Did you know that when you get married your EPF and EPS nominations become invalid? As per the rules of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, 1952, any nomination made by you for your EPF and EPS accounts automatically becomes invalid when you get married and you are required to make a fresh nomination.
Puneet Gupta, Director, People Advisory Services, EY India says, “As per the Provident Fund Scheme, a fresh nomination is required by the member on his / her marriage and any nomination made before marriage shall be deemed to be invalid. This means that if you have joined the EPF and EPS before your marriage then post your marriage you will have to make a fresh nomination as the previous nomination made will be considered invalid, i.e., as if you have never made nomination.”
Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India says, “The nomination in EPF and EPS made prior to marriage automatically stands cancelled after marriage. As per the rules of the EPF scheme, an EPFO member is required to do fresh nomination after marriage.”
Rules of nomination in EPF and EPS account
As per the EPF Act, only defined family members can be nominated in an EPF account. Ms. Kasturirangan says, “Under the EPF Act- (i) in the case of a male member ”family” means his wife, his children (whether married or unmarried), his dependent parents and his deceased son’s widow and children and
ii) In the case of a female member, “family” means – her husband, her children (whether married or unmarried), her dependant parents, her husband’s dependent parents and her deceased son’s widow and children.”
However, the rules of nomination for EPF and EPS are different. Gupta says, “Family, in respect of whom nomination may be made, is defined differently for the purpose of Provident Fund Scheme and Pension Scheme. In the case of EPF, a member has an option to nominate even his/her parents, apart from spouse and children. However, in the case of EPS, a member can nominate only his spouse and children.”
Gupta says, “After marriage, you can still nominate your parents (irrespective of your gender) or any other family member as defined in the law in your EPF account. However, for your pension scheme account, you can only nominate your spouse and children after your marriage.”
What if you don’t have a defined ‘family member’?
As per the rules, if the EPF member does not have any family member as defined above, then he/she can nominate any other person but the nomination will become invalid when the person acquires a family, as per the law.
Gupta says, “Where an employee has no family (as prescribed under the rules), a nomination may be made in favour of anyone. However, once an employee is married or has a family, fresh nomination in favour of one or more family members is required as the previous one stands cancelled.”
Ms. Kasturirangan says, “A person can nominate his family members for receiving the benefits under the EPF and EPS scheme. A member who is not married or who does not have any living spouse and/or an eligible child may nominate a person to receive benefits as provided under the scheme. However, in the event of his/her acquiring a family (as mentioned in the rules), the nomination made earlier will become void and a fresh nomination will be required under both the schemes, i.e., EPF and EPS.”
The member is required to make nomination using Form 2. Recently, EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) has launched the e-nomination facility on the member sewa portal. EPF members whose account is Aadhaar-linked and verified can use the facility to make fresh nominations.
What if you forgot to do the nomination after marriage and pass away due to unexpected event?
Ms. Kasturirangan says, “Under the EPF scheme, if no nomination exists, the entire sum will become payable to the members of the family (as prescribed in the EPF Act) in equal shares, however, no share shall be payable to sons who have attained majority, married daughters whose husband are alive. In case of EPS if the person is unmarried, then pension will be payable to dependent father/mother.”
What if I wish to nominate non-family member?
“Ideally, a family member as prescribed under the law should be nominated in the EPF and EPS accounts. If you want to exclude a family member like your husband or father from the definition of family, for that you can write to EPFO commissioner in case of EPF. From a practical perspective, one could try approaching the EPFO commissioner if there are challenges in nomination. Similarly, in case of separation or those who do not have children and the spouse has passed away, the pension will be paid to dependent father/mother,” adds Ms Kasturirangan.