Indians who have worked in India may have moved abroad. They could also be planning to move abroad. There may be investments that have been made. It is only natural to be concerned about what happens with these investments after moving to another country. EPF stands for Employees’ Provident Fund. This article explains the details of the EPF account for NRIs.
If your employer provides a provident fund then you can take out the funds and close it prior to leaving the country. Usually, you have to be 58 years old or retired in order to take out the entire amount. It is possible, however, to take out the full amount if you are leaving your job and shifting to another country.
When to Close EPF
It would be wise to clear the account and close it before leaving the country. If the account does not receive any contributions it stops operating.
How to WIthdraw
- Ask your employer for an EPF withdrawal form or download the form from the EPFO portal
- Submit the form at a Provident Fund Office
- If your UAN (Universal Account Number) is linked to your Aadhaar, you can apply to withdraw online. You can find this under “Aadhar-based withdrawal form”.
- You can also apply to withdraw from the portal online
Certificate of Coverage
If your plans to go abroad are for the short term for employment, you could be required to sign up for a social security plan there and have to contribute to it. You may not see the point in this.
In this case you can get a Certificate of Coverage (COC) from EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization). This is for people going for work to countries with which India has an operational social security agreement. It exempts these people from contributing to a social security program in this country. A COC allows these people to avoid a contribution in India as well as the country they are moving to. India has this agreement with Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, South Korea, Netherlands, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Norway, Austria, Canada, Australia, Japan, and Portugal. The contributions to the EPF, however, must continue in order for it to stay operational.
Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is meant for Indian residents. It can be withdrawn 15 years after the account opening date. An NRI who had a PPF when they were living in India can no longer contribute to it after moving abroad. Withdrawal can only occur after the maturity of the fund. Contributions will continue to gain interest until maturity. The interest earnings will not be taxed in India. You will have to find out about the tax laws in the country that you have moved to.
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Employees’ Provident Fund.
Public Provident Fund
You have to be 58, retired or leaving India for work in another country.
You have to wait 15 years from the date the account was opened.