Renting a House in Bangalore - Standard Practices and Experiences

Renting a house in Bangalore has always been a complicated process because standard practices are quite different here as compared to other cities . Here are some observations based on my experiences -

  1. 10 months rent as advance - Owners demand a customary 10 months rent as advance which you need to pay before moving in the house. It is negotiable in some cases depending upon the owner's temperament. Some owners agree for a higher rent and lesser advance (eg. 6 months instead of 10) or vice versa. Please note that the advance money is refunded (after deducting the amount mentioned in point 2 ) when you leave the house.

EPF Contribution Increased From Rs 780 - Why?

Many of my friends have mentioned about their PF contribution changing from Rs 780 to Rs 1800 from September 2014 onwards (without any salary revision / increase) and have been wondering about the cause for this.

The increased EPF contribution is a result of EPFO decision to raise the PF wage ceiling to Rs 15,000 from Rs 6,500. The details can be found in my previous article. This decision took effect from September 1st, 2014 onwards. To understand it better, we need to know the usual pattern of EPF contributions

Employer EPS Contribution Increased from Rs 541 to Rs 1250

In Aug 2014, EPFO decided to raise the wage ceiling for becoming a subscriber of EPFO to Rs 15,000 from Rs 6,500. The details can be found in my previous article. This decision took effect from September 1st, 2014 onwards.

One fallout of the decision is that the EPS share which my company was contributing every month got raised from Rs 541 to Rs 1250. This change is reflected in my EPF passbook for the October entry (i.e. September contributions).

Online Insurance Renewal Problems: ICICI Lombard and HDFC Ergo

Insurance companies very well know the potential of the online channel for insurance registrations and renewals. Selling policies online helps them to make significant savings as they no longer need to pay commissions to the agents. That is the reason why all insurance products such as cars, 2 wheelers, health, travel, home, personal, life insurance, etc. are available to buy online.

Despite being aware of this online advantage, most of the insurance companies are lagging behind when it comes to being customer friendly. There is a good amount of improvement possible in current online setup of most insurance companies.

Understanding UAN SMS Update of Transaction in EPF Account

I received this sms from EPFO yesterday, "Dear member, Rs xxxxx for 10/2014 has been credited in your epf account".

It is a good initiative by EPFO to send a sms alert everytime a credit happens in the EPF account. This way its easier to keep a check on my EPF account transactions. Along with sending a monthly sms alert, EPFO is also updating the e-passbook monthly. You can go to UAN portal and view your latest transactions in your passbook. (Read my previous post to know how to do that)

UAN (Universal Account number) Launched for EPFO Subscribers

Much awaited UAN service has been launched by EPFO on 16 Oct, 2014. Many of you might have received a sms stating the same - "Congratulations on getting portability facility for EPF account. now you can operate your account without any intermediation. Narendra Modi."

To begin the effective delivery of services through UAN portal, EPFO has launched the UAN programme with the following services -

Tax Deduction on EPF Withdrawal

Readers on this blog have asked this question, times and again, "What are the tax implications on EPF withdrawal?" Since the responses to such questions are all hidden in comments, I decided to write a separate post on the same.

EPF Withdrawal After 5 years

If the total continuous service is more than 5 years (in one or more companies), the EPF is NOT taxable.

Understanding UAN (Universal Account number) and its effect on EPF Withdrawal / Transfer

Universal PF Account number has become a reality now, thanks to the untiring efforts of EPFO, India. A unique Universal Account number (UAN) has already been allotted to all contributory members of EPFO and its services are expected to become operational from October 16, 2014. Right now EPFO is in the process of integrating KYC details with the UAN of each employee.

You might have already heard about this new system from your employer or from your friends and might be thinking how will it benefit you. To answer that, lets understand first what is UAN.

Frequently Asked Questions on EPF Withdrawal

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions from our readers -

  1. What is the minimum required "period of service" to be eligible for EPF withdrawal?
    Ans:- For EPF withdrawal, there is no minimum limit on period of service. But for EPS, it is 6 months. You will not be eligible for EPS - Pension fund, if you have resigned before 6 months.

  2. Can I give the account number of my joint account in EPF withdrawal form?

Interest rate on EPF deposits for year 2014-15

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced to keep the EPF interest rate at 8.75 per cent, same as the previous year, for the current fiscal year (2014-15). The announcement came on 26th Aug,2014 at a meeting of the Central Board of Trustees - the apex decision making body of EPFO. However, this decision would be implemented only after the approval of the Finance Ministry.

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