2,200,000,000,000 or 2.2 lakh crore rupees!

That is the amount managed under various Provident Funds.

This number is from 2018. Try and imagine what the situation must be like now.

So, what is PF?

Provident Fund is a government-managed retirement savings scheme that is compulsory for all salaried employees. It is like contributing a part of your salary every month towards your pension. The instalments gain interest and turn into a large corpus at retirement and can be withdrawn as a lump sum. It is an investment that always pays off.

Types of Provident Fund

There are many types of PFs depending upon the nature of investment and the individuals investing in it. The most prominent ones in India are –

  • General Provident Fund: Explicitly maintained for employees in government or a semi-government organisation, the General Provident Fund is also called a Statutory Provident Fund. These funds are usually held by government bodies like railways, local authorities, and educational institutions
  • Recognized Provident Fund: Popularly known as the Employee Provident Fund or EPF, this type of fund is used by all private organisations with 20 or more employees. Employees are given a UAN that allows them to transfer their PF from one employer to another when they change jobs. This makes sure that their savings are always secure
  • Public Provident Fund: PPF is a voluntary scheme where, whether employed or not, you can make an investment to save for your future. Governed by minimum deposits of ₹ 500 and maximum deposits of ₹ 1,50,000 annually, PPF has a pre-determined maturity of 15 years. No withdrawals are allowed within that period

Ways to Check PF Balance

There are multiple ways to check your Provident Fund balance –

  • Download the UMANG app: The Unified Mobile Application for New Governance (UMANG) allows you to check your PF balance anytime, anywhere
  • Access the EPFO Website: You can log into the EPFO portal and enter your details to be directed to the e-Passbook. Your PF balance with all the investments deposited and interest credited can be seen there in chronological order
  • Missed Call: If you have a UAN, you can directly call 011-22901406 and leave a missed call with your registered mobile number. Given that your bank, PAN, or Aadhar is linked with the UAN, you'll receive a message with your last EPF contribution and PF balance
  • SMS: Dropping a message to 7738299899 with the words EPFOHO UAN ENG can fetch you your PF balance. The only prerequisites are that you have an active UAN and use your registered mobile number

UMANG Benefits

With the release of UMANG, accessibility to your PF has increased manifold. UMANG helps you with the following processes –

  • Raising Provident Fund claims
  • Checking and tracking your PF claim status
  • Viewing your PF online passbook
  • Verifying remittance particulars
  • Searching for EPFO offices

Apart from this, you can avail over 150 different services from the central as well as state governments.

Where to Invest Your PF Money?

Getting your hands on your savings that have been locked away for nearly a lifetime can feel overwhelming at first. One may even feel the urge to spend it on a big shopping spree or that much-longed vacation. But you must understand that these savings were made for a reason, to ensure your retirement days are hassle-free.

To ensure maximum gain from your PF withdrawal, it is not only advisable but also wise to invest the sum in a plan that offers the best bang for your buck.

So, choose the life you want today and never worry about the future again.

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