As an employee working in a corporate set-up, there are several things one would like to know about the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). EPF is the main scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 . The scheme is managed under the aegis of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
It covers every establishment in which 20 or more persons are employed and certain organisations are covered, subject to certain conditions and exemptions even if they employ less than 20 persons each
Under EPF scheme, an employee has to pay a certain contribution towards the scheme and an equal contribution is paid by the employer. The employee gets a lump sum amount including self and employer’s contribution with interest on both, on retirement.
As per the rules, in EPF, employee whose ‘pay’ is more than Rs. 15,000 per month at the time of joining, is not eligible and is called non-eligible employee. Employees drawing less than Rs 15000 per month have to mandatorily become member with permission of Assistant PF Commissioner, if he and his employer agree
Contribution by employer and employee
The contribution paid by the employer is 12% of basic wages plus dearness allowance plus retaining allowance. An equal contribution is payable by the employee also. In the case of establishments which employ less than 20 employees or meet certain other conditions, as per the EPFO rules, the contribution rate for both employee and the employer is limited to 10 percent.
For most employees of the private sector, it’s the basic salary on which the contribution is calculated. For example, if the monthly basic salary is Rs 30,000, the employee contribution towards his or her EPF would be Rs 3,600 a month ( 12 percent of basic pay) while the equal amount is contributed by the employer each month
It should, however, be noted that not all of the employer’s share moves into the EPF kitty. Out of employer’s contribution, 8.33% will be diverted to Employees’ Pension Scheme, but it is calculated on Rs 15,000. So, for every employee with basic pay equal to Rs 15,000 or more, the diversion is Rs 1,250 each month into EPS. If the basic pay is less than Rs 15000 then 8.33% of that full amount will go into EPS. The balance will be retained in the EPF scheme. On retirement, the employee will get his full share plus the balance of Employer’s share retained to his credit in EPF account.