How to Withdraw Money from Unclaimed EPF Account

Understand how to withdraw money from unclaimed EPF account.
Unclaimed EPF Account
3 min
22-May-2024

The Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) is a cornerstone of financial security for salaried individuals in India. It serves as a compulsory savings scheme where both employees and employers contribute a portion of the salary towards a retirement corpus. However, due to job changes, company closures, or simply oversight, many EPF accounts become inactive or unclaimed. Fortunately, retrieving your hard-earned money from an unclaimed EPF account is entirely possible with the right steps.

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Why do EPF accounts become unclaimed?

If you have recently switched—or left your job a while ago but did not pay heed to your provident fund account, your funds may become unclaimed. A significant number of people leave their EPF amounts unclaimed. This can due to a lack of awareness about EPF management, including EPF balance check and EPF withdrawals.

First, let us understand why EFP funds go unclaimed. It may be due to the following:

  • Your EPF account will be considered inactive if it has received no contributions for more than 36 months (3 years).
  • You may have taken up a new job but have not shifted the PF account or claimed money.
  • You change your contact information, and the EPFO is unable to contact you.
  • Illness or death of the account holder.

If the PF account is left unattended, the funds will be categorised as unclaimed, stop accruing interest, and transferred to the Senior Citizen Welfare Fund after seven years.

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Unclaimed EPF account withdrawal guidelines

To claim your EPF unclaimed amount, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • A full withdrawal can only be made if your EPF account has been inactive for over two months
  • KYC documentation like PAN, Aadhaar, and bank details are needed for a full withdrawal
  • Accounts inactive for more than seven years may require additional documents to be furnished to prove their claim
  • If you make a withdrawal within five years of opening an EPF account, they will incur taxes.
  • Furthermore, early withdrawals from your EPF account are restricted before five years of continuous service, except for specific situations like education expenses, home loans, or marriage

Also read: Eligibility for Employee Provident Fund

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Step-by-step process of EPF unclaimed amount withdrawal

Here is the detailed process for withdrawing money from your unclaimed EPF account:

  • Activate UAN and verify KYC information: The first step to claiming the unclaimed EPF amount is to activate your UAN. Then, you have to ensure that your PAN, Aadhaar, and bank account details are verified and updated on the portal.
  • Visit the EPFO portal to retrieve unclaimed EPF account details: The next step is to visit the EPFO portal with your UAN credentials and locate the ‘Online Services’ option for EPF unclaimed amount withdrawal.
  • Provide bank details: When choosing the withdrawal option, you must verify your bank account details by inputting the last four digits of your bank account number.
  • Choose the type of claim: Click on ‘Proceed for Online Claim’ to move to the next page and select your claim type. Based on your requirements, select either "PF Advance (Form 31)" or "PF Withdrawal (Form 19)" to withdraw funds.
  • Fill details and upload supporting documentation: After this, you will get access to the claim form. Provide the relevant details, including your address, claim amount, and the reason for the claim. Based on the reason for your claim request, you will be required to upload supporting documentation.
  • Submit the claim form: After reviewing the details and verifying through an OTP sent to your registered mobile number, you can submit the claim form.
    If you prefer the offline method for submitting the claim for EPF unclaimed amount withdrawal without the UAN, you can download the claim form (according to your requirements) from the EPFO website, fill it, and submit it manually to an EPFO office near you.
  • Employer approval and processing: Once the claim request is submitted, your employer must approve it. This may vary from one organisation to the other. When your employer approves your request, you can monitor the status of the claim from the EPFO portal.
  • Disbursal: Once the claim is approved, your claim amount will be disbursed after a few weeks.

The process is simple, but thoroughly checking your information and carefully following each step can help avoid delays or claim rejections.

Conclusion

Withdrawing money from an unclaimed EPF account involves several important steps to ensure a smooth process. By understanding the reasons why EPF funds go unclaimed and following the guidelines for withdrawal, you can successfully claim your savings. Using the UAN portal to update KYC information and carefully following the detailed processes for online or offline claim submission can prevent delays and ensure your funds are transferred to your account efficiently.

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