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Sanjeev

Sanjeev Govila  |442 Answers  |Ask -

Financial Planner - Answered on Dec 06, 2023

Colonel Sanjeev Govila (retd) is the founder of Hum Fauji Initiatives, a financial planning company dedicated to armed forces officers and their families.
He has over 12 years of experience in financial planning and is a SEBI certified registered investment advisor; he is also accredited with AMFI and IRDA.... more
Sivaraman Question by Sivaraman on Nov 29, 2023Translate
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I worked in company A for 5 years and accumulated PF and then I joined company B and worked for 8 months and accumulated PF. Before I could link these 2 PFs account, I got a job abroad and worked there for 7 years. As my contract is over, I had to return to India. I am presently getting rental income of Rs. 12 Lakhs per annum and paying tax on that. My age is 55 years now. Can I withdraw both the PF amount totalling Rs. 15 Lakhs as on date? Is it taxable? To avoid Income tax, do I need to wait till 60 years of age?

Ans: The retirement age set by the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is 58 years for private sector employees. Therefore, you are not eligible for full PF withdrawal (contribution + pension). However, early retirement age is set at 55 years of age.

The taxability of your PF withdrawal depends on two factors:

• Your service period: If you have completed at least 5 years of continuous service (without any breaks exceeding 6 months), then the entire PF amount (including employer and employee contributions) is tax-free at the time of withdrawal.

• Your contributions made after 1 April 2004: If you have made any contributions to your PF account after 1 April 2004, then the interest earned on those contributions will be taxable.

Moreover, you need to verify the following to ensure the complete PF amount is tax-free:
• As your both accounts (company A and B) are not linked, you need to get them linked to avoid any tax implications.
• Whether there were any breaks exceeding 6 months in your service period.

Waiting until you turn 60 years old will not automatically make your PF withdrawal tax-free. The taxability still depends on your service period and contributions made after 1 April 2004, as mentioned earlier.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information to be as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision.
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Sanjeev

Sanjeev Govila  |442 Answers  |Ask -

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Hi Sir, I had worked in one company from 2003-2006 and PF was not withdrawn or transferred. But that company is not existing now as it was acquired by other company. How do I withdraw the PF Balance amount. Thanks & Regards, Raghavendra
Ans: It can be tricky to access your PF balance when the company no longer exists. Here are some steps you can take to retrieve your PF balance:

1. Gather Your Documents:

• UAN (Universal Account Number): You can check your UAN on your pay slips from the past employer or by logging in to the EPFO website if you remember your PF account number.
• PF Account Number: If you don't have a UAN, you'll need your PF account number, which was usually mentioned on your salary slips.
• Company Details: Try to gather any information you can about the company you worked for, such as its previous name, acquiring company's name (if known), and the date of acquisition.

2. Withdrawal Process:
Option 1: Online (if you have UAN):
• Log in to the EPFO Member Interface using your UAN and registered mobile number.
• Go to the "Services" tab and select "Claim Settlement."
• Choose the appropriate withdrawal form based on your reason for withdrawal (Form 10C for full withdrawal, etc.).
• Fill in the details for the account you want to withdraw from (specify "previous employer" if you don't see it automatically).
• Enter the company details you have as "Establishment Type" and mention "Closed Establishment" in the remarks section.
• Submit the claim form with all required documents (scanned copies).

Option 2: Offline (if no UAN):
• Download the appropriate withdrawal form for non-UAN members (Composite Claim Form).
• Fill in the form with your details and company information.
• Get the form attested by a bank manager or gazetted officer.
• Submit the completed form with supporting documents to the Regional PF Office having jurisdiction over your previous employer's location.
3. Follow Up:
• Whether you apply online or offline, keep track of your claim status regularly. You can do this through the EPFO website or by contacting the regional PF office.
• If you remember the acquiring company's name, contacting their HR department might also be helpful. They might have records of your previous company's employees and PF accounts.
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As part of a couple in our early 30s, along with our elderly parents, we have a combined annual income of Rs 1.08 crores. How can we collectively plan for both our retirement and the financial well-being of our parents in the long run?
Ans: Balancing your financial needs and that of your parents, while planning for retirement, requires a comprehensive strategy. Here's a roadmap to get you started:

1. Understand your financial situation:

Gather information about:

• Income: List down your combined annual income (Rs 1.08 crore) and any other sources of income like rental income or investments.
• Expenses: Track your monthly expenses for a few months to understand your spending habits.
• Debts: List down any outstanding debts like mortgages, car loans, etc., including your parents' debts if applicable.
• Retirement benefits: Check your eligibility and potential benefits from social security or employer-sponsored retirement plans.
• Parents' needs: Estimate your parents' current and future financial needs, including healthcare costs.

2. Set retirement goals:

• Desired retirement age: Decide when you and your partner wish to retire.
• Desired lifestyle: Determine the lifestyle you envision in retirement, considering travel, hobbies, and potential healthcare needs.
• Financial goals: Based on your desired lifestyle and life expectancy, calculate the estimated corpus (total sum) required for your retirement. Consider inflation while making these calculations.

3. Create a financial plan:

• Debt management: Prioritise paying off high-interest debts to free up future income for savings and investments.
• Budgeting: Create a budget that allocates funds for essential expenses, savings, and debt repayments. You can involve your parents in creating a budget for their expenses as well.
• Savings and investments: Explore various investment options like mutual funds, PPF (Public Provident Fund), or NPS (National Pension Scheme) based on your risk tolerance and investment horizon. Utilize tax-advantaged retirement accounts like 401(k)s or IRAs if available to you.
• Healthcare planning: Consider health insurance plans for yourselves and your parents to manage potential medical costs in the future.

4. Open communication and support:

• Discuss openly: Have open and honest conversations with your partner and parents about your financial situation, goals, and expectations. This fosters transparency and builds trust within the family.
• Seek professional guidance: Consulting a financial advisor can help you create a personalized plan considering your specific financial situation and retirement goals. They can also guide you on investment strategies and risk management.

Additional considerations:

• Government schemes: Explore government schemes for senior citizens like the Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS) or the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) that may benefit your parents.
• Downsizing: Consider downsizing your living situation or exploring alternative housing options in retirement to potentially reduce living expenses.
• Part-time work: If feasible, consider continuing part-time work in retirement to supplement your income and maintain an active lifestyle.

Remember, this is a general framework, and it's crucial to tailor it to your specific circumstances. Consulting a financial advisor can provide personalised guidance and ensure your financial plan considers all the complexities involved.
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