If you have multiple UANs, give up the old ones and merge all the PF accounts
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I have an Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account from my previous organisation. That account is linked to my Universal Account Number (UAN). I have a new EPF account from my present organisation, which is also linked to my UAN. When I see details associated with my UAN, I see both accounts. Do I need to transfer money from the previous account to the present account? I thought the point of UAN was that you could have multiple accounts and not bother with transferring.
As your UAN is already active, the complete summary of your EPF across various employers can be viewed online provided the UAN is common across all such employers. In case of a different UAN number which can be a possibility i.e. the new employer was not informed for the previous UAN and hence the employer mapped the EPF against a new UAN or for any other reason if a new UAN is created, then you need to surrender the old UAN and merge the EPF in the new UAN. And wherever you have multiple PF due to change of jobs, it becomes easy for you to track the same under the same UAN. However you should merge the EPF accounts together as that will make it even more simple and convenient with one consolidated statement. The very essence of UAN linked EPF account is to make the entire process of PF transfer, withdrawal transparent and convenient to do without any intervention of the employer.
My dad has a retirement corpus of about Rs4 lakh and we don’t have any other source of income. What can be done with this amount?
You need to invest the retirement corpus. However, you cannot take too much risk with this money as this is his retirement corpus and there is no other source of income for him. We are also assuming that he does not have to contribute towards regular household monthly expenses. To start with, ensure that he has a medical insurance. Many websites and newspapers provide you a comprehensive comparison, which you can use to choose the one that suits your needs. You may cover him for a Rs1 lakh to Rs2 lakh of sum assured. And from the corpus available for investment, the focus has to be the inflation-adjusted returns. To achieve the same, some exposure to equity should be considered, that is, 20-30% via mutual funds. Within mutual funds, you can consider investing in balanced and large-cap equity funds. The investments are to be made in a staggered manner through a systematic transfer plan(STP). Here, the funds are invested in debt schemes, from where they are switched to your equity scheme over a predetermined time frame. And for the balance amount, which would be 70-80%, you can consider bank fixed deposits (FD). The FD can be split in three deposits spread over different time horizons to maintain liquidity.
I am in my late 30s and will retire at 55. I have invested Rs30 lakh in immovable property as a long term investment. However, in mutual funds the investment has so far yielded Rs12-15 lakh. I have two children (9 and 2 years old). Please suggest how much amount should I invest for my children’s higher education and marriage
Whenever you compare two similar asset classes, it is recommended to compare them across the same time horizons to get the true picture. You have investment in real estate of Rs30 lakh; so check the current market price and adjust the cost price against the interest on housing loan if any, cost of brokerage and any other cost you may have incurred including registration charges. Do look at the time value of money as this would have been invested across different time periods. Likewise, do the same for SIP investment assuming the SIP is in equity asset class and then calculate their respective returns. It is not about which asset class is a good performer. It may happen that the SIP may be the underperformer and you may need to change the schemes or it could be also that real estate is an underperformer and then you may consider selling it off.
The amount to be invested for your children’s education and marriage as well as for your retirement will be based on how much you are planning to keep aside for all these goals Invest your surplus and increase it regularly as your income goes up. As your goals are all long term, do consider higher equity allocation.
Surya Bhatia is managing partner of Asset Managers. Queries and views at firstname.lastname@example.org.