The government will amend Employees Provident Fund (EPF) scheme to enable members of EPFO to withdraw up to 90 per cent of their fund for making down payments while buying homes, labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya informed the Rajya Sabha in a written reply to a query about the housing scheme for the members of EPFO. The amendment will also allow the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) members to use funds in their accounts for paying equated monthly installments (EMIs) of home loans.
“A member of EPF being a member of a co-operative society or a housing society having at least 10 members of EPF, can withdraw upto 90 per cent from the fund for purchase of dwelling house/flat or construction of dwelling house/acquisition of site,” he noted. “Monthly installments for repayments of any outstanding payments or interest may also be paid from the amount standing to the credit of the (EPF) member, to the government/housing agency/primary lending agency or banks concerned,” the minister added.
The facility of withdrawing funds for buying home and paying EMIs from the funds available in the PF account will be made available through a new provision that will be added to the EPF scheme. “The government has taken a decision for modification in the EPF Scheme, 1952, to add a new paragraph 68 BD,” according to the minister. The minister added that the proposed paragraph has not been notified, therefore, no targets have been fixed for giving advances under this facility.
The total number of EPF member accounts as on March, 31, 2016, as per Annual Report for 2015-16, is 17.14 crore. On an average, contributions have been received in respect of 3.76 crore members during the year 2015-16. The withdrawal facility from the PF account under the Scheme will be available to only those PF members who fulfil the conditions prescribed.