Have a PF account? Check out what has changed

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is making dedicated efforts to improve the experience of the EPFO members as far as provident fund withdrawals and claim settlements are concerned. To make withdrawals/advance processes more speedy and less cumbersome, the EPFO has recently taken the following measures.
One-page withdrawal and advance form: The EPFO has launched a new one-page Composite Claim Form to replace the existing forms required for 19, 10C and 31, used for final PF settlement, pension withdrawal benefits and partial withdrawal from EPFO. Earlier, while submitting any of these forms, an employee was required to get them attested from his/her employer.

To do away with this requirement, new forms, including 19 (UAN), 10C (UAN) and 31 (UAN) were introduced in December 2015 for those whose Aadhaar and bank account details are seeded in the Universal Account Number (UAN).
Now, to get rid of all these forms, a single Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) has been introduced, which can be directly submitted to the respective jurisdictional EPFO office without getting it attested by employer, but this can only be done if Aadhar  and bank account details are linked to the UAN. If these details are not seeded in UAN, employer's attestation will be required before submitting the Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar).

The Composite Claim Form will also help subscribers to do away with declarations and other forms they have to provide in case of partial withdrawals made to repay housing loan, spend for marriage, meet educational expenses and so on. Now an EPFO member is not required to submit any declaration along with Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar and Non-Aadhaar) in case of partial withdrawal and advances.
EPFO has also made it mandatory for all members (both subscribers and pensioners) to submit their Aadhar numbers. It has recently extended the deadline for the same to March 2017. This will help link the EPF account, pension account, bank account and Aadhaar number in order to provide services like provident fund withdrawal and pension fixation online.
Get your UAN passbook: The EPFO has launched a new, unified platform for subscribers through which members can access their passbooks, change their mobile numbers, download their UAN cards and know their provident fund balance. EPFO members can also update their KYC (know your customer) details on this portal.
Online PF withdrawal facility soon: The EPFO is also planning to launch an online facility for claim settlement and pension fixation by May this year. This will help in getting rid of the tedious paper work required now. Currently, the EPFO receives close to one crore applications manually for settlement of provident fund withdrawal claims, pension fixation and getting group insurance benefits claimed by the family of the deceased. After launching the online facility, the EPFO will aim to settle withdrawal claims within a few hours of receiving the applications. As per the current scheme, the EPFO is required to settle claims within 20 days from receiving an application for settlement of pension or EPF withdrawal.
EPF is an important savings tool for building up corpus for retirement years. The interest rate on EPF is declared by the government every year. Money invested in EPF, the interest accumulated and the corpus on retirement is completely tax exempt.
As per the EPF rule, an employee has to contribute a minimum of 12 per cent of the salary towards provident fund. A matching contribution has to be paid by the employer.
Withdrawal from EPF account is allowed if a person remains unemployed for at least two months. However, partial withdrawals are also allowed for purposes such as buying a house, loan repayment, medical emergencies, marriage and education of children, under certain conditions.