get ₹500 per month for next 3 months through direct transfer. This will benefit about 20 crore account holders.

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