Employees Provident Fund
The parliament of India passed the EPF & MP Act, 1952 in 1952 and was brought into operation on March 4th, 1952. There were number of legislative meetings to set the direction and the outcome was Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952. Following are the three schemes that are currently on under this act.
- Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme, 1952
- Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976
- Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 (replacing the Employees’ Family Pension Scheme, 1971)
EPF Organization happens to be the largest PF institution of the world when it comes of members and number of financial transactions taking place every year.
- Any establishment which employs 20 or more employees. Except apprentice and casual laborers.
- In case the number of persons employed therein at any time falls below 20, the establishment shall continue to be governed by the Act.
Step 1: First of All Employer need to register his Establishment with EPFO:-
Step 2: Duties of Employer at the time of recruiting New Employee:-
At the time of hiring, employer would ask the employee to fill the Provident Fund Registration Process form in triplicate. This would contain all the details of the employee and the same is send forward to the Provident Fund office. The Provident Fund office would open an account in the name of the employee under the umbrella of the concerned organization along with the other existing employees of the same organization. After posting the procedure the Provident Fund office would issue a Provident Fund account number which is passed down to the individual employee through the organization. All future reference and correspondences with the Provident Fund office related to the Provident Fund account of the employee would have to mention the Provident Fund account number while the Provident Fund Registration Process.
It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that the subscriptions from the employees salary, along with an equal subscription goes to the Provident Fund account of the employee every month. The Provident Fund office issues a statement of account every year for all the account holders to get an updated status of the funds. The Provident Fund account is distributed through the employer again to the account holders in the Provident Fund Registration Process.
It is very much intentional that from the end of the government that very little has been left for the employee to do about the Provident Fund account as the government wants this savings to be there for every employee.
Employers must take care of following points while registering for Employees’ Provident Fund Organization.
- Enrol the employees with EPF organization from the right date.
- Send timely returns through Form 5A, revised F9 Form, revised F2 Form, monthly returns through F5, F2, F10, F12A Forms and also the challans and annual returns in Form F3A and Form F6A.
- Employers must maintain an inspection notebook to show his observation records.
- To follow all the rules laid down by Central Board For Proper Implementation Of The Scheme.
- Pay the funds in not more than 15 days of the close of the month to the shares of contribution, administrative charges and inspection charges.
Step 3: Creating ECR File
There are two ways to Create ECR File:
By clicking above you will be redirected to EPF Govt. site from where you can download e-return tool which will facilitate you to create ECR file. In case you find it difficult to use, there is demo and user manual for the same.
2. Download file ECR-Creator.xls file below, fill required data and download ECR-Demo to know how to convert xls to csv to upload on e-sewa portal.
For understanding how to prepare the ECR text file we have prepared a Demo. Please download the file which is in .zip format and save it in your system. Now unzip the downloaded file. In ECR_FilePreparationDemo folder, run the .htm file, by double clicking on it, to view the demo. The other two files, namely .js and .swf files are support files. All the three files should be kept together in the same folder.
Download ZIP File: ECR-Demo.zip
After you save it as CSV, the next step is to convert it to TXT
Download other helpful files (click here):
- ECR Error Code
- ECR File Format
- Aadhaar Details of Members
- Missing Details of Members
- Correction Details of Members
Step 4: Uploading and Submitting ECR File:-
Step 5: Frequently Asked Questions:-
1. Why should an employer register his/her establishment on the EPFO Employer portal?
With effect from 01.04.2012, any remittance to be made by the employer has to be done only after generating challan from the Employer Portal of EPFO. In case of wage month March 2012 onwards, the employer has to upload Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR) in the pre specified format and challan will be populated on the basis of uploaded return. For previous and other dues the challan has to be filled in online to generate and print it for remittance.
2. What happens if the employer does not register?
The online generation of challan will not be possible if the employer has not registered his/her establishment. The employer has to register and create his/her user id & password for accessing the Employer Portal of EPFO.
3. Once the employer enters his/her establishment id a message is displayed ‘No record found”. What should he/she do?
Please check whether you have entered the correct code number and extension number, if any and have selected the correct EPFO Office. If correct, then please contact the concerned EPFO Regional/Sub Regional Office.
4. The employer enters his/her establishment id and clicks “Get Details” button. Message comes that the “Your Establishment is already registered”. What should he/she do?
Please check whether you have entered the correct code number and extension number, if any and have selected the correct EPFO Office. If correct, click the link for generation of request letter. Print the letter and submit it under the signature and seal of the Employer/Authorized Signatory to the EPFO Office where the establishment is covered. Please mention your mobile number in the letter. Once the EPFO Office clears the registration, you will get an SMS on that mobile and then you can register.
5. The Registration screen asks for entry of PAN. Which PAN is to be entered as the Employer and Authorized Signatory have their PAN?
The PAN issued by the Income Tax of India in the name of the establishment is to be entered. Please also enter the name as it appears on the PAN.
6. After successful registration and creation of user id and password, the employer has forgotten the user id and/or password. What to do?
At the login screen of the Employer Portal, there is a link “Forgot Password?”, Click the link. You will get a pop up screen where you have to enter the establishment id. Then enter the user id or primary mobile number or primary e-mail id. On submit, you will get an SMS using which you can login.
7. The employer has registered his/her establishment. How to change the primary mobile number?
Please login to the Employer Portal. Under the “PROFILE” Menu there is link “Edit primary mobile number”. Enter your new mobile number and submit. You will get an SMS with a PIN on the new mobile number. Enter the PIN and click “Change Primary Mobile”. Confirmation SMS will be sent to the new mobile number which will become your primary mobile number.
8. At the time of initial registration the employer made a mistake in entry of mobile number and clicked “GET PIN” button. The button is now disabled and he/she did not get the PIN. What to do?
Please edit the primary mobile field with the correct mobile number and wait for a few minutes. The button will get enabled and you can click it again to get the SMS with another PIN.
9. At the time of initial registration the employer got the PIN but for some reason he/she could not enter it and click REGISTER. Can he/she enter the PIN later and register the establishment?
No, he/she has to fill in the details again and get a new PIN to complete the initial registration.
10. The employer has registered his/her establishment. How to change the primary email id?
Please login to the Employer Portal. Under the “PROFILE” Menu there is link “Confirm primary email”. Enter your new email id replacing the id that appears. Click “Send Verification link” An email message will go to the entered email id. Go to your email account and click the link in the message received. Your verified email id will be recorded in the system and in future you will get mail on the new id.
11. One person is employer or Authorized signatory for more than one establishment. Is he/she required to register each establishment separately?
12. One person is employer or Authorized signatory for more than one establishment. Can he/she have same user id for all such establishment?
13. What is the use of additional authorized signatories and his/her mobile/email details?
This information will be used in future and SMS on activities other than registration and editing of the profile may be sent on the additional mobile numbers also.
14. How to change the profile details of the establishment?
Please login to the Employer Portal. Under the “PROFILE” Menu there is link “Edit profile”. Change the details and click “Get PIN” to get SMS on the primary mobile number. Enter the PIN and click Update Profile. Confirmation message will be sent through SMS.
15. The employer has entered the correct code number but the name and/or address that is displayed is incorrect or has some errors. How to correct it?
Please send request letter to the concerned EPFO Office for necessary corrections.
16. Can an epf member register on the Employer e-Sewa portal to view his/her account?
No, this service is for the employers of the establishment having EPF Code number and for filing online return and making remittance. Members should not register here.
17. Whether the employer/Authorized Signatory of an establishment exempted under the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme is also required to register?
18. Whether after registration, can an employer upload returns for the previous accounting year(s) or for year 2011-12 through the Employer e-Sewa Portal?
No. The monthly ECR from the month of March 2012 (payable in April 2012) only can be uploaded through the portal as the uploaded return has to be backed with the remittance through the challan generated after the upload. Returns for the previous year(s) upto 2011-12 are to be submitted as per the existing procedure.
19. What is ECR?
ECR stands for Electronic Challan cum Return. This is an electronic monthly return to be uploaded by the employers through the Employer e-Sewa portal. The return will have the member wise details of the wages and contributions including basic details for the new and existing members (members who have joined or have left service in the wage month for which the return is uploaded). The approval of uploaded ECR will result in generation of a Challan using which the employer has to remit the dues in the designated branches of SBI. Thus each ECR will be linked with a remitted challan and the ECRs uploaded but not remitted will lapse after 15 days of the generation of the challan. The upload of ECR each month will relieve the employers from filing any paper return and also the various monthly and annual returns. The upload of ECR that are backed with remitted challan in the EPFO Application will result in the updating of member balances on a monthly basis. This information will be shared with the members through the Know Your PF Balance link.
20. How can an Employer upload ECR on the employer E-Sewa Portal?
The employer has to first register his/her establishment, instructions for which have been made available on the E-sewa portal. The registered employers have to prepare the ECR text file as per the format made available on the E-sewa portal. The method of preparing the file has also been explained in it. It is as follows: How to Prepare ECR Text file: Step 1: Use any Spreadsheet (Open Office, Excel, Lotus etc,) for creating the member details as per the prescribed format and save the file in CSV (Comma delimited) format. Step 2: Open the CSV file in any text editor (notepad, edit plus, etc.,) and replace all â€œ,â€ with â€œ#~#â€. Save the CSV file. Step 3: Change the file extension from CSV to TXT. Your file will be ready for upload. Alternatively the employer can also use the e-return software version 4.0 available on the epfindia website. The employer after the registration of the establishment can login to the portal using his credentials for uploading ECR each month. Instructions on how to upload the ECR file has been made available on the portal.
21. Why my ECR Tex File is not Uploaded?
Once the ECR file is uploaded, the system checks whether the file is complying to the prescribed format and in case there is any error then the upload is not successful. An error log is created and line wise error is indicated. Common mistakes to be avoided:
- Do not use decimals in the numeric fields such as wages, contributions, NCP days etc.
- Do not use any special character other than. (period) in character fields such as name.
- The date fields should be in dd/mm/yyyy format. Do not use other separator like â€“or in the date fields.
- Do not enter any values in column number 17 to 22 in case of existing members and exiting members (members who have not joined during the wage month for which the return is uploaded)
- Do not enter any values in the column number 23 to 25 in case of members who have not left service during the wage month for which the return is uploaded.
- Each line should have 24 column separators #~# irrespective of some column not having any values.
- There should not be any header line with the field names etc.
22. What to do if my file is not uploaded and error log file is created?
Make the corrections in the text file with the help of the list of error log codes as available on the portal under the ECR/ECR Error Log option and upload it afresh.
23. What should I do when the ECR file has been successfully Uploaded?
On successful upload of the ECR file, a Summary page of uploaded ECR file will appear. You have to fill in the details regarding EDLI and EPF/EDLI administrative/inspection charges. Please check the rate of contribution applicable to your establishment. By default it will appear as 12% but it can be changed to 10% if this rate is applicable. On click of submit button, a digitally signed PDF File will appear. Download the file and verify the data in the file to satisfy yourself on the correctness of the members wise data as compared to the uploaded text file data. Once you approve the PDF file, a Challan will be generated with a TRRN (Temporary Return Reference Number) along with an acknowledgement slip for the uploaded ECR file. Print the challan and make the remittance. You have two options:
a. If you are a CINB (Corporate Internet Banking) customer of SBI you can make online remittance using the TRRN. For this you have to login to the Online SBI portal. (This facility will start after some time and pleas use the option b – payment through cheque for some time).
b. Otherwise submit the challn with Demand Draft/ Local Cheque at any designated SBI Branch accepting PF Challans.
24. What if the ECR File is uploaded successfully but remittance is not made?
The challan generated on approvel of uploaded ECR file will be available for remittance for 15 days and will lapse thereafter.
25. Can I upload ECR Files in Batches for a wage month by a single establishment?
YES. But for each uploaded ECR file payment should be made through the challan generated for that ECR.
26. If the employee is having 31 NCP days (LOP) for them how we need to show them in a ECR file?
In ECR text file, show the member with zero wages & contribution for that wage month
27. The employer has to make payment for the past period, that is for the dues against the wage month of February, 2012 or before. What shall he/she do?
The Employer E-sewa portal has a link for Challan on the top menu bar after the employer has logged in. This link has the option for data entry of Challan for the past period. After entry of the data, on Submit, a challan with TRRN will be generated and can be used for remittance.
28. The establishment has no members and the employer has been remitting the minimum administrative charges of Rs 5/- and Rs 2/- in the account number 2 and 22 respectively. How can he/she make the payment after March 2012?
In the Employer e-Sewa portal, after login, there is an option for Challan entry under the Challn link on the top menu bar. This can be used for the remittance of the minimum administrative charges. Only the amount in account number 2 and 22 can be entered after if a month March 2012 or onward is selected and the button Cont/Admn/Inspection challan is clicked.
29. IW 1:Who is an International Worker (IW)?
An International Worker (IW) may be an Indian worker or a foreign national. International Worker means: – - Any Indian employee having worked or going to work in a foreign country with which India has entered into a social security agreement and being eligible to avail the benefits under social security programme of that country, by virtue of the eligibility gained or going to gain, under the said agreement; – An employee other than an Indian employee, holding other than an Indian Passport, working for an establishment in India to which the EPF & MP Act, 1952 applies.
30. IW 2: Is an Indian worker holding COC (Certificate of Coverage), an International Worker?
Merely holding the COC does not make an employee an International Worker. He/she becomes IW only after being eligible to avail the benefits under social security programme of any country. After obtaining COC, the employee is exempted from contributing to the social security systems of the foreign country with whom India has SSA, hence he/she is not eligible to avail the benefits under the social security programme of that country.