New meaning of “Salary” for calculation of Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF)

I think it is common for all Govt organisations to open their eyes after hitting on their head by the way of court judgments. Latest to add them is recent circular of EPFO (Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation). Let us look at it’s effect on your monthly salary.

Till now it was common practice to calculate your EPF contribution based on your salary’s Basic+DA only (excluding allowances). Usually it was 12% of Basic+DA. But EPFO opened it’s eyes when Madras High Court and Madhya Pradesh High Court in two different judgments ruled that allowances like conveyance, education, food concession, medical, special holidays, night shift incentives, city compensatory allowance, etc., also be included in calculating salary for contribution to EPF. Based on these judgments, EPFO released the circular to rectify this anomaly.

Below is the November 30th 2012 circular regarding the above said issue.

“Basic wages by its own definition encompasses all the payments except the specified exclusions. All such allowances which are ordinarily, necessarily and uniformly paid to the employees are to be treated as part of the basic wages. The confusion in definition of wages (and hence the issue of splitting of wages) primarily arises from the expression commission or any other similar allowance payable to the employee” in Section 2(b) (ii) of the Act as “commission” and “any other similar allowance” are read as two separate expressions and hence “any other allowance” is read as an omnibus exclusion, thereby encouraging the subterfuge of splitting of wages to exclude the PF liabilities. The expression “commission or any other similar allowance payable to the employee” is one continuous term meaning commission or any other “commission” like allowance by whatever nomenclature referred. Thus “basic wages” is subject to exclusions expressly referred to in the above definition and no other.”  

Now let us look at EPF Act 1952 Section 2(b) ii

(b) “basic wages” means all emoluments which are earned by an employee while on duty or on leave or on holidays with wages in either case in accordance with the terms of the contract of employment and which are paid or payable in cash to him, but does not include-
(i) the cash value of any food concession;
(ii) any dearness allowance that is to say, all cash payments by whatever name called paid to an employee on account of a rise in the cost of living, house-rent allowance, overtime allowance, bonus, commission or any other similar allowance payable to the employee in respect of his employment or of work done in such employment;

Eventhough it looks from the recent circular that allowances need to be added to the salary to calculate contribution of EPF, but still exhaustive list of allowance not available. But from above circular we may conclude that from now onwards allowance also be part of salary for your contribution of EPF.

Take a look at it’s effect on your salary with one example. Suppose below are the few salary components then what is your current contribution and what will be your future contribution.

1) Basic-Rs.30,000 2) Conveyance Allowance-Rs.8,000 3) Medical Allowance-Rs.4,000 and 4) Night Shift Allowance-Rs.4,000 .

Previously as the meaning of salary was only Basic+DA, so 12% of Rs.30,000=Rs.3,600 was considered for EPF payout from your end and equally from your employer end too. But from now onwards it includes Basic+DA+Allowances. So your total salary from above example will be Rs.46,000. Contribution to EPF will be, 12% of Rs.46,000 which is Rs.5,520. More contribution of Rs.1,920, but less take home from now onward.

From above example you may see a cut in your take home pay. But indirectly you are  investing higher amount, which is good for your future. From tax part too you will get benefit as your contribution goes higher in new way of calculation. Also you may expect raise in CTC as your employer contribution to EPF will also raise. Hope it make sense to all expect employers 🙂

Latest Updation:- Due to pressure from few corners, EPFO temporarily withhold the above circular. Let us wait when they will again open their eyes.


155 thoughts on “New meaning of “Salary” for calculation of Employee’s Provident Fund (EPF)”

  1. Hai sir, keeping in view of the recent pronouncement of the honorable supreme court, that contributions to pension fund can be made beyond statutory limit of Rs. 1259 being 8.33%on 15000.
    Is this increase is from 1.9.2014 or from the date of joining of employee.

  2. If basic salary is 50000 this limits to15 000 for employer. If a person is present for 15 days and his basic earning for 15 days is 30000. Here employer contribution 12% on 15000 for 15 days=900 or it’s 1800

  3. It’s seems, this rule will impact only for , those who are drawing less than 15k (basic+da). Right? Can you help me to get this circular or new amendment documents.

  4. Please advice whether there is a set principle for how many percentage of total salary is to be split as basic salary, dearness allowance and house rent allowance. Is there a principle that the EPF dept and the courts follow? If the employer keeps basic salary at 25%, Dearness Allowance at 25% and House Rent Allowance at 50% totalling 100% of monthly salary, is that correct under EPF regulations? Thanks.

  5. HI Sir,

    I am from employer & now i am creating New UAN number & there are mention ” Monthly EPF Wages as on Joining ”
    So i am confuse about which will consider amt for UAN registration.

    Basic -10000, HRA -5000, Con -4000- Bonus -1019, other All-3000,
    Gross Amt is -23019

    So which Amount ( Basic -10000 Or Gross Amt – 23019 ) i should consider for registration .

    Please Reply as soon as possible

  6. Amit Kumar Sharma


    My salary is 21000 per month, and I work only 10 days in a particular month then how my PF amount should be calculated.


  7. Sir I have received basic + spacial all in salary. But employer calculated PF on only basic…. Is it right practice? Please guide me… according to me it should be calculating on Basic + special…
    Is it right?


    Hi sir,
    My basic salary is 30000 and other HRA etc includes 55000 gross for only TDS 2750 is deducted but not PF I asked my HR she told me my basic is more than the govt sealing amount, so it’s not mandatory to deduct PF! Is it so sir please make me clear on this? Because if I approach bank they are rejecting my PL application mentioning PF issue, our company is Private Limited of 45 employees

  9. Hello Sir, The basic component in the monthly Salary is 56250, but my company is deducting only 1800 from my side and 1800 from company side for the EPF.

    Can’t they deduct 12% of 56250 on both sides for the EPF…?

  10. Hello sir, i want to tell you one think the person who is earning 25k monthly salary and his basic is only not 15k than he is paying over all pf only about 4000 what will his present stituation who will help him to manage his or her monthly expense on all salary heads pf is getting calculated. if net inhand is getting effected than how they will survive please help..

  11. Hi Sir
    my basic salary is 16000 + allowance = gross salary is 21000/- p m

    i want to know if am eligible for EPF and if am eligible how much they will cut from my salary . what are the calculation method of EPF. what are salary slab of EPF..

  12. Sir ..good wife is working I Kendriya vidyalaya..she is a CPF beneficiary..but the management is deducting and contributing only 10%of basic..I did RTI in 2013..for which they replied that only basic pay and grade pay are that component of basic email id is [email protected]…can u please help me I guiding that if…
    1she is eligible to get CPF contribution by including her dearness allowance …
    2 can u please send me the EPF circular of EPFO Of 2012 where they added dearness allowance also as component of basic wages
    Thanks ..Ajay Kumar

  13. Tukaram Pujari

    The conundrum regarding basic wages and allowances qualifying to contribution has
    long back settled in Bridge and roof company’s case . The allowances are to be allowed or disallowed from contribution on this touch stone of this judgement. Hence it is in fitness of things that a larger bench of HON. S. C. settles conflicting High Court decisions to set at rest all the controversies between the EPFO and employers. Otherwise there will be arbitrary actions and complex controversies.

  14. I have a salary of Rs 30,000 pm. No P.F is deducted, but I am eligible for gratuity after 5 years of employment.
    Salary components include Basic + HRA +Conveyance allowance + telephone allowance.
    No TDS nor PF is deducted. Is this allowed as per law ?

    1. Niharika-Regarding TDS, if your income is not more than the basic exemption limit, then the employer does not apply TDS. Check that with your employer and calculate your income. Regarding EPF, whether your employer employed more than 20 members? If so, then you must be under EPF.

  15. Hi,

    My monthly salary breakup is as below:-

    Basic- 6494/-
    HRA- 6169/-
    Medical Allowances- Rs.8116/-

    EPF- 779/-

    Net salary- 19636/-


  16. Namskaara Basavaraj,

    My Basic salary is 50000 INR per month. My EPF is 1,800 per month ( Thousand eight hundred only). Is this correct deduction and my company contribution is 1,800 as well. Is this correct ??


  17. I am working one of the Educational Institution in Mangalore from last 17 years. My gross salary is 23250/- and my net salary is 21,150/-. I am provided with EPF contribution. My salary is not including Basic and DA. I have resigned from this institution on 31st May last month. How to calculate my Gratuity. Please reply my query.

  18. I am having Basic, HRA, Conveyance Allowance, Special Allowance, Medical Allowance and Employer’s Contribution to PF as components to my CTC.

    I don’t what are the components that can/has to be included in 12% EPF calculation.

  19. Atta Mohammad Shah

    Are Sundays paid or unpaid? Is private employee entitled for any paid holiday? Is lunch break paid or unpaid?

      1. Atta Mohammad Shah

        I am the employer and I would like to know the rule regarding this. That’s is why I requested you.

  20. Can i know what is the basis for splitting salary into different parts.Is there any common rule or percentage for this or is it depends on company policy.
    If i have a salary for RS-21,000.00 , how can i split this amount under Basic/hra/conveyance/others etc…
    Pls elaborate…….

    1. Adv VP Chauhan

      There is no specific rule for salary breakup
      but basic salary should not be less than Minimum Wages

  21. Atta Mohammad Shah

    An employee drawing salary more than 21000 per month is not eligible for ESIC scheme. Is there any other insurance scheme for such employees? if yes, please mention which is the best for employees?

  22. If an employee along with his normal PF Contribution (i.e., on 15000 or less ) ,contributes a fixed voluntary PF i.e., not on his basic+DA but a fixed Voluntary PF every month ,then on what Admin charges need to be paid?

      1. Sir,

        Where is it mentioned that VPF should not be more than 88% of Basic+DA?Is there any notification or circular regarding this?

  23. If an employee draw gross salary more than 21000 per month,than should employer is bonded to deduct PF. If answer is yes than if employer do not deduct PF what legal action employee can take.
    what is EPS and to whom it is applicable.

    1. Sanjay-Your Gross Salary not matters to EPF calculation. It is only Basic+DA. Also, along with salary, if salary strength is 20 or more than that, then employer must provide EPF. If they not providing, then you can raise the issue with EPFO.

  24. As per the PF act employees earning above 15,000 per month are exempt from the pf deductions My query is if the gross salary is 18,000 and he has worked only 15 days due to unauthorized absenteeism he earns only 9000 for the month

    In this case case is it necessary to deduct the PF contribution ?????

  25. Whether for calculation of PF, House Rent Allownace (HRA) need to consider or not?
    For E.g. Basic Salary = 10,000 & HRA = 1200. So now for PF calculation we will take 10,000 or 11,200?

  26. Hi Sir,

    I (vamsi) want to know if an employee is worked for 15 days in a month. PF is calculate on Basic for 3o days or Part of the month.

  27. Hi Sir,
    My company recently changed to pvt ltd and PF scheme started thereafter. Now they are deducting 12% from my basic salary as my contribution and 12% from other allowences as employer contribution.
    My basic salary is 8750. So i am getting Rs. 2100 (24% of 8750) less in my hand from last month.
    In offer letter, they have not mentioned about CTC or salary breakup. It was written they give a package of 1.8lpa.
    is it legal to cut whole 24% from my salary? What is the legal document to clarify it?

  28. i plan to buy a house and need addtnl 40 lakhs . wanted to know shud i withdrawmy epf for the same or take a home loan i have been working for past 16 years and also contributed hru vpf so i have a decent anount in EPF alone

  29. Hello Sir,

    I am working in company. Our company is deducting 24% PF. And We ask for the same. They told us that it is as per Wages act of PF. We request to the company abt higher deduction of PF. Pls help us.

  30. Hello sir,
    I have a query as how to calculate HRA, City Compensatory Allowance and PF, from Basic salary

    Please elaborate with example so I can able to understand very well.

  31. Avinash Karmarkar


    I have a doubt regarding considering DA for salary calculation. The definition of basic wages specifically excludes any dearness allowance. Then why DA is added with Basic ?

  32. dear Basu

    As following are two salary calculation:

    Basic- 9256 4350
    HR- 4625 2100
    Transport- 1600 800
    Medical- 1250 750
    Professional Development- 1775
    Gross- 18500 8000

    i want to know what will be their PF contribution amount.
    and also if there are any salary heads which are excluded from contribution.

      1. As i am deducting PF on Basic only
        but three days back pf inspector said that you are not deducting pf on full salary which are under the slab of 15000/-
        you cant take pf only on basic he said.

      2. Courts have on several occasions held that allowances that are universally, necessarily and ordinarily paid to all employees across the board and are not incentive payments are to be considered as basic wages for the purpose of making provident fund contributions. On this basis, allowances such as transport allowance, conveyance allowance, special allowance,[1] canteen allowance, washing allowance,[2] medical allowance and food and entertainment allowance[3] etc that are regularly paid to all employees are now considered to be ‘Basic Wages’.

      3. this is the article (posted above) i was reading and also pf inspector wants me to do the same that i should include all my salary heads for pf contribution.

  33. Dear Sir ,
    I am working with a reputated organization my question is our CO. deducted P.F. RS. 1800.00 to all employees. How this is possible ? Each and every employee’s salary is different ,kindly advise .

  34. My company gives me basic salary is 6,815 rs. monthly. but i worked only 28 days in the month of march.
    i m totally confuse, how to calculate PF.
    company calculation of pf is:-
    6815/26*28= 7339
    so pf if 7339*12%= 880

    i m totally confuse becos i think pf would be 818 only

    plz help………………. its urgent

  35. Hi Mr Basu
    I have a very specific issue. I have been working with a company for last 11 years. For last 5 years i have been located abroad – while i am not a tax resident hence not paying income tax in india but given I dont have a pension account abroad my Indian PF contribution is still continuing.

    Now the question i have is what should be considered as my basic salary in this instance. My basic salary is $5000 /month – how will the basic salary for employer contribution should be calculated.

    Points to note – no contribution limits in my contract.


    1. Abhishek-In your case the income is arising out of India but the origin is India. Because the company with whom you employed is Indian. Hence, they contributing it to EPF. It is your liability to show the income for India. If EPF contribution is still going on, then it must be based on the rules of salary. In your case it must be 12% of your Basic salary.

  36. Parbinder Rawat

    Hi Basu,

    First of all Thank you for bringing all such good articles in this blog which are really helpful.

    I want to know if i have a Salary (Basic+HRA+Allowances) more than 15,ooo, how much will be my EPF contribution whether it will be 12% of Salary or 12% of 150000.

    Basically i am querious that even if i have the ability to contribute more than 12% of 15000 (i.e. instead of 15000, salary is taken for calculation), do i have a limitation to contribute only 1800 per month (12% of 15000).



  37. Sir, My name is sivaraman ,i need to know the Epf ceiling wages is Rs.15000/- which inclusive of all emoluments i.e BASIC, DA, HRA … and it is eligible for the person who is joining the first employment. please explain .

  38. Section 2 (b) “basic wages” means all emoluments which are earned by an employee while on duty or on leave or on holidays with wages in either case in accordance with the terms of the contract of employment and which are paid or payable in cash to him, but does not include-
    (i) the cash value of any food concession;
    (ii) any dearness allowance that is to say, all cash payments by whatever name called paid to an employee on account of a rise in the cost of living, house-rent allowance, overtime allowance, bonus, commission or any other similar allowance payable to the employee in respect of his employment or of work done in such employment;
    (iii) any presents made by the employer;

    Here 2 (b) (ii) excludes DA from PF Calculation. Then how you are saying it is included in PF liability Calculation

  39. ghoshin koshy

    Iam workin in private sector companyin kerala .and my net salary is Rs19261
    Basic-5218 house rent -3131 Ta-1600 adhoc allowance -10166 and company contribution to pf is rs 191 company contribution to Eps 435 and employee contribution to pf is 626 is it correct method .kindly help

    Ghoshin koshy

  40. Hi Sir ,

    I worked in a software firm for 2 years 4 months

    I was given 44400 rs as employee contribution and 13000 as employer contribution for EPF

    Today I received 12900 rs from epfo department . So totally I got around 57000 including interest .

    But I have read in you blog that employee contribution is 12% and employer contribution+ pension fund =12 %

    So I should get 44400 rs from employer and pension fund …. but I received only 25000 rs

    Could you please tell me where did I go wrong ? and explain how it is calculated ?

    My basic is around 7500 rs for the employment period

  41. sanjay kumar sharma


    We are doing work on contract basis we charges monthly basis (Rate) Dec to Jan 26 days a month, and feb (miximum work 24 days) how we calculate the salary of worker in the month of feb.2015 specially. if he performing 24 days.excluding rest day 4. me.

  42. There are total four columns in Provident Fund Contribution Statment
    1) Amount of Wages
    2)Employee PF Contribution
    3)Employer PF Contribution
    4)Employer EPS Contribution

    My question is , What is the meaning of Amount of Wages here?

  43. rajesh kumar sharma


    Kindly tell me adoc allowance will include in basic pay for calculation of EPF/Gratuity/leaveincashment etc.

  44. Hi Sir,

    suppose my salary is 10000 than my pf will deduct or not and rs 6500 is it maximum amount we can get thru pf

    1. Durgesh-In that Rs.10,000 can you share me the components separately to understand it and explain you? Because now the mandatory limit for deduction of EPF raised from Rs.6,500 to Rs.15,000. So if your salary (Basic+DA) fall upto Rs.15,000 then you must have mandatory EPF deduction.

  45. Parthiban Jayaraman

    Dear Sir,
    Whether the Supreme Court decides inclusion of other allowances such as HRA, Bonus in to EPF calaculation

  46. Hi.I wanted to throw light on this question posted above : What is ceiling limit for EPF Wages? Is it Rs.6500/- or actual basic or whichever is more/less?
    Recently, I was made an offer by a company in which it was mentioned the ‘PF amount shall be 12% of basic or Rs.780/- whichever is less”
    Now, I am already getting PF in my current job as per the 12% ruling.From where does this Rs.780 clause come in?(12% of Rs.6500 comes to Rs.780).As far as I know a person can be excluded from PF is his/her earnings exceed 6500 rs per month.But I am already a part of the Provident Fund Scheme and would like to get the same 12% in my new job.
    So, is the company offering me the PF component right or they misintepreted the 6500 sentence in EPF law and offering me Rs.780 only?

    1. Shalin-Currently the salary meaning for EPF contribution is Basic+DA. But it is going to change shortly where in your other allowances will also include in it. Even I too unable to understand how they are calculating Rs.780. Your EPF inclusion will be based on the number of employees your company have but not on the minimum or the maximum EPF contribution like what you are thinking. So you need to ask your new employer like on what base they are claiming as EPF will be only Rs.780.

  47. Overtime if paid on single rate then it is to be included to calculate the PF, if paid on double rate then there is no need to add for calcution of PF

    1. Basavaraj Tonagatti

      Vinod-Still clarity is missing and they are once again including allowance part to include in meaning of salary. So let us wait till clarity emerge 🙂

  48. Hi Everybody
    I want to know the leave policies for private limited company,if possible please send your valuable comments related to leave policies applicable in Andhra pradesh.

    1. Syed-Each organisation especially private organisations have their own policies. Hence it is difficult to say. Let me know what exactly you are looking for.

    1. Muthu-Employees drawing salary of Rs.6,500 or less have to compulsory make contribution. But whose salary is more than Rs.6,500 have no compulsion to join this scheme. So in this case basic will not come into picture. Salary means what it defined above.

      1. What is the present position of employers PF contribution to an employee, after the new rule that is all the allowances to be include in PF calculation


      2. Are you saying that if an employee has a Salary of MORE THAN 6500, there is NO COMPULSION to join the Scheme. In other words, the Company need not include the said employee in the EPF Scheme?

  49. sir if I want to withdraw amount from my EPF account for any personal requirement or any unexpected emergencies.
    can I withdraw.If yes then how the process?

    1. JK-You can withdraw amount only for below mentioned emergencies. They are Marriage or Education (must have completed 7 years, available corpus is 50% of the balance and 3 times during the service), Medical Treatment, Purchase or Construction of house, repayment of housing loan, pre-retirement. For your education need you can apply in Form 31 through employer. A Bonafide certificate duly indicating the fees payable from the educational institution must be submitted as proof.

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