EMPLOYEE’S PROVIDENT FUND ( EPF)
EPF commonly known as Employee’s Provident Fund is one of the most accepted and efficient retirement schemes for Indian citizens working for Government, private, and limited companies for monthly earnings. If any Company in India has more than 20 employees then they need to register themselves with the EPFO department of the Ministry of Labour for the welfare of employees.¬
EPF is also known as Provident fund or PF. It is a great saving scheme for the benefits of public and private sector workers who work on a fixed salary. Both employer and employee give an equal contribution to the PF account which is 12% of the individual’s salary at fixed and regular intervals. EPF Payment is deducted by the company from both sides employer and employees monthly and deposited into the EPF account of the individual. Employees provident funds are managed and regulated by the government only.¬
This amount can only be used and withdrawn by the account holder and can take benefits against it such as loan facility. The interest collected on the accumulated deposit is tax-free. Companies or an employer can register themselves voluntarily or if it is mandated by the state. Both employer and employee get many tax benefits and redemption with the help of this scheme. The Employer’s Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 or PF Act ensures the safety and smooth functioning of the fund such a getting regular deposits from both parties. An employer must register with the Ministry of Labour if they have more than 20 salaried employees and once register if the number of employees decreases they still need to work according to these regulations and cannot be deactivated.
What is EPF payment online?
Since September 2015, all the employers must deposit EPF payment online mode via EPFO’s official website or you can log in at the bank’s website and make your PF Challan payment. Now, registered companies can only make their due EPF payment through an online portal only for more convenience. EPFO departments are in collaboration with several banks for the collection of online EPF payments such as :
‚ėěSBI (State Bank of India)
‚ėě PNB (Punjab National Bank)
‚ėě Indian Bank
‚ėě¬† Allahabad Bank
‚ėě Bank of Baroda
‚ėě ICICI Bank
‚ėě Union Bank of India
‚ėě Axis Bank
EPFO is in collaboration with 10 banks. Any employer or company which have an account with these banks can make the direct PF payment.¬
How to make EPF payment online?
Below are the steps for successful EPF payment online:
‚úÖ Step 1: Go to the EPFO official website and log in through your Electronic Challan Cum Return (ECR) username and password.
‚úÖ Step 2: Make sure all your details such as Company ID, Name, Address, Status is correct or not.
‚úÖ Step 3: Click on the ‚ÄėPayment‚Äô option in the dropdown list above and click on the ‚ÄúECR Upload‚ÄĚ
‚úÖ Step 4:Then you need to fill a box with information of ‚ÄúMonthly salary, Salary Disbursal Date, Rate Of Contribution‚ÄĚ and upload your ECR file.
‚úÖ Step 5: Soon you will receive the validation on the uploaded ECR file based on the conditions mentioned before.
‚úÖ Step 6: If the ECR file is following the predefined conditions, soon you will receive the message on the screen of ‘File validation Successful’
‚úÖ Step 7: If the details are not right and according to the mentioned conditions an error message will appear on the screen, then you need to upload your ECR file again as the predefined conditions until you see the ‚ÄúFile Validation Successful‚ÄĚ message on your screen
‚úÖ Step 8: At the same time your TRRN(Temporary Return Reference Number) will appear on the screen and then click on the ‚ÄúVerify‚ÄĚ option.
‚úÖ Step 9: Create the ECR summary page by clicking on the ‚ÄėPrepare Challan‚Äô option
‚úÖ Step 10: Now Submit your Admin/ Inspection charges and select the ‚ÄėGenerate Challan‚Äô option.
‚úÖ Step 11: Once you check your inspection charges, click on the ‚ÄėFinalize‚Äô option.
‚úÖ Step 12: Then click on ‚ÄėPay‚Äô in relevance to your TRRN.
‚úÖ Step 13: Pick your mode as ‘Online’, and select the name of your bank from the drop-down list, you want to make the payment from.
‚úÖ Step 14: Now, on your screen your bank‚Äôs net banking or login page will appear to make the payment.
‚úÖ Step 15: After the payment is completed you will receive your transaction ID and e-payment receipt.
‚úÖ Step 16: Your transaction status will change and you will receive a confirmation on your payment which you made in relevance to your TRRN provided by EPFO in the online process.
Moreover, to make the online process easier and direct EPFO department has collaborated with several banks to make the direct payment and for the convenience of the customers. You can go to the official website of these banks such as SBI, PNB, and ICICI Bank to make the online EPF payment.¬
What is EPF payment due date?
Every company has a different EPF payment due date as it varies according to the individual’s salary or compensation date. For most establishments due date is before15th of every month. There is no fixed date for the payment of PF or filing for return of PF. In most cases, it is before or on the 15th of every next month according to the salary structure of the employee.
Though there is a penalty on late PF Challan payment. There is mostly two kinds of penalty for the late EPF Challan payment.
‚ėě According to Section 7Q, the employer should be held against the late online EPFO payment. The employer must pay the interest of 12% annually of the employee’s PF account if they make the late payment or fail to pay any.
‚ėě Another penalty is according to Section 14 B, which only is applicable if you fail to make the payment for a consecutive period :
‚úĒÔłŹ 5% interest annually for late payment of PF for 2 months
‚úĒÔłŹ 10% interest annually for late payment of 2-4months
‚úĒÔłŹ 15% interest needs to pay annually for the late payment of 4-6 months
‚úĒÔłŹ 25% interest needs to annually by the employer for late payment of more than 6 months.
What are the Benefits of Employees Provident Fund?
There are many advantages of an employee’s provident fund and with the help of technologies and internet advancement, anyone can benefit from a PF account. To list a few especially in the COVID-19 Pandemic.
‚úĒÔłŹ The PF online plans offer a fixed interest in every situation on the deposited amount and if withdrawn at maturity you get additional benefits known as capital appreciation.
‚úĒÔłŹ Many use this saving fund and transfer it to Employees Pension Scheme which is called a corpus or retirement plan. This way you can not just secure your present but future as well.
‚úĒÔłŹ You can never predict when some mishappening or emergency is going to occur and how much it will cost you financially even if you have contingency plans. Online PF account gives you the provision to withdraw full or half amount or take a loan against it. It is called Emergency corpus.
‚úĒÔłŹ There is nothing better than an Income tax saving benefit under section 80C of the Income Tax Act, 1961.¬
‚úĒÔłŹ Another benefit is easy premature withdrawal by the individual as per their requirements such as pursuing higher studies, a wedding expense, home construction, etc.