Overview of EPF Registration

PF Registration/ EPF Registration-EPF stands for Employee Provident Fund, a scheme governed and regulated by a body named Employee’s Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) constituted under Employee’s Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions, Act 1952.
Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is an advantage provided to the employee during the retirement. It is a fund created for the social security and to fulfill the purpose of granting the stability and financial security during retirement. For all the organizations with more than 20 employees it is a compulsory requirement for them to have Employee Provident Fund Registration. It is mandatory for the organizations to follow the respective guidelines and comply with the same.

What is the meaning of Employee under the Employee Provident Fund Registration?

According to section 2(f) of the Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 an employee includes any form of individual who is carrying out any work with the objective to secure some form of wages. This would also include individual who is considered as any worker getting some proportion of the wages either indirectly or directly.
The individuals who are considered as an employee are given below:

  • Full-Time Employees-Full-time employees include any individual who has some permanent history of employment with the company. This would be decided on the basis of relationship which is existing between the Company and the worker. The appointment letter can be considered for verifying the employment provision.
  • Part-Time Employees-Any employee who is working as a part-time basis for any establishment would be classified as part time employees and be registered under the EPFO. A part-time employee has lesser work hours in comparison with the full-time employee.
  • Work From Home Employees-Any employee who is working from home for a fixed time period can also be considered for the employee provident fund registration by the organization.
  • Contractors-Contractors are particular individuals appointed for carrying out particular projects according to the requirement of the business. EPF registration is necessary for establishments that recruit contractors.
  • Consultants-Consultants are individuals as defined according to their experience. They are giving consulting-based services for a fixed time to an establishment and are neither contractor nor any part-time employee.
  • Free Lancers-In the recent amendment on the Social Security Code introduced in September 2020, the Government of India has included individuals who are freelancers to be considered under the definition of an employee. The freelancers also can make use of the services given under the employee provident fund registration.

Applicability of EPF Online Registration

EPF registration applies to the following establishments:

  • Establishment that is employing 20 or more employees during any time in the previous year
  • Factory engaged in any industry having 20 or more employees during any time of the year.
  • Central Government, after giving two months’ notice to the certain establishment for compulsory registration irrespective of their employees. Such an establishment shall get themselves registered immediately upon the receipt of the notice.

The eligibility criteria are:

  • Compulsory Registration
    The organization which has more than 20 employees has to mandatory register according to the requirements of EPFO.
  • Voluntary Registration
    An establishment which has less than 20 employees can choose for voluntarily registration.
  • All Establishments
    Any form of organization which is acknowledged according to the requirements of the act will have to register under the Employee Provident Fund.

What is the benefit of EPF Registration?

  • Employer contributes-The employer contributes some proportion to the EPF fund along with the employee. The employer also adds his contribution that is inclusive of the employee pension scheme (EPS).
  • Financial support-Provident fund acts as financial support at the time of retirement, illness, demise, disability or any similar risk occurred to the employee.
  • Carry forward-PF account of an employee need not to be closed in case the employee switches his job as the same can be carried forwarded.
  • Long term plans-PF funds can be used by the employee for long term plans.
  • Reduces Risk-The employee provident fund reduces the significant proportion of risk that would serve advantageous for both the employees and the dependants. This fund will be used during the emergency time and other form of contingency.
  • One Account-After the employer goes for the online PF registration and then a number is provided to the employee which shall stay the same even if the employee changes his job. This number will stay valid throughout the India. Therefore, even if the employee switches to a different location for the reason of carrying his employment further, then this number shall stay unchanged.
  • Employee Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI)-Under this scheme, it provides benefits with respect to insurance to all the employees. The rate of charge is 0.5% to the account. Any member who wants to utilize this scheme will have to specifically sign up for the same.
  • Retirement Savings-Taking into consideration that the employee provident fund registration grants extraordinary benefits like it is a mode for retirement savings. After a particular time period, the retirement benefits can be used through this scheme.
  • Pension-Under this scheme, the form of deduction is carried through the salary account. Under the provision of EPF, 12% is deducted and then it is credited to this fund. More than 8.33% from this proportion is credited directly to the requirements of pension. Due to this advantage, an employee can think about such savings as a necessity after their retirement.

EPF Contribution

  1. Eligibility:

    • Any salaried employee who is a resident of India is liable to be a member of the employee provident fund scheme.
    • The employee is liable for this scheme right from the first day of his/her joining to any job.
    • Once the employee becomes a member, he/she is responsible for provident funds benefits along with the insurance and pension benefits.
    • It is mandatory for employees having a salary of Rs. 15,000 or more to be a member of this scheme although the employee can voluntarily apply for it at any wage.
    • The employee contributes a minimum 12% of salary (can voluntarily contribute more).
  2. Employee Contribution:

    • 12 % Of Basic Pay Plus DA- For Employee’s Salary up to Rs.15,000
    • 12 % Of Basic Pay Plus DA/12% of Rs.15,000 – For Employee’s Salary is above Rs. 15,000
  3. Voluntary Contribution:

    • An employee can voluntarily contribute above the stipulated rate of Provident Fund contribution by opting for the voluntary scheme at any rate so desired, also up to 100% of Wages.
    • The contribution to VPF should not be a fixed amount, but should be a certain % of wages. However, the employer is not legally bound to contribute at the enhanced (increased) rate.
  4. Employer Contribution:

    • The minimum amount of contribution to be made by the employer is set at a rate of 12% of Rs. 15,000 (although they can voluntarily contribute more). This amount equals Rs. 1,800 per month. It means that both the employer as well as the employee has to contribute Rs. 1,800 each per month towards this scheme

The due date for payment of Provident Fund (PF) contributions

PF Contribution amount is a sum of the employee’s contribution to Provident Fund deducted from the employees’ salary and the employer’s contribution. PF Contribution amount is to be deposited on or before 15th of the month following the month in which deduction is made. Example, PF contribution for the month of April, is to be deposited on or before the 15th of May.

Type Due Date
PF Payment On or before 15th of every month
ECR Filing On or before 15th of every month
PF Annual Return 25th April of every year

FAQs on Provident Fund Contributions

1. What are the contributions payable by the employer and employee?

The contributions payable by the employer and the employee under the scheme are 12% of PF wages. From the employer’s share of contribution, 8.33% is contributed towards the Employees’ Pension Scheme and the remaining 3.67% is contributed to the EPF Scheme. Employer’s contribution towards Employees’ Deposit-linked Insurance Scheme is 0.50% and the administrative charges are 0.50%.

2. Can an employee opt out from the Schemes under EPF Act?

An employee with a basic salary of over Rs. 15,000 and who has never been a member of EPF can opt out of the scheme. But once they become a member, they cannot opt out of the scheme.

3. What if an employee while joining an establishment has a basic salary below Rs. 15,000 and after some period of time his/her PF wages increases above Rs. 15,000, does he/she have an option to opt out of his/her membership from the provisions of the EPF Act?

If an employee’s salary at the time of joining is less than Rs. 15,000 and it later gets increased to over Rs. 15,000, while still being in service, they are added to the members list for the provident fund mandatorily. They do not have the option to opt out of the scheme once enrolled.

4. Is EPF deducted on stipend?

A trainee or an intern is not an employee by the definition of the Act and the schemes defined under the Act. EPF is not deducted from the stipend earned by a trainee or an intern subject to the condition that such trainees are covered under either the Apprenticeship Act or Industrial Employment (standing orders) Act or the interns are engaged through recognized institutions undergoing on-job training as part of their curriculum.

5. Can an employer restrict his share of contribution to the wage ceiling limit of Rs. 15,000?

An employer is under no obligation to contribute over and above the PF wage celling limit. The employer may, however, voluntarily contribute on higher wages

6. In case an employee leaves an establishment where this Act applies and joins an organization where this Act doesn’t apply, what will happens to his/her accumulated funds?

In such a case the accumulated amount shall be transferred to the employee’s fund, or as the case may be, in the Provident Fund of the establishment left by him/her, within such time as may be specified by the Central Government.

7. Can an employer deduct the employer’s contribution towards EPF from the wages of employees?

No, an employer cannot deduct the employer’s contribution towards EPF from the wages of employees. According to Section 14(1A) of the Act any such deduction is a criminal offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years but shall not be less than one year and fine of Rs. 10,000.

8. Can a member pay contribution beyond the wage ceiling limit?

Yes, the member can contribute beyond the wage ceiling limit of Rs. 15,000. The total contribution i.e., voluntary + mandatory can be up to Rs. 15,000 per month. The member can also contribute on higher wages i.e., greater than Rs. 15,000 but only up to a maximum limit of 100% of the PF wages, provided they get permission from the APFC/RPFC as per the provisions of para-26(6) of the scheme. The employer may restrict his/her own share to the statutory rate.

9. What are the components to be considered for the purpose of PF contribution from the wages?

After the latest Supreme Court Judgement on Surya Roshni case, dated 28th February 2019, the contribution shall be calculated on the basis of monthly pay containing the following components actually drawn during the whole month whether paid on a daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis:

  1. Basic wages
  2. Dearness Allowances
  3. Retaining Allowances
  4. Conveyance Allowances
  5. Other Allowance
  6. Special Allowance
  7. Leave Travel Allowances
  8. Fixed cash Allowance (Management allowance, educational Allowance, Medical Allowance, Telephone, Food Allowance etc.)
  9. Petrol Reimbursement (without bills and without supporting documentation/data to substantiate the reimbursement is for official purposes)
  10. City Compensatory Allowance or any other allowance paid as fixed component, uniformly and universally having no direct nexus to the outcome of an employee’s normal work.

10. Which are the excluded components for the computation of EPF?

These components are excluded while calculating the EPF:

  1. HRA allowance (House rent allowance)
  2. Attendance allowance
  3. Night shift allowance
  4. Washing allowance
  5. Relocation allowance
  6. Overtime allowance
  7. Canteen allowance
  8. Various Incentives provided for particular employee
  9. Bonus or Commissions payable to a particular Employee

11. Can an employee become the member of the Pension Scheme without contributing towards the EPF?

No. An employee can become the member of the Employees’ Pension Scheme only by virtue of the EPF membership.

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