EFPO or Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has around six crore subscribers and manages a corpus of Rs 10 lakh crore. The retirement fund body receives over 1 crore claims every year including those pertaining to EPF withdrawal, pension fixation and insurance. The EPFO has been taking many steps for easing the process of claims settlement. While an employee's 12 per cent contribution goes toward EPF kitty, 8.33 per cent out of the total 12 per cent of the employer's contribution is invested in EPS or pension scheme. The balance 3.67 per cent is invested in EPF.
Here are six latest developments EPFO subscribers should know
1) Now, EPF claims above Rs. 10 lakh don't have to be filed online. The EPFO has revised its rules related to provident fund claims. In a circular dated April 13, EPFO said offline claims will also be accepted in all cases. EPFO subscribers have the option of filing online as well as manual claims for provident fund withdrawals.
2) Earlier, in a April 13 circular, EPFO had said that "in case the amount of claim settlement is above Rs. 10 lacs for PF claims and Rs. 5 lacs in respect of EPS withdrawal claims, the claim form must be accepted through online mode only." EPFO in the April 13 circular said that "considering the grievances raised by members, this stipulation will be kept in abeyance so that offline claims will also be accepted in all cases."
3) EPFO subscribers may soon get an option to increase or decrease investments out of their provident fund into stocks through exchange trade funds (ETF). The EPFO has been investing in stock markets through ETFs since August 2015. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are funds that track indexes such as Sensex and Nifty. In 2015-16, EPFO invested 5 per cent of its investible deposits which was subsequently increased to 10 per cent 2016-17 and 15 per cent in 2017-18.
4) In a recent meeting of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT), it was decided to explore the possibility of giving an option of enhancing equity allocation beyond mandated equity investment limit (presently 15 per cent) and also the option of reducing equity allocation below the limit to the subscribers.
5) EPF or Employee Provident Fund scheme would have two separate member account heads: Fixed Income - where fixed annual interest gets credited to members account - and Equity (ETF) - where investment in equity is reflected as units and the return is marked to market.
6) This accounting policy of investment in Exchange Traded Funds was recently approved by Central Board of Trustees or CBT, the apex decision body of EPFO or Employees' Provident Fund Organisation. (With Agency Inputs)