A provident fund is the most basic superannuation fund for you as an employee. You can easily think of the Employee Provident Fund or PF as your go-to fund when you retire. It is created with a monthly contribution from your salary and partly from the employer’s side. Ensure you take the maximum benefits from it.
Now you can easily keep track of your PF account and know the exact amount at any point of time. Knowing the amount in your PF account will help you plan your finances post-retirement while you are still in the job. Many people end up getting disappointed because they expect to receive a high PF amount on retirement, whereas the PF amount interest fluctuates with the interest rate decided every quarter by the Ministry of Finance.
Many times people put off this exercise of checking their PR account balance owing to the sheer effort of pulling out their Universal Account Number (UAN) from their employer or not knowing where to check.
Let us see various methods by which you can easily check your PF balance in just 5 minutes without the hassles of paperwork or a trip to the EPFO office.
How to check your PF balance in just 5 minutes?
The interesting thing is that the EPF number is set in a specific format – EPFO Office Code/Establishment Code (Max. 7 Digits)/Extension (Max. 3 digits). You can check for your employer’s code on your payslips. Thus, you can easily pull out your UAN number.
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Using the EPFO portal:
PF account also has a passbook just like a bank account. It is available on the EPFO portal via your login. In order to get a view of the passbook, you need to have your UAN (Universal Account Number) ready and ensure it is activated by the employer. You can always get your UAN from your employer. Go to www.epfindia.gov.in. After this, the next steps to follow are:
- Go to ‘Our Services’
- Under SERVICES go to Member Passbook option.
- The above step will take you to a page in which you need to input UAN number and password.
In addition to the website, there is also an EPFO app, which can be easily downloaded from the play store. You need to follow the same steps on the app as on the EPFO portal.
SMS Service of EPFO:
This is another short and simple way to know your PF balance without the use of the internet. Using your registered mobile number, send an SMS to 7738299899 with the text EPFOHO UAN ENG (ENG: your preferred language). You will get a view of the PF balance. This facility can be availed in various regional languages like Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, and others.
Missed Call Service:
With your registered mobile number with the EPFO portal you can check EPF balance of your account by simply giving a missed call on 011-22901406. Again ensure that your UAN is linked with Aadhaar, PAN Card, and your bank account. In case it is not, ask your employer to update them for you.
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Using the Umang app:
A proactive approach taken up by the government in 2017 to bring all government services under one platform, on this app. The app serves multiple functions from viewing your PF passbook till tracking the claim. It can be availed by an easy one-time registration with your registered number.
New Investment Options for PF
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Once you receive your PF amount upon retirement or if you decide to go for early withdrawal, it is advisable to think beyond the traditional PPF and bank FDs. Bank FDs will earn a lesser interest rate owing to the recent reduction in REPO rate and Small Savings Schemes interest rates. Company FDs offer higher interest rates (as compared to bank FDs) along with assurance and guarantee of interest and principal repayment. They are rated by leading credit rating agencies like CRISIL and ICRA.
Bajaj Finance Fixed Deposit(FD) is rated the highest among all company FDs with FAAA/rating by CRISIL and MAAA/rating by ICRA. Cumulative and non- cumulative fixed deposits with an interest rate up to 8.95% is available for senior citizens. You can choose your tenor in accordance to your comfort. You can easily avail interest rate of 8.65% for a cumulative 3 year FD and continue to earn 8.95% if you are a senior citizen. Unlike EPF account, Bajaj Finance FD offers easy premature withdrawal and an option to avail loan against FD. Moreover, the interest rates offered will ensure positive ROI for you even when inflation is at its peak. EPF account fails to offer similar returns during inflation.