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Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is a scheme under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. It is regulated under the purview of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) which is one of the world’s largest social security organizations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken. Basically, EPF is like a benefit to an employee during the retirement provided by the organization.
The interest rate applicable to the EPF contributions is 8.1% for FY 2020-21.
Budget 2021 update: In case the employee’s PF contribution was deducted but not deposited by the employer, it will not be allowed as a deduction for the employer.
Since TDS is deducted from employees’ salaries, EPF registration is a critical process for employers. Furthermore, they would be required to process remittances only after employers generated challans through the EPFO employer portal. As a result, they must go through this procedure.
Risk coverage: The Provident Fund’s most fundamental benefit is to cover the risks that employees and their dependents may face as a result of retirement, illness, or death.
Uniform account: One of the most important aspects of the Provident Fund account is that it is consistent and transferable. It is transferable to any other place of employment.
Employee Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLIS): This scheme is available to all PF account holders. According to it, the life insurance premium is deducted at the rate of 0.5 per cent of the salary.
Long-term goals: Many long-term goals, such as marriage or higher education, necessitate the immediate availability of funds. During such times, the accumulated PF amount is frequently useful.
Emergency needs: Certain unanticipated events, such as marriage or other family gatherings, as well as any mishap or illness, necessitate immediate financial assistance. The PF amount can be extremely beneficial.
Pension coverage: Aside from the employee’s 12% contribution to EPF, the employer contributes an equal amount, which includes 8.33% to the Employee Pension Scheme (EPS).
EPF registration is mandatory for all establishments-
The employer must obtain the registration within one month of attaining the strength, failing which penalties will be applicable. A registered establishment continues to be under the purview of the Act even if the employee strength falls below the required minimum.
Central Government may apply the provisions to any establishment employing less than 20 employees after giving not less than two months’ notice for compulsory registration. Where the employer and majority of employees have agreed that the provisions of this act should be made applicable to the establishment, they may themselves apply to the Central Provident Fund (PF) Commissioner.
The Central PF Commissioner may apply the provisions of this Act to that establishment after passing the notification in the Official Gazette from the date of such agreement or from any subsequent date specified in the agreement.
All the employees will be eligible for a PF from the commencement of their employment and the responsibility of deduction & payment of PF lies with the employer. The PF contribution of 12% should be divided equally between the employer and employee. The employer’s contribution is 12% of the basic salary. If the establishment has employed less than 20 employees, the PF deduction rate will be 10%.
The employer must register the establishment online. With the convenience of online registration the employer can register the establishment by providing the following details:
The employer must provide the email ID and mobile number of the authorised person.
Employers must provide details of the contact person like a manager. The details required are name, date of birth, gender PAN, designation date of joining and address details.
The identifiers are the license information that the employer needs to provide.
The employment details required to be provided are the Employee strength, Gender, Type of activities, Wages above limit and Total wages.
Branch details such as name/premise number, LIN (Labour Identification Number) and address.
The employer needs to enter the NIC Code (National Industrial Classification) and select the nature of business and the activities included from the drop down lists available.
The employer needs to follow the below-mentioned steps:
Visit the website and click on the “Establishment Registration” button on the homepage.
The “Establishment Registration” button on the homepage of the EPFO website will open the USSP (Unified Shram Suvidha Portal) sign up page. The employer needs to click the “Sign Up” button.
On the next page, the employer has to provide the Name, Email, Mobile Number, and Verification Code and click the ‘Sign Up’ button to create the account.
After the creation of the account on the UUSP, the employer needs to login to the USSP and select the “Registration For EPFO-ESIC” button present on the left-hand side of the screen. Next, select the “Apply for New Registration” button on the right side of the screen.
Two options will appear, i.e. “Employees’ State Insurance Act, 1948” and “Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952”. The employer will need to select the “Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952” and click on the “Submit” button.
Upon clicking the “Submit” button the “Registration Form for EPFO” page will open and the employer needs to fill in the Establishment Details, eContacts, Contact Persons, Identifiers, Employment Details, Branch/Division and Activities.
After filling all the “Registration Form for EPFO” and attaching the relevant documents, the employer’s Digital Signature Certificate (DSC) is to be uploaded and attached to the form. Once, the DSC of the employer is uploaded, the employer will receive a successful completion of registration form message and an email from Unified Shram Suvidha Platform with a confirmation that the EPFO registration has been completed.
The following documents need to be attached to the “Registration Form for EPFO” by the employer-
Section 36(2) of The Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952 mentions EPF Form 5. The form allows organisations, as well as the EPFO, to record the number of people who are new to the scheme. Once an employee has been successfully enrolled, they will be assigned a Universal Account Number, which will be used to deposit both the employee’s and the employer’s contributions. The Employee Provident Fund Organization ensures that all companies under its jurisdiction participate in the EPF scheme. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide the EPF facility to all of its employees.
You can simply download EPF Form 5 from the official website of EPF India or visit your HR department. Form 5 has to be submitted by the employer for all new joinees by the 15th of every month.
Following are the entities which are excluded from wages as per the Employee Provident Fund:
Post 01.042012, the employers are required to make remittances only after generating challans from the employer portal of the EPFO. Hence it is mandated for the employer to register online. All new registrations must be made online as the offline registration process has been done away with.
When the employer is attempting to register the following error messages can show up:
The employer can modify the details on the portal when the need arises. The procedure is as detailed below:
Mobile Number – The employer must log in to the Employer Portal. Then click on the link “Edit primary mobile number” under “PROFILE”. The employer must enter the new mobile number, an SMS with a PIN on the new mobile number will be received by the employer. Enter the PIN and click “Change Primary Mobile”. Confirmation SMS will be received on the new mobile number, which is now the primary number.
Email ID – The employer must log in to the Employer Portal. Under the “PROFILE” Menu, click on the link “Confirm primary email”. The employer needs to enter a new email id replacing the id that appears. Then click on the “Send Verification link”.
An email message will go to the registered email id. The employer must go to the email account and click the link in the message received. The verified email id will be recorded in the system, and in the future, all emails will be received on the new id.
Yes, the registration procedure has to be completed for every establishment.
If the employer forgets the user ID or password, then the employer must click on the “Forgot Password” link in the login screen. The password can be reset using the establishment id, primary email id, and mobile number.