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Kapil Tiwari (export executive)     24 December 2012

Nomination in employees provident fund for unmarried male

I am a member of the Employees Provident Fund and have been voluntarily contributing 100% of my basic salary (Rs.6,500/- per month) for the last several years and have been able to save a significant amount in my EPF account as part of my retirement planning.

I am not married and do not intend to get married or raise a family. Hence, I have nominated my younger sister to be the beneficiary of my EPF corpus in case of my death.

I have just come across 2 clauses in the EPF scheme which has me worried:

1)"If a member has a family at the time of making a nomination, the nomination shall be in favour of one or more persons belonging to his family. 
Any nomination made by such member in favour of a person not belonging to his family shall be invalid."

2)"a family” means— 
(i) in the case of a male member, his wife, his children, whether married or unmarried, his dependant parents and his deceased son’s 
widow and children."

My queries are:

a)whether, after reading these two clauses, my sister's appointment as my nominee is legal and valid since I have no "family" as defined in point 2 given above,

b)that the entire amount(corpus) in my EPF account will be handed over to my sister without any undue complications in the eventuality of my death,

c)can I also appoint my brother or nephew or cousin as my nominee as long as I am not married and do not have a "family" as defined in point 2 above?

Thanks and Best Regards/Kapil Tiwari 


 11 Replies

Shantilal Pandya ( Advocate)     24 December 2012

 Nomination  in favor of your sister is valid ,the amount will be given to your sister in case of your abscence, .the nomination can be changed at any time by the employee.

1 Like


Dear Kapil,

Your sister nomination is valid & you can make anyone blood related person as your nominee. you can also make ,more than one person as your nominee.

after this if you have any daubts you can make a will and mentioned your legal heir(nominee) after your deceased.

Remember Will & Nomination can be change at anytime.

1 Like

Rajesh Kulkarni (Advocate)     24 December 2012


Hi Kapil,


It is your right to do so (i.e., to nominate your sister as a nominee) and its future right of your sister to claim for the same.

As per your query for FAMILY: on interpretation of word family includes sister and as you said your case is too clear --- No wife --- No children --- and as far as parents are concerned, ‘a person is a rightful decision maker on his own”

And about your query ‘c’ : Section does not say to appoint a nominee for a time being. Rather to get into technicalities you have right to appoint your as nominee and after you, your sister has right to claim for the same.


With regards,


1 Like

Kumar Doab (FIN)     24 December 2012

Learned experts/members have given valuable advice. Kindly follow it.

It is felt that your query is pertaining to:



And your reading of the rules of the scheme is correct.

You have posted that “I have no "family" as defined in point 2 given above,”

If an employee has a "family", can he make nomination in favour of brother?: No nomination can be made under the E. F. P. Scheme in favour of a person who is not a member of the "family". The word "family" is defined in Para 2(g) of the Scheme and according to the definition brother is not a member of the "family". The nomination made in favour of brother is invalid.


What is the provision of the Scheme in the matter of nomination by a member?: Each member has to make a nomination to receive the amount standing to his credit in the Fund in the event of his death. If he has a family, he has to nominate one or more persons belonging to his family and none other. If he has no family he can nominate any person or persons of his choice but if he subsequently acquires a family, such nomination becomes invalid and he will have to make a fresh nomination of one of more persons belonging to his family. A nomination can be modified by the member at any time. {Para 61}

Who is entitled to receive the accumulations in the Provident Fund account of a deceased member?: On the death of a member the amount standing to his credit in the Fund is payable to his nominee or nominees. If there is no nominee, such amount is payable to his family members in the manner specified in Paragraph 70 of the Scheme or in their absence to the legal heir. {Para 70}


{iii} in  Para 70


(iii)  in any case to which the provisions of clauses (i) and (ii) do

not apply the whole amount shall be payable to the person legally entitled to it. e purpose of effecting a nomination is to facilitate the payment of the funds held in your name in the scheme to the nominee and the institution can discharge its liability.

Hindu Succession Law applies for division of wealth in case a person dies without a written WILL.

Legal heir as per Hindu Succession law {in case a will is missing}

First right on wealth is of Class 1 Legal heir, then Class II in their sequence and if both are missing the property is passed to the agnates and cognates of the deceased in succession.

Class 1 Legal Heir: Son/Daughter, Widow, Mother, Son/Daughter of a pre-deceased son (per-deceased means “already Dead”),Son/Daughter of a pre-deceased Daughter, Widow of a pre-deceased son, Son/Daughter of a pre-deceased son of a pre-deceased son (3 levels),Widow of a pre-deceased son of a predeceased son.

Class II Legal Heir: Father, Brother/Sister, Son’s daughter’s son/daughter, Daughter’s son’s son/daughter, Daughter’s daughter’s son/daughter, Sibling son/daughter, Father’s Parents, Brother’s widow,  Father’s sibling, Mother’s parents, Mother’s sibling

Your brother and sister {both from Class II legal heir} can be nominated by you.

Agnate: is a relative if he/she is related by blood or adoption wholly through the male’s chain line.

If both Class I and II legal heir are missing first preference shall be given to Agnates.

Cognates: is a relative said to be cognate of the other if the two of them are related by blood or adoption, but not totally through males i.e. female is involved.

As you wish to pass your wealth to specific person with specified share you may change ownership and nomination of all of your accounts, mutual funds, FD’s etc….. and it shall be still better to have a/c in ‘Former or Survivor Mode’ and have the same joint holder’s name as nominee.

Also write a will with clear directions and register it, and thus leave no confusion.

Valuable advice of learned experts/members is sought.

Attached File : 1032190472 epfscheme.pdf downloaded: 428 times
1 Like

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     24 December 2012

He does not have a family as he is neither marreie dnor dopted any child

Kapil Tiwari (export executive)     25 December 2012

Dear Sir Kumar Doab,

Thanks for your detailed clarification. What I understood and infer/conclude is as follows:

1)Since I will never get married or have a family (wife, children,etc.), my real sister (married) or my real brother (married) can be the nominees of my Employees Provident Fund account corpus.

2)My mother is alive but is very old(82 years old).  Hence, I did not make her the nominee. Do you think, as per the EPF regulations, I should still make her my nominee instead of my real sister(married) or my real brother(married)?  

3)In case of my death, my provident fund accumulations will be paid to my nominated sister or nominated brother, even if my mother is still alive.

4) Only if I have not nominated any person, the provident fund accumulations will be paid to the person legally entitled to, as per my written will. If the will is also absent, the funds will be paid to my legal heir as per the Hindu Succession Act.

5) Under no circumstances will the Government refuse payment or reject the claim of my nominee or legal heir on any pretext or excuse. This is my BIGGEST WORRY!

Thanks and Best Regards/ Kapil Tiwari  

Kumar Doab (FIN)     25 December 2012

You had posted that:

--“I am not married and do not intend to get married or raise a family. Hence, I have nominated my younger sister to be the beneficiary of my EPF corpus in case of my death.”

You had not mentioned in your previous posts that your mother is still alive.

The learned experts/members of the forum had given their advice according to the information posted by you.

Your mother is alive, and you have read the rules of nomination.

Kapil Tiwari (export executive)     25 December 2012

Dear Kumar Doab Sir,

I understand that:

1)Presently, I should re-nominate my mother. Will she be classified as "dependent" parent even if she has her own sources of income and files her own Income Tax Returns?

2)Only in the eventuality of my mother's death, can I nominate my sister(married) or brother(married) or any other person?

I am extremely sorry for not mentioning that my mother is alive. This was a human error on my part.

I shall be grateful to you for your valuable advice.


With kind regards/Kapil Tiwari

Shantilal Pandya ( Advocate)     21 June 2013

if you have no family as  defined, you can nominate any body you like, even a stranger in the abscence of an inconsistent provision in the scheme.

Sudhir Kumar, Advocate (Advocate)     21 June 2013

see the column of Form 2 you already stand advised.

Adl Deeps   27 July 2021

I dont know when and how the rules change. Now EPFO doesnt allow Sister to be added as nominee for EPF whereas it is allowed for EPS.

It is wrong rule. In today's world bhai bhai ka dushman hai and patni pati ki dushman hai.... Fighting cases in court for 10 years. how can you give your EPF to such person who is fighting with you for 10 years in court

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