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What is EPF, Applicability & Registration?
Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is a scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. It is regulated under the purview of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) which is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organizations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken. Basically, EPF is normally like a benefit to an employee during the retirement provided by the organization.
Who and When?
EPF registration is mandatory for all establishments–
The employer must obtain the registration within 1 month of attaining the strength, failing which penalties will be applicable. A registered establishment continues to be under the purview of the Act even if the employee strength falls below the required minimum.
Central Government may apply the provisions to any establishment employing less than 20 employees after giving not less than two months’ notice for compulsory registration. Where the employer and majority of employees have agreed that the provisions of this act should be made applicable to the establishment, they may themselves apply to the Central Provident Fund (PF) Commissioner.
The Central PF Commissioner may apply the provisions of this Act to that establishment after passing the notification in the Official Gazette from the date of such agreement or from any subsequent date specified in the agreement. Some establishments having less than 20 employees would also be required to obtain PF registration but that is voluntary registration.
All the employees will be eligible for a PF from the commencement of their employment and the responsibility of deduction & payment of PF lies with the employer. The PF contribution of 12% should be divided equally between the employer and employee. The employer’s contribution is 12% of the basic salary. If the establishment has employed less than 20 employees, the PF deduction rate will be 10%.
EPF Registration Procedure
The employer must register the establishment online. With the convenience of online registration the employer can register the establishment by providing the following details:
The employer must provide email id and mobile number of the authorised person.
Employers must provide details of the contact person like a manager. The details required are: Name, Date of Birth, Gender and Contact details.
The identifiers are the license information that the employer needs to provide.
The employment details required to be provided are the Employee strength, Gender, Type of activities, Wages above limit and Total wages.
Branch details such as name/premise number and address.
The employer needs to select the type of business and the activities included from the drop down lists available.
Documents Required For EPF Registration
The following documents need to be attached to the “Registration Form for EPFO” by the employer-
In terms of returns from a debt instrument, EPF certainly stands tall. The money is sovereign-backed and the interest earned is tax-free. In fact, it enjoys the Exempt, Exempt, Exempt (EEE) status as contributions are deductible from income. There is hardly any debt product that gives such high return with safety and assurance. Therefore, it’s better to transfer the PF account at the time of switching jobs and avoid the temptation to withdraw the amount.