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Ramalingam Kalirajan5108 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jun 13, 2024

Asked on - Jun 13, 2024Hindi

Sir my old organisation I.e Odissa power generation corporation has settled my amount without paying interest for the period kept( almost 18 months). I worked upto 2021 Dec and I got job in the month of March 2023. Due to this , I couldn't not transfer my EPFO amount from Odissa power to the new organisation. Odisha power has given interest upto Dec 2021 only though they kept my entire amount till Oct 2023. They are denying to pay interest for this 18 months. Pl advise me .
Ans: Understanding the Issue
You've encountered a significant issue with the settlement of your Employee Provident Fund (EPF) from your previous employer, Odisha Power Generation Corporation. They have credited interest only until December 2021, despite holding your EPF amount until October 2023. This discrepancy means you have missed out on the interest that should have been accrued over the 18 months from January 2022 to October 2023.

Legal Framework and EPF Interest Guidelines
According to the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) rules, interest should be credited to an EPF account for the entire period the amount is held, irrespective of whether the employee is actively contributing or not. This means that even if there is a gap in contributions, as in your case, the account should still earn interest until it is fully settled. This rule is designed to ensure that employees receive their full due for the period their funds are held within the EPF system.

Steps to Resolve the Issue
Communicate with the Employer
Your first step should be to communicate with the Human Resources (HR) department or the EPF handling department of Odisha Power Generation Corporation. Present your case clearly, citing EPFO rules that state interest should be credited until the settlement date. Provide necessary documents like your EPF account statements and any correspondence related to the settlement.

Effective communication with the employer can often resolve such issues. Ensure your communication is professional and includes all relevant details, including your employment period, EPF account number, and the specific discrepancy regarding the interest payment.

Formal Written Complaint
If your initial attempts do not resolve the issue, escalate the matter by submitting a formal written complaint to your employer. Clearly outline the problem, emphasizing that according to EPFO rules, interest should have been credited for the entire period your funds were held. Include all relevant documentation to support your claim.

Approach the EPFO
If your employer does not resolve the issue, the next step is to escalate it to the EPFO. Here’s how:

File a Grievance: Use the EPFO’s online grievance portal, EPFiGMS, to file a complaint. Ensure you provide all relevant details, such as your EPF account number, employment period, and the discrepancy in interest payment. Attach supporting documents to strengthen your case.

Visit the Regional EPFO Office: Personally visit the regional EPFO office and submit a written complaint. Ensure you have copies of all relevant documents, such as EPF statements and correspondence with your employer. A face-to-face discussion can sometimes expedite the resolution process.

Social Media and Other Channels: Sometimes raising the issue on social media platforms like Twitter, tagging the official EPFO handles, can bring your issue to their attention more quickly. Be concise and clear in your communication.

Documenting the Issue
Keep thorough records of all your communications regarding this issue. This includes emails, letters, and notes from phone conversations. Having detailed records can be crucial if you need to escalate the matter further or if it becomes a legal issue.

Seeking Support
HR and Union Support
If your employer has a union or employee representative body, consider seeking their support. They can provide additional pressure on the employer to resolve the issue and ensure you receive the interest due on your EPF balance.

Legal Counsel
If the issue remains unresolved despite your efforts, consider seeking legal advice. A lawyer specializing in labour laws can offer guidance on how to proceed and may help you recover the due interest through legal channels. Legal action should be a last resort but can be necessary if all other avenues fail.

Understanding Your Rights
It is essential to understand your rights under the EPF scheme. The EPFO mandates that interest should be credited to an EPF account for the period it is held by the employer or the EPFO, regardless of whether contributions are being made during that period. This interest is meant to ensure that your retirement savings grow over time, providing financial security.

Persistence and Patience
Resolving issues with EPF settlements can sometimes take time and persistence. Stay patient and continue to follow up regularly with the relevant authorities. Regular follow-up can ensure your case remains active and receives the attention it deserves.

Final Insights
Addressing discrepancies in EPF interest payments is crucial to ensuring that you receive the full benefits entitled to you. By understanding your rights and following the outlined steps, you can effectively address this issue. Communicate clearly with your employer, escalate to the EPFO if needed, and consider legal counsel if the problem persists. Persistence and thorough documentation will be your allies in resolving this matter.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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