The Employee Provident Fund (EPF) also known as the Provident Fund (PF) is a social security scheme that provides employees with financial security in the future. EPF is a retirement benefit for every salaried person. This savings scheme helps salaried professionals save a fraction of their salary every month, which can be used upon retirement or when a person is unable to work. In this scheme, both the employer and employee contribute some amount to their EPF account.
As an employee, a portion of your money has been getting invested in PF ever since you started working. Are you curious to ascertain your exact PF Account Balance? Here are some methods that can enable you to check your PF Account Balance:
1. EPFO Portal: You can access your PF balance through a passbook that can be checked via different websites that are run by EPFO. In order to get a view of the passbook, you need to ensure that your account is linked with UAN (Universal Account Number) and is activated by the employer.
Though UAN is provided by EPFO, still it needs to be verified and activated by the employer. To access your passbook, you can browse through www.epfindia.gov.in. After this, follow these steps:
• Go to ‘Our services’ menu and choose ‘for employees’ from the drop-down menu
• Under the ‘Services’ head, go to ‘Member passbook’ option
• The above step will take you to a login page in which you need to input UAN number and password. You can access your PF account once you login.
Alternatively, there is an EPFO app, which can be easily downloaded from the Play Store. Follow the same steps as mentioned above on the app to access your account.
2. By sending an SMS: One of the most efficient and easy ways to check PF balance is via SMS. If your UAN number is registered with EPFO, just by sending SMS to 7738299899 with the text EPFOHO UAN ENG (ENGLISH is the language you prefer), you can get a view to your PF balance. This facility is available in various languages (Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi and many other languages). You need to send the message from your registered mobile number as per EPFO records.
3. By giving a missed call: If you have registered your mobile number with UAN portal you can fetch the balance of your PF by simply giving a missed call on 011-22901406. Make sure your UAN is linked with Aadhar and PAN card and your bank account, else ask the employer to update them for you.
4. Using the Umang app: It is the initiative taken up by the government of India in 2017 to provide a platform for various government services under one head. The app serves multiple functions- from viewing your PF passbook till tracking the claim. It can be activated by easy one-time registration with your registered number.
PF is one of the compulsory schemes that need to be followed by employees these days and is a safe investment with a fixed rate of return and tenor. However, it is certainly a drawback that you cannot withdraw it quickly enough and keeping your money locked in for 25 years might seem too long for most people. It is an investment that lacks liquidity. Moreover, it is a highly debt oriented investment and cannot offer good returns during inflation.
Instead of just depending on PF for a good return which has now reduced to around 8.55 % and locking-in your money for a long duration, you can go for a fixed deposit with an almost handsome rate of interest and high liquidity. Bajaj Finance is offering an attractive Fixed Deposit interest rate for cumulative and non- cumulative options in fixed deposits with a maximum offering of 9.10%. You can choose your investment amount (starting from INR 25,000) and tenor in accordance to your comfort. With shorter tenors, you can beat inflation and earn good returns. Moreover, these deposits are rated highly stable and safe by CRISIL and ICRA. It would be wise to allocate a portion of your EPF corpus into such fixed deposit investments.