As we know contribution under Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is almost compulsory for all the legally employed employees in India. But this was not a mandate for the foreigners who come to India for some project work. Indian provident fund scheme then introduced a new category with the name ‘International Worker’ in October 2008 which now demands foreigners working in India to contribute in EPF. EPF applied same rules related to contribution or withdrawal of EPF on International workers as on local employees.
But after 2 years of introducing the concept of ‘International Worker’ in EPF scheme, EPF added a restriction on the withdrawal of EPF. On September 2010, EPF withdrawal by International workers before attaining the age of 58 got restricted.
Now again after 2 years, EPF has partially released the restriction on withdrawal of EPF by the International workers. As per the new instructions given by EPF, international workers coming from any country with whom India has a social security agreement (SSA) are now allowed to withdraw there EPF amount on termination of service with Indian employer.
Social security agreement (SSA) helps from making double social security contributions for the same set of employers. Which means employees from any country which has SSA with India are not required to contribute in EPF on generating there certificate of coverage (COC).
The next major change introduced for International workers now allow to withdraw there EPF amount either via employer or through bank account. Earlier it was compulsory for the International workers to have there Indian bank account for the withdrawal of EPF amount but now they can also claim there EPF withdrawal through their Indian employer.
The Government of India has entered into an agreement on social security with the government of Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, France, Denmark, Korea and Netherlands.