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How To Withdraw Money From Unclaimed EPF Account?

The Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) lets salaried Indians save for retirement. Although beneficial, many EPF accounts become 'unclaimed' or 'inoperative' over time. EPFO helps you claim and redeem your retirement savings by following simple steps.

Have you recently changed jobs or left your previous employment a few years back but forgot all about your Provident Fund (PF) money lying with your old employer? Well, you're not alone. A large number of employees in India have EPF unclaimed amount
 

stuck in old or dormant EPF accounts simply because they were unaware of the process to withdraw that money.
 

If you have an old, forgotten EPF account with some balance, don't worry. You can withdraw that money with some easy steps. Moreover, you can access EPF withdrawal without UAN. Read on to know the details.

How EPF Accounts Become Unclaimed

Before we get into the withdrawal process, let's first understand what makes an EPF account dormant and unclaimed.
 

An EPF account is considered inactive if no contribution has been made to it for over 36 months or three years. This usually happens when:
 

  • You will lose all your accrued employee provident fund when you move to another job.
  • But you do not take out the corpus at the time of the retirement.
  • You cannot function because of illness or the death of the breadwinner.
  • Your EPF accounts from former jobs remain unknown to you.
  • The address you give is changed without notifying EPFO, the employer.
     

If action is not taken even seven years after the account becomes inactive, the EPFO classifies it as unclaimed. The money stops earning interest and, if left unattended, gets transferred to the Senior Citizen Welfare Fund.
 

Therefore, keeping a tab of your old EPF accounts and consolidating or withdrawing the money within the stipulated timeframe is prudent.

Rules for Withdrawing Unclaimed EPF Money 

When withdrawing unclaimed EPF money, you need to follow certain rules and eligibility criteria:
 

  • You can only withdraw the full amount if your account has been inactive for at least two months. For recently inactive accounts, only partial withdrawals are allowed.
  • To make a full withdrawal, your KYC documents like PAN, Aadhaar and bank details must be linked to the UAN.
  • If the account has been inactive for over seven years, you need to furnish additional documents and proofs to claim the money.
  • Tax laws will apply to the withdrawal based on the account's duration. Withdrawals within five years of opening the account attract tax.
  • Premature withdrawals before five years can only be made for specific reasons like marriage, education, home loan, etc.
     

The EPFO has streamlined the unclaimed withdrawal process so employees can redeem these savings schemes money smoothly. Let us go through the step-by-step process now.

How To Withdraw Money From an Unclaimed EPF Account 

Follow these steps to claim and withdraw EPF unclaimed amount from your inactive or unclaimed EPF account:
 

Find your unclaimed EPF account details.

This is the first and most crucial step. You need to find out the Member ID, PF Number and other KYC details linked to the dormant account. If you have records, account statements or transfer letters, go through them to gather the data.
 

Submit a Claim Form

You need to submit a claim form to withdraw an EPF unclaimed amount from an unclaimed EPF account. This can be done online or offline.
 

Online
 

- Go to EPFO's website EPFindia.gov.in

- Under 'Our Services', click on 'For Employees'  

- Select 'Claim Form' and fill in Form 19 for final settlement or Form 10C for pension withdrawal

- Enter personal details like UAN, previous PF account number, Aadhaar, etc.

- Submit the form digitally using UAN login credentials
 

Offline
 

It is possible for PF to withdraw without UAN. To proceed, follow the below steps:
 

- Download Form 19/10C from EPFO's website

- Fill it out manually and submit it to the nearest EPFO office along with the required documents
 

The claim form will initiate the withdrawal process. EPFO will verify your details and process the claim request.

 

Track Claim Status

After submitting the EPF withdrawal form, you can track its status online to know its processing stage.

 

- Go to EPFindia.gov.in and visit 'Online Services'

- Click on 'Track Claim Status' under the 'For Employees' tab

- Enter details like PF account, UAN, Aadhaar, etc and click 'Search'

 

The current status of your withdrawal claim will be displayed. It will show if the request is pending, approved, rejected or payment disbursed. Based on the status, you can follow up accordingly.

 

You can also track claim status using the UMANG app. Just download it and search for 'EPFO services'.

 

Receive Payment

Once EPFO approves your EPF withdrawal claim, the money will be credited directly into your bank account. Ensure your bank account is linked with your UAN for direct transfers.
 

The timeframe for receiving EPF claim payment is usually 15-20 days from claim approval. However, in some cases, it may take longer - up to 60 days. Have patience as EPFO processes millions of claims every year.
 

You can visit the EPFO office and meet officials to expedite the payment if needed. Carry your claim acknowledgement slip and related documents.

Withdraw Online via UAN 

Those who have activated their UAN can also withdraw their unclaimed EPF balance online without forms.

 

- Log in to UAN Member Portal using UAN credentials

- Under 'Online Services', select 'Claim (Form-31, 19 and 10C)'

- Enter personal and bank account details

- Select 'PF Advance (Form-31)' for final settlement

 

Follow prompts to submit requests digitally using Aadhaar. The employer must approve it before payment by EPFO.

 

Tax Implications

EPF withdrawal without UAN before five years of continuous service attracts tax. The amount withdrawn is added to your income and taxed as per slab.
 

However, EPF withdrawal after five years is completely tax-free. There is no tax even if you get interest on the corpus.
 

So before withdrawing the EPF unclaimed amount, evaluate tax implications if applicable. The file returns accordingly.
 

Protect Your EPF Account

To secure the EPF unclaimed amount, take these steps:
 

  • Note down UAN after leaving a job
  • Link UAN to a new employer or withdraw corpus
  • Keep previous employer/PF details handy
  • Update contact details like mobile number
  • Track the account regularly and revive it if it is inactive
     

Following EPF withdrawal rules and leveraging online facilities will help you access unclaimed money smoothly.

How to Avoid Unclaimed EPF Balances in Future 

While withdrawing past balances from unclaimed accounts is possible, the ideal way is to prevent EPF account inactivity in the first place. Here are some proactive steps:
 

  • Update employment and member profile details with every job change on the UAN portal
  • Transfer EPF online using form 13 from old to new employer within 12 months of leaving
  • Check PF statements periodically and report discrepancies immediately
  • Allow auto-credit of PF to new employment by seeding UAN upon joining
  • Inform EPFO directly about company closures for smooth settlement of claims
  • Nominate family members for quick disbursal in case of untimely death

Conclusion

Lakhs of employees have unknowingly left substantial  EPF unclaimed amounts in their accounts over the years. With EPFO now facilitating easy online claim processes, there is simply no reason to forget about your rightful retirement savings.
 

Don't let your hard-earned retirement savings lie dormant with EPFO. Follow the right steps to withdraw or transfer old EPF balances seamlessly. Managing your EPF proactively will ensure you get maximum value out of it.
 

If you need help navigating EPFO's processes, visit their regional office. Officers will guide you regarding claiming unclaimed PF amounts.

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Tata AIA Life Insurance

A joint venture between Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd. and AIA Group Ltd. (AIA),  Tata AIA Life Insurance  is one of the leading life insurance providers in India. We post everything you need to know about life insurance, tax savings and a variety of lateral topics such as savings and investments in this space. You can access and read a host of different blogs, articles and pages at the Tata AIA Life Insurance Knowledge Center or get in touch with us with any queries or questions!

View all posts by Tata AIA Life Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I locate my old UAN number?

To find your old or forgotten UAN, visit the UAN Member Portal and select 'Know Your UAN'. Provide details like PAN, Aadhaar and Member ID. EPFO will retrieve your old UAN number.

What if my UAN is not activated?

If your UAN is not activated, get it done by providing KYC documents like Aadhaar, PAN and bank details. Visit the nearest EPFO office with originals and get UAN activated for seamless EPF account access.

Can I withdraw money if my EPF account is dormant?

Yes, you can withdraw money from a dormant EPF account by submitting Form 19/10C. However, the withdrawal processing may take longer than active accounts. Check claim status regularly.

Disclaimers

  • Insurance cover is available under the product.
  • The products are underwritten by Tata AIA Life Insurance Company Ltd.
  • The plans are not a guaranteed1 issuance plan, and it will be subject to Company’s underwriting and acceptance.
  • For more details on risk factors, terms and conditions please read sales brochure carefully before concluding a sale.
  • This blog is for information and illustrative purposes only and does not purport to any financial or investment services and do not offer or form part of any offer or recommendation. The information is not and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular security or course of action.
  • Please know the associated risks and the applicable charges, from your Insurance agent or the Intermediary or policy document issued by the insurance company.
  • Every effort is made to ensure that all information contained in this blog is accurate at the date of publication, however, the Tata AIA Life shall not have any liability for any damages of any kind (including but not limited to errors and omissions) whatsoever relating to this material.