EPFO

EPFO Invest more than Rs.18 crore in ETFs

EPFO Invest more than Rs.18 crore in ETFs

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is investing in Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) based on Nifty 50, Sensex and Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) Indices. EPFO does not invest in shares and equities of individual companies.

The total amount invested by EPFO in ETFs as on 28th February, 2017 is as under:

(i) Nifty 50 and Sensex Index based ETFs: Rs. 17,105 crore
(ii) CPSE Index based ETF: Rs. 1,504 crore.

The Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 is applicable to every establishment employing 20 or more persons which is either a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule-I of the Act or an establishment to which the Act has been made applicable by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.
An Employees Enrolment Campaign, 2017 has been launched for the period 01.01.2017 to 31.03.2017 to bring in more workers under the ambit of EPFO. Under the campaign, an employer, whether already covered or yet to be covered, can enroll employees who remained un-enrolled for any reason between 01.04.2009 and 31.12.2016 by making a declaration of such employees during the campaign period. Such declaration shall be valid only in respect of employees who are alive as on 1st January, 2017 and no proceedings under Section 7A of the EPF & MP Act, 1952 or under paragraph 26B of the Employees Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952 or under paragraph 8 of the Employees Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 have been initiated against their establishment or employer, as the case may be, to determine the eligibility for membership of such employees.

This information was given by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment,in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

PIB

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 22, 2017 at 6:51 pm

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EPFO takes various steps for speedy settlement of claims

EPFO takes various steps for speedy settlement of claims

The Employees Provident FundsOrganization (EPFO) has taken various steps for speedy settlement of claims which inter alia include:

  • Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) and Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhaar) has been introduced by replacing the erstwhile Claim Forms No. 19, 10C and 31, with a view to simplify the submission of claims by the subscribers. The Composite Claim Form has been further simplified to include self-certification by EPF subscribers. The Composite Claim Form (Aadhaar) can be submitted to the EPFO without attestation of their employers.
  • EPFO has mandated to settle claims within 20 days.
  • Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP) has been introduced to facilitate seamless transfer of claims.
  • An online payment facility has been developed for employers for payment of dues. The internet banking (INB) facility enhances efficiency and payment and ensures anytime, anywhere online access while usage of existing internet bank account to make payments online.
  • National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT) has been introduced for payments.

The Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions (EPF & MP) Act, 1952 is applicable to every establishment employing 20 or more persons which is either a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule-I of the Act or an establishment to which the Act has been made applicable by the Central Government by notification in the Official Gazette.

There was a total of 17.14 crore Employees Provident Fund (EPF) accounts as on 31.03.2016. 12.21 lakh accounts were pending for updation. As per consolidated Annual Accounts of EPFO for the year 2015-16, the closing balance in Interest Account as on 31st March, 2016 is Rs. 45,135.25 crore.

This information was given by Shri BandaruDattatreya, the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment,in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 20, 2017 at 10:25 pm

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EPF Members to Withdraw upto 90 % Fund for Purchase of House

EPF Members to Withdraw upto 90 % Fund for Purchase of House
Government to Amend EPF Scheme, 1952 to Enable EPF Members to Withdraw upto 90 Percent Fund for Purchase of HouseThe Government has taken a decision for modification in the Employees’ Provident Funds (EPF) Scheme, 1952 to add a new paragraph 68 BD under which a member of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), being a member of a co-operative society or a housing society having at least 10 members of EPF, can withdraw upto 90 per cent from the Fund for purchase of dwelling house/flat or construction of dwelling house/acquisition of site. Monthly installments for repayments of any outstanding payments or interest may also be paid from the amount standing to the credit of the member, to the Government/housing agency/primary lending agency or banks concerned.

The total number of Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) member accounts as on 31.03.2016, as per Annual Report for 2015-16, is 17.14 crore. On an average, contributions have been received in respect of 3.76 crore members during the year 2015-16. The withdrawal facility from the Provident Fund (PF) account under the Scheme will be available to only those PF members who fulfill the conditions prescribed.

This information was given by Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, the Minister of State (IC) for Labour and Employment, in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 16, 2017 at 6:30 pm

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Last Date Extended to 31.3.2017 for Submission of Digital Life Certificate

Last date of submission of Digital Life Certificate through Jeevan Pramaan Patra extended upto 31st March 2017

EPF & MP Act, 1952 made applicable to all staff employed in ECHS on contractual basis

A single page composite claim form in death cases replaces Form 20, form 5-IF and Form 10-D

Noticing that many pensioners are yet to submit Aadhaar authenticated Jeevan Pramaan as life certificate for continuation of drawal of pension, the EPFO has further extended the last date of submission of Digital Life Certificate through Jeevan Pramaan Patra upto 31st March 2017. Earlier the last date was 28th February 2017.

Members and pensioners of the Employees Pension Scheme, 1995 are required to furnish Aadhaar number by 31st March 2017. In case a member has not been allotted Aadhaar Number, a copy of Aadhaar Enrolment ID slip is required to be attached for settlement of claim under EPS, 1995, namely for pension processing and monthly pension payments. Aadhaar number however is not required in case a member of pension scheme having less than 10 years of service chooses to withdraw by making an application in Form 10-C.

An Employee Enrolment Campaign-2017, started by EPFO on January 1st 2017 to cover left out workers, continues upto 31st March 2017. Under the scheme:

  • The employee’s share of contributions if not deducted by the employer is waived.
  •  Nominal damages to be paid by the employer, in respect of the employees for whom declaration has been made under this campaign, is at the rate of Rupee One per annum.
  • Administrative charges have been waived.

Even though the EPF & MP Act, 1952 does not differentiate between casual, contractual and regular employees, it was noted that a large number of contractual employees hired by principal employer including those by the government departments, PSU and autonomous Organizations have remained out of coverage under EPFO. It is the duty of the principal employer to ensure compliance of their outsourced / regular / contract / casual / daily wager to the schemes under EPF Act.
To ensure coverage of workers, principal employers have been advised to ensure that their contractors are registered with EPFO before award of any contract or making any payments. EPFO provides relevant information in this regard to principal employers online.

A health care scheme called ECHS was formulated by Ministry of Defence for its ex-servicemen. The contractual workers of ECHS till now were deprived of the social security benefits under EPFO. The ECHS now has been brought under the ambit of the EPF Act. Ministry of Defence has issued necessary directions to the ECHS for enrolling their contractual staff. Similarly, all eligible workers engaged by contractors working with Military Engineering Services (MES) and Indian Railways have also being requested to ensure coverage of contractual employees under EPFO.

Towards continuous strive to bring increased conveniences and efficiency, a single page Composite Claim Form (Aadhar) replaces Forms No. 19 (UAN), 10C (UAN) & 31(UAN) for subscribers seeding their Aadhar number with UAN. This can be submitted without the attestation of employers. For subscribers who are yet to seed Aadhaar and Bank details with their UAN, a new Composite Claim Form (Non-Aadhar) replaces the existing Forms No. 19, 10C & 31.

In addition, a Composite Claim Form in death cases replaces the existing Forms No, 20, 5-IF and 10-D. The claimants can apply for claim of Provident Fund, Insurance Fund and monthly pension through this single page composite claim form in case of death of a member.

Source: PIB News

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 8, 2017 at 7:08 pm

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EPFO: Here are 4 points govt is working on the retirement scheme to make it more subscriber friendly

EPFO: Here are 4 points govt is working on the retirement scheme to make it more subscriber friendly

After last year’s fiasco over taxing of provident fund, the government seems to be working overtime to make changes to the retirement scheme. The government has introduced a slew of measures to make the Employee provident Fund Organsiation or EPFO more subscriber-friendly, while it is reportedly proposing more steps.

Here are the steps the government has taken or has proposed to take and what they mean to you:

1) The EPFO recently simplified the norms for provident fund claims by coming out with a single one-page form for all types of claims. This means you won’t need to fill forms like Form 19, Form 10C, and Form 31 anymore to make the claims. These forms were being accepted for PF Final Settlement, EPS Pension withdrawal and PF Partial withdrawal respectively in the past.

The new form called the new Composite Claim Form (CFF) are of two types called CCF (Aadhaar) and CCF (non aadhaar). Even the process has now been made simple where the form can be submitted to EPFO which bypasses the employer completely if you are Aadhaar complaint and the account is seeded with your bank details. Here you will need to fill the CCF (AAdhaar) form and for those who are not Aadhaar compliant, they will have to fill the CCF (non aadhaar), and include the employer in the process.

Even taking advances from your PF corpus has been made easy, as going forward you don’t need to provide any kind of document as proof. The recent order by the government says, “submission aadhar compliant and non-Aadhar compliant form duly signed by the EPF subscriber shall be construed as ‘self-certification for the above partial withdrawals for which no documents would be required to be submitted to the EPFO offices.” In short, less amount of paper work for employees as well as faster resolution of claims will be set in place.

2) By May this year EPFO is planning to launch an online facility which will simplify the claim process, EPFO Central Provident Fund Commissioner VP Joy told recently. Under the proposed scheme, the claims are expected to be settled within 20 days of submitting the form. It usually take 4-5 months for the process to get done and money to credit into your bank account. The institution is working to make the entire process computerised.

3) In another move the government is considering decreasing the employers liability towards Employees Provident Fund (EPF) in the construction sector to 10 percent of the basic pay as against the current 12 percent, as reported by The Financial Express. Reducing the amount of employer’s contribution, will possibly nudge more building/construction units to extend the EPF benefits to workers. Last year, the Delhi High Court had passed an order stating that all construction workers need to be mandatorily enrolled under the EPF scheme. The Hindu Business Line had reported, “Builders had expressed concerns over “ambiguity” in the eligibility of workers, many of whom were employed on a casual or short-term basis.” And enrollment of construction workers in PF was below expectations.

4) EPFO is expected to launch a special housing scheme this month, which will make life of crores of members easier if they have or plan to avail a home loan. This scheme will enable members to make down payments or pay EMIs from their EPF account to buy houses.

According to PTI, the subscribers as well as their employers would be required to form a group housing society which would further tie up with banks and builders or sellers of homes so that EPFO members can buy homes. The scheme is likely to be launched anytime after 8 March.

Explainer: The granular details are yet to be out, only time will tell if this scheme is good.

Do keep tracking this space as we bring you more information when the scheme is launched.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 7, 2017 at 10:12 am

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Furnishing of Aadhaar mandatory for final settlement of Pension claims

Furnishing of Aadhaar mandatory for final settlement of Pension claims

Ministry of Labour & Employment
Press Information Bureau,
Government of India

02-March, 2017

The EPFO has clarified that obtaining of Aadhaar should be mandatory for the time being only for final settlement of Pension and not in withdrawl cases. The EPFO had extended the date of submission of Aadhaar Number authentication by the members of Employees’Pension Scheme 1995 upto 31st March 2017.

However, news item appearing in few dailies suggested that Aadhaar is not required in settlement of pension claims. Accordingly, the EPFO reiterated that the requirement of submitting Aadhaar is not insisted for the time being only in withdrawal benefit cases under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995. Furnishing of Aadhaar is still mandatory for final settlement of pension and scheme certificate cases.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - March 2, 2017 at 2:34 pm

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Retirement fund body EPFO launches one page EPF claim withdrawal form

Retirement fund body EPFO launches one page EPF claim withdrawal form

Highlights:

1. For EPF subscribers whose Universal Account Number (UAN) is linked to their Aadhaar and bank account number, they can approach the EPFO directly for claims, bypassing the employers

2. In case of full withdrawal from EPF accounts, subscribers are required to mention only their names, registered mobile number, UAN, Aadhaar number, date of joining and leaving the company

3. For partial withdrawals from EPF accounts, subscribers are not required to submit extra documents

With an aim to provide withdrawal ease to its EPF subscribers, retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation(EPFO) has started a simplified one page claim withdrawal form, The Hindustan Times reported.

Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) allows withdrawal if subscriber is unemployed for at least two months or partial withdrawals for events such as medical emergencies, children’s education or buying a house, cited report on Monday.

For EPF subscribers whose Universal Account Number (UAN) is linked to their Aadhaar and bank account number, they can approach the EPFO directly for claims, bypassing the employers, it said.

Earlier, EPF subscribers had to fill up form 19 for complete withdrawal, form 10C for pension fund scheme certificate to retain membership of Employees’ Pension Scheme or to claim withdrawals, and form 31 for partial withdrawals.

Now, with the EPFO’s introduction of the new form called the composite claim form all forms have been merged into one. It has launched two types of EPF withdrawal forms- Aadhaar and non-Aadhaar forms.

The Aadhaar-based composite form is meant for individuals who have activated their UAN and linked it with their Aadhaar and bank account number, and whose details are embedded in the UAN portal, the news report said.

According to the report, in case of full withdrawal from EPF accounts, subscribers are need to mention only their names, registered mobile number, UAN, Aadhaar number, date of joining and leaving the company.

Moreover, for partial withdrawals, there is no longer need of extra documents. Subscribers have to mark the purpose for which they need the money and how much. Sign the form, attach a cancelled cheque and then the subscribers can go ahead.

The non-Aadhaar form needs details of EPF subscribers such as date of birth, father’s name and bank account details. It has to be signed by subscribers and their employers.

The report citing the new form further stated that for partial withdrawals subscribers do not have to submit proof.

For instance, if partial withdrawal was for a wedding (of self or children), EPF subscriber had to give supporting documents such as the wedding invitation card. In the new form, subscriber’s signature is enough. But there is a disclaimer at the bottom which states that if the funds are used for any other purpose, the subscriber is liable to return the money with penal interest.

But if partial withdrawal is for a medical emergency, subscriber still need to submit proof like medical certificate and certificate by the employer that employees’ state insurance (ESIC) facility is not available to the member, it added.

EPFO plans to launch an online facility from May this year for withdrawals, but this can only be used by individuals with Aadhaar and bank account-linked UAN, cited the report.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - February 28, 2017 at 3:57 pm

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30 lakh to benefit from new EPF limit

30 lakh to benefit from new EPF limit

The move will help 1.2 crore people who will now be eligible for health care benefits.

The Centre’s move to increase the wage ceiling for employee coverage under the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, to Rs 25,000 per month from the existing Rs 15,000 per month limit is expected to benefit a larger working population and include approximately 30 lakh more workers to the Employees State Insurance (ESI) pool.

The move would also benefit 1.2 crore more people who will now be eligible for health care benefits at more than 1,500 clinics and hospitals run by the ESIC directly or indirectly. Earlier as of March 31, 2016, there were around 2.1 crore persons who were insured under the ESI Act and a total of over 6 crore beneficiaries. Employees and employers contribute to the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation at the specified rates, which are currently, 1.75 per cent of the wages (employee’s contribution) and 4.75 per cent of the wages (employer’s contribution) paid/payable in respect of the employees in every wage period.

However, the increased wage ceiling is expected to pose a challenge to employers in terms of the wage costs to be borne by them, said Nishith Desai Associates, legal and tax councillors.

Employers, it noted, would now be required to make provisions of cash benefit and health insurance for an extended employee population who draw wages up to Rs 21,000 per month. It also sees this as a challenge for the government to ensure that the quality of medical facilities (including hospital infrastructure) provided under the ESI Act are improved such that the desired benefit is achieved. It is a positive move with the objective of expanding the ambit of social security schemes to a larger working population.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - January 5, 2017 at 10:20 am

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After 7th Pay Commission salary hikes, move on to raise minimum wage ceiling under EPF

After 7th Pay Commission salary hikes, move on to raise minimum wage ceiling under EPF

The minimum wage ceiling under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) could soon be raised to Rs 25,000 from the existing Rs 15,000.

A hike in the wage limit as proposed would mean all employees drawing basic salary Rs 25,000 would have to compulsorily contribute to the provident fund.

The minimum wage ceiling under the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) could soon be raised to Rs 25,000 from the existing Rs 15,000. A proposal to to enhance the limit is likely to be sent by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to the government. A decision to propose the change has been taken at a recent meeting of Sub-committee of the Central Board of Trustees, EPFO, on contract workers held on November 7. Central Board of Trustees (CBT) is the highest decision-making body of the EPFO.

A hike in the wage limit as proposed would mean all employees drawing basic salary Rs 25,000 would have to compulsorily contribute to the provident fund. However, those drawing above that limit will have the option to become member of the provident fund, and can opt out if they want to.

The move comes in wake of changes in the wage structure in accordance with the proposal of the 7th Pay Commission. Trade union representatives at the CBT sub-committee meeting pointed out that the minimum wage of Central government employees after implementation of the Pay Commission report has been hiked to Rs 18,000. and hence the EPFO’s wage ceiling of Rs 15,000 needs to be altered. They pointed out that there could be further increase in minimum wages from the Rs 18,000 is likely with the trade unions demanding a minimum wage of at least Rs 21,000 to Rs 22000.

In fact, the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) is directly linked to the minimum wage ceiling. At present, If an employee is earning up to Rs 15,000 he or she can avail of benefits under the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI). The scheme provides life insurance of up to Rs 6 lakhs.

Source: FE

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 30, 2016 at 9:59 am

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Central Board of Trustees recommends 8.65% interest on EPF

Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Labour & Employment

19-December-2016 16:54 IST

Shri Bandaru Dattatreya chaired the 215th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (EPF)

CBT recommends 8.65% interest on EPF to its subscribers for the year 2016-17

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent Charge) Shri Bandaru Dattatreya chaired the 215th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (EPF) in Bengaluru today.

Following are the key decisions of the Board.

1. The Board adopted the 63rd Annual Report on the work and activities of the EPFO for the year 2015-16 for placing it before the Parliament.

2. Paragraph 60(1) of Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme 1952, requires EPFO to credit to the account of each member interest at such rate as determined by the Central Government in consultation with the Central Board. The interest is credited to the members account on monthly running balances basis with effect from the last day in each year. Interest rates are dependent on return on investments done following the pattern of investment prescribed by the Central Government from time to time under Para 52 of the Scheme.

To recommend the rate of interest for the year 2016-17, the status of estimated amount to the credit of the members as on 01.04.2016, budget estimates (BE) of the Contributions and Withdrawals during 2016-17 and the estimated income from the investment holdings are taken into consideration. Interest income from Provident Fund investments for the year 2016-17 has been estimated mainly on the basis of interest income received/receivable in the financial year 2016-17 including surplus from previous year of Rs 410 crore. It may be noted that the last year income included a surplus from previous year of Rs 1604 crore.

Taking into account relevant factors, the Central Board decided to recommend 8.65% interest to its subscribers for the year 2016-17. Roughly 17 crore subscribers’ accounts will be updated with this interest rate upon acceptance by the Government.

3. Enrolment and Establishment coverage campaign 2017

This special campaign will be run in the following manner:

For effective monitoring and implementation the Zonal Addl. CPFCs shall lead the campaign. District Offices of EPFO will be activated and sufficient number of officers will be exclusively engaged. Meetings with the stakeholders namely Employer & Employee associations and State Governments will be held to make it a success. During the campaign wide publicity of PMRPY and PMPRPY benefits will also be undertaken. Online enrollment facilities to workers will form a key feature of the campaign.

Window will be provided from 01.01.2017 till 31.03.2017.

Following recommendation will be made for approval of the Government.

i. A nominal rate of levy of damages from the establishment for payment of contribution for the past period during the campaign for enrolment will be Rs one (Rs.1) per annum.

ii. Any employer during the campaign period, may send declaration for membership of the employees who were required or entitled to become members of the fund on or after the 1st day of April, 2009 but before the 1st day of January, 2017 who could not be enrolled for any reason.

iii. For the declaration made under this campaign, the employer shall be responsible to remit the contributions and interest payable in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the Schemes read with special provisions notified by the Central Government for enrolment campaign.

iv. No administrative charges will be leviable for the past period in respect of the employees enrolled during the campaign. The necessary amendments will be carried out under the relevant provisions of EPF & EDLI Scheme

v. The interest of workers enrolled under the campaign will be fully protected and they shall be eligible to get all eligible interest and benefits as laid down in the Schemes.

vi. To have uniform and nominal rate of levy of damages from the establishment for payment of contribution for the past period during the campaign for enrolment shall be fixed at Rs one (Rs.1) per annum. Enabling provision shall be inserted under para 32(a) of the EPF Scheme 1952 and under para (5) of Employees Pension Scheme, 1995 and para 8-A of EDLI Scheme, 1976.

This campaign will be suitably staffed and resourced so that employers who come forth to extend social security to their employees receive all possible assistance from EPFO. The action will meet the twin objectives of increasing the enrolment, extending social security benefits to all workers and reducing litigation.

4. The Board approved a set of guidelines for streamlining process of surrender of exemption granted to establishments. Surrender of exemption is a situation where an establishment requests to discontinue the exemption granted to it. As the Act and Scheme is silent regarding the procedure of surrender of exemption by an establishment, the decision assumes importance in helping ease of doing business.

5. The Supreme Court in SLP no.33032-33033 in the matter of R. C. Gupta & others has passed certain orders of credit of amounts in the EPF accounts to the previous accounts of employees in respect of wages more than the statutory wage limit. The orders are to the effect that if amounts exceeding statutory wage ceiling have been credited to EPFO, the classification thereon shall be at the joint option of employers and employees. In accordance, the Central Board approved a proposal for facilitating compliance. The 8.33% of the employer’s contribution proportionate to the salary of employees in excess of Rs.6500/- shall now be credited to the pension scheme along with the interest accrued in the provident fund account The employees however shall be required submit joint application along with their employer wherever the same has not been done. This will be applicable only in those case where the members/pensioners have contributed on higher wages than the statutory wage ceiling of Rs.6500/- with or without exercise of option prior to the issue of notification for increase of wage ceiling to Rs.15000/- effective from 01.09.2014.

6. The administration cost of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) and Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI), 1976, is met from the administrative and inspection charges collected from the employers of un-exempted and exempted establishments. No charges however are levied to run Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995.

The Central Government in consultation with the Central Board of Trustees, EPF fixes the administrative charges from time to time. The administrative charges were last reduced from 1.10% to 0.85% with effect from 1st January, 2015.Considering the need to promote the “Ease of Doing Business in India” and to make Indian business more competitive, and in response to the financial efficiency gained by EPFO, the Central Board decided to recommend further reduction of administrative charges to 0.65 %. It also recommended to abolish administrative charges levied in implementing the EDLI Scheme, 1976 passing on the benefits of efficiency and computerisation to employers. The Central Board also decided to constitute a sub-committee of CBT with members drawn from employees and employer representatives to make a pragmatic study of employment trends for next 10 years and recommend appropriate administrative charges to the Central Board.

7. The Chairman, CBT and the Minister of State for Labour and Employment (Independent charge) announced that Organisational Restructuring has been approved by the Union Government for implementation. This includes Cadre Restructuring which will ensure career progression of 20,000 staff/officers of EPFO. The Minister announced that this will be implemented as a New Year gift.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - December 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm

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7th Pay Commission – Employees Provident Fund may be raised to Rs 25,000

7th Pay Commission – Employees Provident Fund may be raised to Rs 25,000

EPFO-7thCPC

Under the 7th Pay Commission minimum wage ceiling the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) is likely to raise to Rs 25,000 from the existing Rs 15,000.

The proposal drafted by Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will be sent to the Union Government which is likely to be approved, the report suggests.

The decision has been taken by the members of Sub-committee of the Central Board of Trustees, EPFO – the highest decision-making body – on contract workers held on November 7.

According to reports, the EPFO has proposed a hike in the wage limit of all employees drawing basic salary Rs 25,000 would have to contribute to the provident fund. However, those government employees drawing above that limit will have the option to become a member of the provident fund and can have an option to select or reject if they want to.

The move taken by the EPFO comes in the wake of changes in the wage structure in accordance with the proposal of the 7th Pay Commission. Most of the trade union representatives at the CBT sub-committee meeting noting that the minimum wage of the Central government employees after implementation of the 7th Pay Commission report has been hiked to Rs 18,000, due to which the EPFO’s wage ceiling of Rs 15,000 needs to be altered.

The CBT pointed out that there could be a further increase in minimum wages from Rs 18,000 is likely with the trade unions demanding minimum wage to be increased at least Rs 21,000 to Rs 22,000.

In fact, the Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) is directly linked to the minimum wage ceiling. At present, If an employee is earning up to Rs 15,000 he or she can avail of benefits under the Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI). The scheme provides life insurance of up to Rs 6 lakhs.

Source: FE

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - November 15, 2016 at 1:24 pm

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EPFO joins network of Common Services Centers

EPFO joins network of Common Services Centers

To expand the reach of convenience offered to EPF members, Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has joined the network of Common Services Centers (CSC). A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between EPFO and CSC e-Governance Services India Limited (CSC SPV) on 25th October 2016. The MoU is initially for a period of five years.

To start with, the pensioners of Employees Pension Scheme of EPFO can submit their digital life certificates via Jeevan Pramaan Patra programme through a large number of points of Presence (PoP) of CSC networking in addition to those available at EPFO offices. The pensioners living in remote areas can avoid cost and inconvenience of travelling down to the EPF offices or their banks for filing paper based life certificate. In near future, it is also planned to enable various other online services namely aadhaar seeding with Universal Account Number (UAN), e KYC operated upload and update facility, UAN card related services and online claim related services.

Common Services Centers (CSC) network is one of the largest government approved online service delivery channel in the world. CSC are broadband enabled rural service delivery points established by District e Governance Societies (DeGSs), selected by the State Governments, for aggregating content and offering relevant Government to Customers (G2C), Business to Customers (B2C), Business to Business (B2B) and other services. More details about Common Services Centers (CSC) and its network can be accessed at csc.gov.in

EPF subscribers may access these services at their convenience from the nearest CSC network.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - October 27, 2016 at 2:46 pm

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Prime Minister concerned over grievances of EPF beneficiaries

Prime Minister concerned over grievances of EPF beneficiaries

 

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today expressed concern over the large number of grievances of labourers and EPF beneficiaries and said a system should be in place under which the process of finalisation of retirement benefits for all employees can begin a year in advance.

“Discussed methods of redressal of grievances pertaining to the Labour & Employment Ministry and how technology can play a big role in this,” Modi tweeted after his monthly meeting of PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation), an ICT-based platform where he interacts directly with top officials of the Centre and states to discuss implementation of programmes and schemes.

During the meeting, he expressed “concern at the large number of grievances of labourers and EPF beneficiaries” and said the government must be sensitive to labourers needs.

“Governments have to be sensitive to the needs & grievances of the workers, who toil day & night and have a major role in India s progress,” he added.

He said that in a democracy, the labourers should not have to struggle to receive their legitimate dues and requested introduction of a system so that the process of finalization of retirement benefits for all employees can begin a year in advance, a PMO statement said.

In case of an untimely death, he said the papers should be completed within a specified time, and officers should be made accountable for the same, the statement added.

During the meeting, Labour Secretary outlined the improvements brought in the grievance redressal system, such as introduction of online transfer of claims, electronic challans, mobile applications and SMS alerts, linking UAN to Aadhaar numbers, introduction of tele-medicine and empanelling of more super-speciality hospitals.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the progress of e-NAM (Electronic National Agriculture Mandi) initiative which began in April this year with 21 mandis spread over 8 states.

Officials said it has now expanded to 250 mandis spread over 10 states, the PMO statement said.

13 states have completed the process of amending the APMC Act, the meeting was told, after which the Prime Minister urged the remaining states to quickly make the required changes in the APMC Act, so that e-NAM could be enabled across the country.

He said the farmer can benefit only if ‘Assaying’ and ‘Grading’ facilities are made available, so that the farmer can market his produce in mandis across the country.

He also invited Chief Secretaries of states to give their suggestions on e-NAM.

PTI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:43 am

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Centre to Raise EPF Equity Exposure to 10 Percent

Centre to Raise EPF Equity Exposure to 10 Percent : The proposal to hike the exposure to equities was discussed with the EPFO s central board of trustees twice in recent months.

One in every ten rupees parked in your provident fund would now be invested on Dalal Street, with the government deciding to double EPF savings’ exposure to equities from the present level of 5 per cent to 10 per cent of fresh accretions to the corpus, Union Labour and Employment Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said.

Riding over concerns expressed by employee representatives on the board of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), the Labour Ministry has issued instructions to its fund managers to tap the enhanced window for equity investments immediately. Officials said this is expected to translate into an additional investment of Rs.11,500 crore in stocks over the next six months of this financial year.

This will meet a long-standing demand of EPF members… EPFO is a social security organisation and a custodian of workers’ money, so it is our responsibility to keep the money safe and at the same time, give them good returns, Mr. Dattatreya said.

While the Finance Ministry had allowed equity investments between 5 per cent and 15 per cent of fresh accretions for non-government provident funds such as EPFO, the PF office had made a cautious start by allowing 5 per cent investments last August after years of resistance to a stock market foray. The Finance Ministry had first allowed equity investments of up to 5 per cent of corpus in 2005.

The proposal to hike the exposure to equities was discussed with the EPFOs central board of trustees twice in recent months and the improvements in returns were shared with them, the minister said. We have taken this decision after careful consideration. The world over, pension funds invest around 30 per cent in equities, Mr Dattatreya said.

Source: The Hindu

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm

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EPFO plans to hike minimum pension to Rs.2k

EPFO plans to hike minimum pension to Rs.2k

The Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) is considering an option to double the minimum pension amount to Rs.2,000. The financial implications of the move are being measured. There were plans to announce the decision before the strike of central trade unions on September 2. However, sources said, the move might have been held back for a rethink on the financial impact in case of hike in pension.

It started when revised actuarial calculations showed that there was a marginal surplus in the pension fund. EPFO caters to the pension of private sector employees and some PSUs. On the basis of the surplus, it was earlier planned to either increase the pension marginally, taking it to Rs.1,250 or provide a one-time benefit. There was also a pending demand to hike the pension to Rs.3,000 a month. This led to the option of hiking the pension to at least Rs.2,000 a month being considered, said a source. There are around 20 lakh pensioners who get the minimum amount of Rs.1,000 at present.

However, the ministry of finance has to be taken into confidence before initiating such a move, said a source. The gap is filled by MoF even for paying Rs.1,000 as minimum pension. This comes to around Rs.1,000 crore a year which is given on piecemeal basis. Once the pension is hiked, the impact will be more. Though the idea has not been entirely shelved, a rethink is under way, said a source.

Meanwhile, the Employees Pension Scheme (1995) Coordination Committee, an association of retired employees, has demanded that government should merge the National Pension Scheme (NPS) with EPS. The former is a contributory pension scheme applicable to government employees having joined service after 2004. “The association argues that since returns on NPS are based on returns on investment which are uncertain, EPS should be preferred. This is because EPS at least guarantees a minimum pension,” said Prakash Pathak, general secretary of the coordination committee.

The coordination committee has been lobbying for implementation of the Bhagatsingh Koshiari Committee recommendations which call for taking the minimum pension to Rs.3,000 and also adding dearness allowance to it. The committee’s recommendations also call for adding a health benefit, said Pathak.

The recommendations have been lying with the government since 2013 for want of a decision. Our association has been taking up the issue at various fora, said Pathak.

Souce : TOI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - September 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

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Clean up the employees pension scheme

Clean up the employees’ pension scheme

Though a majority of organised workers are covered under the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995, there is still very low transparency level. Many readers might not have even heard about it because EPS is not a separate scheme. It is just an add-on to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) scheme and all EPF members also automatically become EPS members.

The EPS is plagued with several problems. First, the pension provided by it is very low (i.e. minimum pension under EPS scheme now is only Rs 1,000 per month). As per the current structure, pension is fixed based on the formula given below: Average salary for the last 5 years x No of years completed in service 70 All EPF members are eligible for pension after 10 years of contribution to EPS. The pension from EPS is low because the contribution is also low. At present, employees don’t contribute towards EPS. The employer contributes 8.33% of salary ( i .e. basic + Dearness Allowance) towards EPS, the definition of salary here is restricted to Rs 15,000 for employees whose salary (i.e. basic + DA) is above this limit.So for them, the EPS contribution will be restricted to Rs 1,250 per month or Rs 15,000 per annum.

The Rs 15,000 restriction comes at the time of pension calculation as well. If your salary (basic + DA) is above that, pension will be computed only on Rs 15,000. So the maximum pension one can get now (assuming 35 year service) is Rs 7,500.There are reports about EPFO (Employees Provident Fund Organisation) allowing members to contribute more voluntarily to the EPS for getting enhanced benefits after retirement. However, EPS subscribers will be ready to increase their contribution only if the pension is based on the contribution made by the employee throughout the period and not on the number of years last drawn salary . Second, this small pension from EPS (i.e. placed now between Rs 1,000 and Rs 7,500), is not inflation linked like pension for government employees, who joined service before 2004. Since the cost of living increases due to inflation, this “small pension“ now will become “smaller“ in later years.

Third, while employees are complaining about low pension from EPS, the scheme is battling huge deficit. This is because there is no direct linkage between the contribution made by employees and the pension received by them. As of now, EPS is working on the base of new contribution -i.e. contribution from new employees are used to pay the pension for retired ones.Though this may be sustainable for some time because of the demographic dividend in India (i.e. large number of youngsters getting into work force compared to few retired ones), this will not be sustainable in long term. This is because of the expected demographic profile change and the change in employment structure (i.e. more and more companies are hiring people on contract, so they may be outside the EPS ambit). Government doesn’t reveal actuarial valuation of pension liabilities from EPS on regular basis, so only estimates are available on its deficit figures -assumed to be more than Rs 50,000 crore.In addition to cleaning up this mess, government should also release this deficit on regular basis, at least on annual basis, for the sake of transparency .

Source : ET

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

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Pledging PF to buy home may soon become a reality

Pledging PF to buy home may soon become a reality

Retirement fund body EPFO may soon introduce a scheme to allow its over 4 crore subscribers to pledge their provident fund to buy low-cost houses and use the account to pay equated monthly installments.

“We are working on a housing scheme for members of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Under it, members will be allowed to pledge their PF accumulations to buy homes,” Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal told PTI.

He added that the proposal will be placed before the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees meeting expected next month. Once approved by the CBT, the scheme will be available for the subscribers.

Finer points of the scheme, as to what extent subscribers will be eligible to avail loans and what will qualify as a low cost house, are yet to be worked out.

Aggarwal further said: “We don’t want to impose anything on the subscribers. Therefore, we will not buy land or build houses for them. They will be free to choose their own homes from the open market.”

The panel had suggested this scheme for low income formal workers who are EPFO subscribers and could not buy a house during their entire service period.

Under the proposed scheme, there will be a tripartite agreement between member, bank/housing agency and EPFO for pledging future PF contributions as EMI payment.

Last year, the proposal for facilitating the EPFO subscribers to buy low cost homes was listed on the agenda of the CBT meeting held on September 16.

A report of an expert committee on housing facility for the subscribers was also presented to the trustees during the meeting.

The committee has unanimously recommended a scheme to facilitate subscribers to buy houses where they will get an advance from their PF accumulation and will be allowed to pledge their future PF contribution as EMI (Equated Monthly Instalment) payment.

The panel had suggested that subscribers will purchase a dwelling unit with loans from bank or housing finance companies and hypothecation of property in favour of the latter.

It was suggested the benefits under the scheme of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation can also be extended to the beneficiaries of the scheme.

In May, Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had told Lok Sabha in a written reply: “Government is exploring the possibility for providing a suitable low-cost housing scheme for subscribers of Employees’ Pension Fund. It is in preliminary discussion stage.”

Source : ET

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - August 16, 2016 at 8:00 pm

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Unions walk out of EPF Trustees Meeting

Unions walk out of EPF Trustees Meeting

Unions walk out of EPF Trustees Meeting – “There is nothing such as unclaimed EPF money and the notification is illegal,” said AITUC secretary DL Sachdev.

Central trade union leaders on Tuesday walked out from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO)’s central board of trustees meeting protesting a Finance Ministry notification allowing unclaimed PF money to be diverted towards a Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund.

The union leaders staged a walkout within an hour of the meeting.

“This is injustice to the workers. It’s our money. How can the government divert it to fund a so-called Fund?” said INTUC leader Ramen Pandey. All the union leaders gathered here and started demonstration in the parking area of the EPFO headquarters where the labour minister’s car was parked.

“There is nothing such as unclaimed EPF money and the notification is illegal,” said AITUC secretary DL Sachdev.

According to a Finance Ministry notification on March 18, deposits, unclaimed for over seven years, of EPF, PPF and small saving schemes such as Post Office Savings Accounts, Post Office Recurring Deposit Accounts and National Savings Certificates subscribers will be diverted towards setting up a Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund.

According to the rules, the concerned government office “shall try to contact” every account holder of the unclaimed deposits through written notice, e-mail or telephone at least two times in 60 days before transferring the amount to the Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund. The Senior Citizens’ Welfare Fund was announced in the last Budget.

Source: The Hindu

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - July 26, 2016 at 9:18 pm

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Interest Rate for General Provident Fund – Finmin Orders

Interest Rate for General Provident Fund – Finmin Orders

Resolution – accumulations at the credit of subscribers to the GPF and other similar funds – 2016

(PUBLISHED IN PART I SECTION OF GAZETTE OF INDIA)

F.No.5(1)-B(PD)/2016
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Economic Affairs
(Budget Division)

New Delhi, Dated the 2nd June, 2016

RESOLUTION

It is announced for general information that during the year 2016-2017, accumulations at the credit of subscribers to the General Provident Fund and other similar funds shall carry interest at the rate of 8.1% (Eight point one per cent) w.e.f. 1st April, 2016 to 30th June, 2016. This rate will be in force w.e.f. 1st April, 2016. The funds concerned are:-

1. The General Provident Fund (Central Services)
2. The Contributory Provident Fund (India)
3. The All India Services Provident Fund
4. The State Railway Provident Fund
5. The General Provident Fund (Defence Services)
6. The Indian Ordnance Department Provident Fund
7. The Indian Ordnance Factories Workmen’s Provident Fund.
8. The Indian Naval Dockyard Workmen’s Provident Fund
9. The Defence Services Officers Provident Fund
10. The Armed Forces Personnel Provident Fund.

2. Ordered that the Resolution be published in Gazette of India.

sd/-
(H.K. Srivastav)
Director (Budget)

Click to view the order

Authority: www.finmin.nic.in

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - June 4, 2016 at 7:08 pm

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EPFO disbursed Rs. 47,630 crore as member benefits and Rs. 8,200 crore as monthly pensions in 2015-16

EPFO disbursed Rs. 47,630 crore as member benefits and Rs. 8,200 crore as monthly pensions in 2015-16

In 2015-16, EPFO disbursed approximately Rs. 47,630 crore as member benefits and Rs. 8,200 crore as monthly pensions.

To monitor the status of enrolment of contractual employees especially in municipalities, EPFO has taken steps towards putting in place a system where principal employers including government bodies who enroll workers directly or through contractors can view details of contractors including the amount paid towards PF dues on real time basis. Now, EPFO will be in a position to compare the PF dues reimbursed to contractors and the PF dues actually remitted by contractors. Mismatch in the amounts would indicate possible specific evasion that can be followed up towards seeking compliance. A facility already exists in public domain wherein all principal employers can check the amounts remitted by contactors’ establishments. Any person through this report can also check if her / his name appears in the list of employees submitted by contractor to EPFO on a monthly basis. EPFO is also in the process of digitizing compliance reporting system. It is expected that reporting in Compliance area shall be online and real time by the second quarter of this financial year.

The process of seeding EPS pensioners’ data with Aadhaar is underway in EPFO. While seeding the data, it has been noticed that in certain cases there is data mismatch between EPF data and Aadhaar data in respect of date of birth and name of pensioner. To rectify it, pensioners / members are being advised to correct either their details provided to EPFO offices or to correct the details given in Aadhaar, whichever is correct.

It is also seen that a number of online transfer applications by members are pending with the employers for attestation and verification of member details by the employers Field offices of EPFO have been directed to take up the matter with employers to clear this on priority.

On the occasion of International Labour Day, EPFO launched a special mission consolidation drive “One –Employee-One – EPF Account”. The drive is to consolidate multiple accounts of members so that they are able to access variety of IT enabled services such as e-mail / SMS alerts, access to e-passbook at their leisure. Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, Union Minister of State for Labour & Employment (Independent Charge) while presiding over the function marking International Labour Day stated that this drive would result in EPF members having lifelong one EPF account and multiple conveniences. The Universal Account Number (UAN) that is Aadhaar seeded will consolidate multiple past service accounts, across various spells of employment of an EPF member.

The month of April also saw withdrawal of notification dated 10th February 2016 on amendment in Paragraph 68 NN, 68-O and 69 and insertion of new Para 68 –NNNN in the EPF Scheme, 1952. The interest rate of 8.8% to be credited to members’ accounts for the financial year 2015-16 was also finalized by the Government as recommended by the Central Board of Trustees, EPF.

PIB

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 17, 2016 at 6:42 pm

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