Under the Employee provident Fund scheme 1952, both the employee and the employer should contribute to the fund at 12% of their wages, DA and retaining allowance per month.
This rate of contribution is decreased to 10% in cases where the company has seen net loss at the end of previous financial year or exceeded its entire net worth.
The EPF Scheme aims at taking care of the Retirement, Medical care, Housing, Family obligations, education of children, financing of Insurance policies of every member who makes a contribution to the scheme.
Interest rate calculation
The Interest rate is calculated every year in the months of March/April on a monthly basis with effect from the last day of the previous year. This interest holds true for that entire year which is fixed by the Government of India in consultation with Central board of trustees. This rate varies each year, for example in the financial year 1998-99 the rate was determined to be 12% where as in 2000-01 it was fixed at 10.25%.
PF withdrawal policy
A contributing member will be able to withdraw completely, the amount accrued once he retires from the service at 55 years of age.
However, the contributing member is entitled to withdraw an amount of up to 90% of the accrued amount once he attains an age of 54.
But the contributing member is entitled to withdraw the full amount in cases like the member leaves India and settles abroad or member not reaching 55 years at the time of termination from the service or a person who is retired due to complete mental infirmity or in case of individual or mass retrenchment.
PF account status
Every year the statement of your PF account will be sent to the contributing member through the employer. The statement contains the opening balance (amount accrued till last year), amount contributed this year, Interest rate applied this year and the Interest accrued this year, any withdrawal from the account, if applicable.
In case you claimed your EPF, you can track the status of your claim by visiting this page.
Compare with Public Provident fund whose account status can be checked at any time by logging into your Internet banking account (SBI or its associates)
Also see: Check your TDS IT refund status