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The Finance Ministry on Friday approved 8.5% rate of interest of provident fund deposit for 2020-21 paving way for the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to credit the interest, reported news agency PTI citing sources.

Just ahead of Diwali, this is a good news for over five crore subscribers of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).

The 8.5% of interest on provident fund deposits for the last financial year was decided by the EPFO's apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT) headed by Labour Minister in March this year.

The retirement fund regulatory body kept the EPF interest rate unchanged for FY 2020-21 as there was more withdrawal than deposits during the entire financial year.

After the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, the EPFO had reduced PF interest rate in March 2020 to 8.5 per cent for FY 2019-20 — 7 years' low of EPF interest rate. For FY 2018-19, EPF interest rate was 8.65 per cent. For FY 2017-18, EPF interest rate being given to the EPFO subscribers was 8.55 per cent while for FY 2016-17, EPF interest rate given to EPF account holders was 8.65 per cent.

How to check PF balance:

Over 5 crore EPFO subscribers are advised to keep checking their PF balance next week as the retirement fund regulator may credit EPF interest of 8.5 per cent on any of the working days. The EPF account holders can check their EPF balance through SMS and a missed call.

Check PF balance through SMS

An EPFO subscriber can check its EPF account balance by sending an SMS. The PF balance check number is 7738299899 and the text of the SMS format is “EPFOHO UAN ENG." So, an EPF account holder, who has its UAN number, is advised to send SMS in this format to 7738299899. On receipt of the SMS, the EPFO will reply to that SMS with the senders' PF account balance details.

Check PF balance through missed call

The EPFO is running missed call service through its given number 011-22901406. To know one's PF balance, the EPFO subscriber is advised to give a missed call on this number from the registered mobile number. However, one can avail of this service only if the EPFO member has seeded its UAN with the KYC details.

Meanwhile, EPFO net added 14.81 lakh subscribers in August 2021, reflecting a growing trend in net payroll for the first five months of this fiscal.

For the month of August, the net subscriber addition increased by 12.61 per cent as compared to the previous month of July 2021. Of the total 14.81 lakh net subscribers, around 9.19 lakh members have come under the social security ambit of EPFO for the first time.

Around 5.62 lakh net subscribers exited but rejoined EPFO by changing jobs within the establishments covered under the purview of the EPF & MP Act, 1952.

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