Home World Business You can shift back to EPF after porting to NPS

You can shift back to EPF after porting to NPS


On rejoining, the subscriber will not be eligible for benefits accumulated in his previous tenure

had provided one-time portability option for the salaried to move from the Employees’ (EPF) to the National (NPS). This movement is tax free. Under the provision, if a person has been contributing to EPF, then he has the option of transferring his corpus to

The better option

Deciding whether to stay put in or transfer to is not an easy choice. gives you more choices. You can choose the investment option (auto or active), asset allocation, and fund manager. With you don’t have any say in where and how your money is invested. But EPF’s rate of return is attractive at 8.65 per cent last year. In NPS, the returns are linked to the performance of the funds.

In tracking your investments is easier. Returns of funds are published regularly. EPF’s rate of return for the current financial year is known in November-December, or sometimes even later (as was the case this year). Till then you are not aware how much return your corpus will earn.

Key challenges

Exiting and opting for would also mean that the individual exits from Employees Deposit Linked Insurance as well as the Employees’ (EPS), which means losing out on the benefits of insurance and pension.

But once he shifts to NPS, the employee will have a one-time chance to return to the fold. However, on re-joining EPF, the subscriber will be treated as a new entrant and will not be eligible for the benefits he might have accumulated in his previous tenure in the EPF, like count of number of years already served for the purpose of the exemption.

If an employee terminates employment and does not take up another employment within two months with an employer who is registered under EPF, the entire fund balance in can be withdrawn in lump sum. This enables the employee to have easier liquidity in funds. He can also get up to 90 per cent as advance in some situations: for medical treatment, housing, child’s education and marriage. On the other hand, an employee who has attained 60 years of age can only withdraw 60 per cent of the funds parked in the account as lump sum. The rest has to be annuitised, which gives monthly pension pay outs. Further, partial withdrawal from up to 25 per cent of own contribution only is allowed after 10 years. 

Currently is under exempt exempt tax (EET) structure wherein withdrawal from on maturity is tax free up to 40 per cent of the corpus. On the contrary, is under exempt exempt exempt (EEE) tax structure. Here, refers to deduction at the time of investment, exemption from taxation of return on investment, and exemption of gains at the time of maturity of fund. EET means that income is taxable at the time of withdrawal.

For employees, has been the most favoured retirement savings scheme. is less popular at present among employees due to less flexibility and partial taxability at the time of withdrawal. 

How to transfer

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has issued a circular outlining the process to enable portability. The subscriber should have an active tier 1 account which can be opened either through the employer by filling up the prescribed subscriber registration form, through a point of presence or PoP (these include banks and other registered institutions), or online through eNPS on the trust website.

The first step is to approach the recognised (PF) trust through the employer and file a request for transfer of funds to account. The recognised trust will have to initiate the transfer of the funds as per the provision of the Trust Deed/Income Tax Act.



The employer should request the to issue a letter to the present employer/POP mentioning the amount being transferred from the fund, which is to be credited to the Tier-1 account of the employee. In case of a private sector employee, the following have to be provided: cheque or draft made in the name of the POP, collection account— Trust, subscriber name, and Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).

Within 30 days of applying, the entire balance in the account will be transferred to the  

In EPF, if you withdraw your corpus before completing five years of continuous service, then the proceeds are taxable. With the introduction of the new provision, transfer of funds of an employee from his existing to is not liable to be treated as income of such employee for that said year, and accordingly, not taxable.

If an individual deposits money in his account under NPS, he is eligible to claim deduction under Section 80CCD. However, if such a deposit is on account of transfer from the account to the account, then it will not be eligible for a deduction.

Taking the plunge

  • EPF’s rate of return is attractive   

  • offers more flexibility in case of premature withdrawal

  • offers more choices

  • Tracking performance is easier in NPS

  • tax treatment at withdrawal is less favourable

Mistry is partner, Nagarsenkar is director and Bansal is deputy manager at Deloitte Haskins & Sells


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