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Your PF balance will earn interest for 3 yrs

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I have one Universal Account Number (UAN) with my previous bank account, which is not working due to fraud. I use a different bank account and as of now, I am not employed. How can I change my bank account in my UAN and claim the balance of my provident fund (PF) in my new account?

—Deep Dutta

The bank account linked to an employee’s UAN can generally be updated online through the following process: 1. Employee would need to login into the EPFO’s member portal; 2. Under ‘Manage’ tab, employee would need to select KYC option; 3. Under document type ‘Bank’, the employee would need to fill bank account details and save them; 4. The same generally needs to be approved by the employer online; and 5. Once approved by the PF office, the bank account shall be updated.

As you are no longer employed, in case the former employer is unable to do the approval process at his end, you can attempt to submit an offline letter along with the supporting documents in the jurisdictional PF office and request them to update the bank details in their records.

Once the above change is carried out in the UAN, you will need to submit an online claim form appearing under ‘Online Services’ tab on the EPFO’s member portal. Once the particulars of the forms are verified and forms are submitted, the PF withdrawal application shall be processed and after due check and verification, the funds would be credited to your new account.

I retired from the private sector at the age of 59 in January 2020 and have not withdrawn my PF as I was advised that interest would accrue to the balance for three years. I have conflicting opinions on this and have now been advised by my CA that zero interest would accrue as I was above 58 when I retired. Could you please clarify?

—Vijay

As per the existing provisions of the law, a PF account becomes an ‘inoperative account’ and does not earn further interest when an employee retires from service after attaining the age of 55 years or migrates abroad permanently or dies and does not apply for withdrawal of his accumulated balance within 36 months. Until such time, interest will continue to accrue on the PF balances.

In your case, you have ceased employment in January 2020 after completing 55 years of age, i.e., at 59 years of age and no contributions have been made to the PF account thereafter. Therefore, you should be able to earn interest in the PF account up to 36 months from your retirement.

Parizad Sirwalla is partner and head, global mobility services, tax, KPMG in India.

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