Provident fund subscribers who have inoperative accounts from their earlier jobs will not lose interest if they file an application for withdrawal of accumulated funds or transfer to an operative account before March 1, 2011 even if the settlement happens later.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has decided against penalising account holders for the delays as it prepares to receive lakhs of applications for settling inoperative accounts. “We plan to give interest on PF deposits in inoperative accounts if the delay in transfers or closures is beyond one month of submission of applications from account holders,” a senior EPFO official told media.
This means that if account holders apply for transfers or closures before March 1, 2011, they will keep getting interest till the account is actually closed or transferred irrespective of when it happens. The Central Board of Trustees of the EPFO, the key decision-making body for the fund comprising representatives from the government, employers and trade unions, has decided the government would stop giving interest on accounts that have been inoperative for more than three years from the next fiscal.
While one could expect all such account holders to rush for closing or transferring their accounts, the EPFO office has not yet received many such applications. “It is obvious that subscribers want their deposits to earn 9.5% return announced this year for as long as possible. We expect maximum claims to come from February next year,” the official said.