New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Coming as a good news for the subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the retirement fund body is likely to credit the interest rate for the financial year 2020-21 (FY21) soon, according to media reports. It is estimated that over 6 crore employees will benefit from this move ahead of the Diwali festival.

The EPFO kept the interest rate unchanged for FY21 as there were more withdrawals than deposits during the year owing to widespread job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The government had reduced the EPF interest rate to a 7-year low of 8.5 per cent during the financial year 2019-20 which was 8.65 per cent during FY 2018-19, 8.55 per cent during FY 2017-18, and 8.65 per cent for FY 2016-17.

Withdraw from retirement fund in advance 

Further, the EPFO recently allowed its members to withdraw money from the retirement fund as a non-refundable advance because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this, the Center in March 2020 introduced a special provision under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), allowing EPF members to withdraw basic pay and dearness allowance (DA) of three months or 75 percent of their Provident Fund money - whichever is lower in amount as advance.

“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)," Ministry of Labour & Employment said in a statement.

“During the difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO is committed to providing a helping hand to all its stakeholders," it added.

Here's a look at how users can check their PF balance:

Via SMS

1. Send an SMS to mobile number 7738299899.

2. The message is to be sent in the format ‘EPFOHO UAN ENG‘.

You will have to set your preferred language of communication in the SMS. Just use the first three characters of your preferred language to do so. If you wish to receive updates in English, use the first three characters of the word English, i.e. EPFOHO UAN ENG.

Via missed call

You can inquire about your EPF balance by giving a missed call to the authorized phone from your registered mobile number. This service is only available upon the integration of your UAN with your KYC details. If you are unable to do this, you can take the help of your employer.

1. Give a missed call to 011-22901406 from your registered mobile number.

2. After placing a missed call, you will receive an SMS providing you with your PF details.

Posted By: Sugandha Jha