New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has enabled the withdrawal of money from the retirement fund as a non-refundable advance. Now, its members can withdraw from their PF account citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason.

This decision has been taken under the central government’s Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) introduced in March last year. The provision allowed EPF members to withdraw basic pay and dearness allowance of three months or 75 per cent of the Provident Fund money whichever is lower as advance.

Under this provision, EPFO also allowed its member to withdraw one-time advance keeping in mind the situation of coronavirus in the country. Now, again you can avail of this service and apply for a second advance citing the virus.

"To support its subscribers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable COVID-19 advance. The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during the pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)," the labour and Employment ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, the EPFO allowed its members to withdraw non-refundable advance in situations like illness or when they are buying a house. However, now EPFO members are eligible to withdraw money from PF citing coronavirus.

This decision has been of great help to EPFO members particularly those who have monthly wages less than Rs 15,000. Till now more than 76.31 lakh COVID-19 advance claims worth Rs. 18,698.15 crore have been disbursed according to the Ministry.

The Ministry also added that the EPFO will settle COVID-19 claims within three days of their receipt. They will be accorded top priority to help the members in difficult times.

The retirement body has created an auto claim settlement process to speed up the claim. For this you need to have complete KYC documents otherwise the process can take up to 20 days.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha