EPFO

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.

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

Categories: EPFO, ESIC   Tags: , , , , ,

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

Categories: 7CPC, EPFO   Tags: , , , , ,

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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NPS Subscription earns double digit yearly returns for the past 5 years

The average NPS fund has given 100-125 basis points more than what the retirement savings of the estimated 3.7 crore EPF subscribers have earned during this period.

NPS Subscription earns double digit yearly returns for the past 5 years which comparatively higher than EPF interest rates – Central and state government employees covered by the scheme earned between 9.3% and 10.15% during this period.

If the 5 basis point hike in interest rate of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) made subscribers smile, those covered by the New Pension System (NPS) must be laughing.

Most NPS investors earned double-digit returns in the past 3-5 years. Central and state government employees covered by the scheme earned between 9.3% and 10.15% during this period.

The performance of individual schemes is not very helpful because NPS investors put money in a combination of funds. Therefore Economic Times studied the blended returns of four different combinations of the equity, corporate debt and gilt funds. Ultra-safe investors are assumed to have put 60% in gilt funds, 40% in corporate bond funds and nothing in equity funds.

A conservative investor would put 20% in stocks, 30% in corporate bonds and 50% in gilts. A balanced allocation would put 33.3% in each of the three classes of funds while an aggressive investor would invest the maximum 50% in the equity fund, 30% in corporate bonds and 20% in gilts. The table shows the average blended returns of the seven pension funds.

Admittedly, the short-term picture of the NPS is not very encouraging because of the negative returns from stocks in the past one year. Aggressive investors have earned less than 3% and balanced investors made only 4.93%, though ultra-safe investors who stayed away from stocks got 8.89%.

But the long-term picture is different. On average, gilt funds have given 9.75% annualised returns while corporate debt funds have churned out more than 11% in the past five years. As a result, the average return for ultra-safe investors in the past five years is in double digits.

The average NPS fund has given 100-125 basis points more than what the retirement savings of the estimated 3.7 crore EPF subscribers have earned during this period. “Even a 100 basis point higher return can make large impact on the corpus in the long term,” says Sumit Shukla, CEO of HDFC Pension Fund.

Will the good times continue for gilt funds and corporate bond funds? Experts say this trend will not stay forever. “NPS is a long-term investment and the bonds are predominantly held to maturity. Over a longer period, the portfolios will deliver returns similar to the yield-to-maturity of the bonds in the portfolios,” says Manoj Nagpal, CEO of Outlook Asia Capital. The average yield-to-maturity of the bonds is roughly 8.4%, which is higher than the PPF rate but lower than what the EPF offers.

Should you switch from EPF to NPS?

This raises the critical question: should you switch from EPF to the pension scheme? The proposal to switch from EPF to NPS was announced in last year’s budget and this year’s budget extended a onetime tax exemption to such a shift.

A legislation to amend the Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act has already been framed and is lying with the Law Ministry. The amendment allows EPF subscribers to make a one-time switch to the NPS. Once he shifts to NPS, the employee will have a one-time chance to return to the EPF fold.

But experts believe it may not be a wise move to shift your retirement savings to the NPS because of the difference in tax treatment. While the EPF corpus is completely tax free, this year’s budget has proposed to make 40% of the NPS tax free.

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Hemant Contractor says there should be tax parity in all retirement products.

“Why would anybody want to shift his money from the fully tax-free EPF to the NPS where only 40% of the corpus will escape tax? If there is parity in the tax treatment, a lot of subscribers would shift from EPF to NPS,” he told Economic Times recently.

For investors, the tax benefits are an important consideration. The new tax deduction offered on the NPS attracted investors in a big way in 2014-15, with almost 1.2 lakh new voluntary accounts opened during the year. Within nine months, the assets under management of funds for the private sector shot up more than three-fold from Rs 6,361 crore in April 2015 to touch Rs 20,261 crore by December 31, 2015.

Financial advisors see another problem in the NPS. At least 40% of the maturity corpus has to be put in an annuity to earn a monthly pension. Annuity rates in India are very low compared to what other options can offer.

The Senior Citizens’ Saving Scheme, for instance, gives 8.6% returns compared to 6.75% offered by annuities that return the principal after death. The PFRDA wants that the investor should be allowed to look beyond annuities.

Source: The Economic Times

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm

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Restriction on EPF withdrawal

Restriction on EPF withdrawalAs per extant rules governing the withdrawal of Employer’s contribution from the Employees Provident Fund Scheme, a member can withdraw both the employer’s share of contribution and his own share under the following circumstances: –

(i) On retirement from service after attaining the age of 55 years.

(ii) On retirement on account of permanent and total incapacity for work due to bodily or mental infirmity.

(iii) On migration from India for permanent settlement abroad.

(iv) On termination of service in the case of mass or individual retrenchment.

(v) On termination of service under a voluntary scheme of retirement.

(vi) On ceasing to be an employee in any establishment.

However, notification No. G.S.R.158(E) dated 10.02.2016 restricting the withdrawal of 3.67 per cent of employer’s share of contribution till the age of 58 years has since been withdrawn by the Government on 19.04.2016.

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

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - May 2, 2016 at 7:26 pm

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Relaxation in EPFO scheme

Relaxation in EPFO schemeThe Government proposes to relax/amend the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme to enable loss-making and sick PSUs to continue to run their own Provident Fund Trusts.

The proposal is being examined in consultation with Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund.

The said relaxation will not be applicable to the private firms and their employees.

Provident Fund Trusts of exempted establishments are custodian of the hard-earned money of the workers which needs to be protected. The private companies do not have the sovereign guarantee behind them as enjoyed by the Public Sector Undertakings of both the Central Government and the State Governments. Therefore, the proposed amendment is not intended to extend this advantage to private companies, so as to protect the interest of the workers.

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

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 7:19 pm

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Government raises provident fund interest rate to 8.8% for 2015-16

Government raises provident fund interest rate to 8.8% for 2015-16

In the third roll-back in two months, the government today raised the interest rate on employee provident fund (EPF) contributions to 8.8 per cent for 2015-16 against 8.7 per cent approved by the Finance Ministry last week.

Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya announced the decision to raise interest rate on a day employee unions had called nationwide protests against fixing interest rates lower than 8.8 per cent decided by the retirement fund body EPFO as well as 8.75 per cent paid for the previous fiscal.

“I am happy that finance ministry has agreed to 8.8 per cent for 2015-16,” he told reporters here.

This is the third rollback on EPF. Last month the government was forced to withdraw the Budget proposal to tax a certain portion of withdrawals. Subsequently, it withdrew tighter withdrawal norms.

PTI

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 30, 2016 at 9:41 am

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New EPF withdrawal norms put on hold for 3 months

New EPF withdrawal norms put on hold for 3 monthsEPF withdrawal norms put on hold till July 31st 2016 – Earlier, with the consent of Trade Unions and with the intention of promoting a decent accumulation of provident fund in members account Partial withdrawal was proposed to be disallowed

The Govt puts on hold new Provident Fund withdrawal norms till July 31. New PF withdrawal norms proposes to bar withdrawal of employer’s contribution to the provident fund corpus until the employee attains the age of 58 years.

On the issue of new Provident Fund withdrawal norms, the government today decided to keep the implementation of new norms in abeyance for three more months till July 31st.

The announcement comes in the midst of protest by labour unions in several parts of the country against the new norms.

People have also launched online campaign against the decision, which was to be implemented from February 10 but was later put on hold till April 30.

In February, the ministry had issued a notification restricting 100 per cent withdrawal of provident fund by members after unemployment of more than two months.

Source: DDI News

 

    Press Information Bureau
    Government of India
    Ministry of Labour & Employment
    21-April-2016 17:51 IST

Government had issued a notification dated 10th February 2016 regarding rules for withdrawal from EPF Funds by the members. Under the revised rules, the employee was permitted to withdraw the employees’ share from the fund (which is 12% of the wages).

However, it was prescribed that the employers’ share of contribution towards the Provident Fund (which is 3.67% of wage) would be allowed to be withdrawn only at the age of retirement (58 years).

The objective was to provide a minimum social security to the workers at the time of retirement. It was noticed that over 80% of the claims settled by EPFO belonged to pre-mature withdrawal of funds, treating the EPF accounts as savings accounts, and not a Social Security instrument.

In order to address the issues the amendment stated above was carried out with the consent of Trade Unions and with the intention of promoting a decent accumulation of provident fund for the members at the end of their working lifetimes.

However, considering the representations received from various quarters and after consultations with the various stakeholders, Minister of State (IC) Labour and Employment, Sh Bandaru Dattatreya announced that the government has decided to withdraw the said 10th February 2016 Notification with immediate effect.

Accordingly, the workers are now allowed to withdraw the entire amount from the provident fund as per existing provisions of the EPF Scheme 1952 including the employers’ share of 3.67%.

Source: Press Information Bureau

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm

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Successful Strike on 11th July 2016 will fetch decent 7th Pay Commission Pay and Allowances

Successful Strike on 11th July 2016 will fetch decent 7th Pay Commission Pay and Allowances –Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, Karnataka Branch observes in the background of Govt’s decision to withhold Provident Fund withdrawal Policy on the response of Flash Strike by Garment Factory Workers in Bangalore

Comrades,

The flash strike against the recent PF Rules, 2016 of the Central Government (i.e., Centre’s new rule on Provident Fund withdrawal) by large section of Garment Factory Workers and other Industrial Workers of Karnataka State on 18th and 19th April 2016 received immense response and there was a massive protest which resulted in road blocks for hours together, thereby the entire traffic of Bengaluru City was paralyzed. The traffic was also severely affected on Mysore, Tumkur and Hosur roads.

The COC Karnataka extended moral support and sympathy for this Labour Movement. The February 10th notification was under attack from trade unions from the beginning. The notification was published in the gazette on February 26 and created technical problems.

The violence in Bengaluru prompted the Labour Ministry, Govt. of India to cancel the February 10 notification which put restrictions on 100% withdrawal from the PF account.

Within few hours of protest in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka state , the Hon’ble Minsiter for Labour, Shri.Bandaru Dattatreya acted upon and withdrawn the notification issued on February 10th and informed that the old system will continue. This is a victory for the workers of the country.

This clearly shows that the Government of India does not want to antagonize the workers. If the Central Government employees also participate in trade union action against the retrograde recommendations of the VII CPC similar to the Garment Workers of Karnataka, we too can get similar results and hope for a better wage revision and a decent wage hike.

This Labour movement of the Garment Workers of Karnataka state is an eye-opener for all other working class in the entire country, Comrades if one state and one particular working class movement can bring changes to the policy of the Central Government, if the entire the entire country the Central Government employees agitate against the retrograde recommendations of the 7th CPC (where only 14 % wage hike was provided against the staff side demand of 80% wage hike and also reducing the number of allowances and reduction in HRA rates) then the Central Government shall provide the decent wage hike by settling the issue of wage hike with the staff side NJCA like the PF issue being settled.

Comrades it is high time to prepare for 11th July strike of Central Government employees under the banner of NJCA. We shall get good results and Central Government shall grant better wage hike than the 7th CPC recommendations. Better we prepare for 11th July strike better wage hike we get.

Comradely yours
(P.S.Prasad)
General Secretary

Source: Confederation, Karnataka Branch

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - at 5:48 pm

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Government puts on hold new Provident Fund withdrawal norms till July 31

The Government puts on hold new Provident Fund withdrawal norms till July 31. New PF withdrawal norms proposes to bar withdrawal of employer’s contribution to the provident fund corpus until the employee attains the age of 58 years.

On the issue of new Provident Fund withdrawal norms, the government today decided to keep the implementation of new norms in abeyance for three more months till July 31st.

The announcement comes in the midst of protest by labour unions in several parts of the country against the new norms.

People have also launched online campaign against the decision, which was to be implemented from February 10 but was later put on hold till April 30.

In February, the ministry had issued a notification restricting 100 per cent withdrawal of provident fund by members after unemployment of more than two months.

Source: DDI News

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by admin - April 20, 2016 at 11:31 am

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