In February 2018, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had introduced a regulation that if one wants to make a Provident Fund (PF) claim for withdrawing funds that are higher than Rs.10 lakh, then it will have to compulsorily be done online. This regulation was made particularly because the EPFO is working towards becoming an organisation that engages only in paperless transactions. The retirement fund organisation had also declared that if PF claims higher than Rs.5 lakh have to be made under the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995, then they will have to be done online.
The EPFO recently overruled this regulation by stating that all PF claims for withdrawal of above Rs.10 lakh can be done without any digital means. One can now make such claims to withdraw funds for personal purposes by filling forms and submitting them physically. It also said that PF claims of beyond Rs.5 lakh can be made offline itself.
As an individual who is entitled to PF, you can choose to withdraw amounts higher than Rs.10 lakh and Rs.5 lakh by making an online or offline claim depending on your preference.
The EPFO released a circular on 13 April 2018 that the previous circular which was sent out on 27 February 2018 with respect to the furnishing of claim forms for withdrawals of above Rs.10 lakh through online methods, has been reconsidered under the leadership of the Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC).
The EPFO declared that when an employee makes an online claim, it will be forwarded through an online mode to the employer for proper authentication. The employer will be required to send back the claim to the EPFO within 3 days mentioning whether the claim has been approved or declined.
The EPFO decided to temporarily suspend the prerequisite of mandatorily using online modes for making high PF claims because several members of the EPFO had expressed concerns regarding it.