New Delhi: Retirement fund body EPFO managing huge corpus of over Rs 3.5 lakh crore has sought greater flexibility in investing larger amounts in private sector companies and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs).
As per the proposal which would come before the EPFO’s apex decision making body the Central Board of Trustees’ (CBT) next week, the retirement fund also wants to invest in instruments having tenure of 15 years as against 10 years currently.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is seeking greater flexibility to park its funds in private sector debt instruments as it has already exhausted the investment limits.
Under the existing eligibility criteria, EPFO can park funds in only seven entities which include three banks (HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank) and four Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) (HDFC Ltd, IDFC Ltd, LIC Housing Finance and IL&FS Ltd).
EPFO has already exhausted the investment limit in NBFCs and can only park funds in the three private sector banks which provide lower returns than their private sector companies.
The PF body also wants the nod of trustees to park its funds in certificate of deposits (CDs) issued by public sector banks as they provide higher returns.
CDs are issued by banks to raise funds from the market and are tradeable instruments.
Besides, the EPFO wanted that it should be allowed to invest in fixed deposits for up to five years as against the current ceiling of one year.
The decision, EPFO says, will help it earn better returns. It had reduced the rate of interest on PF deposits to 8.25 percent for 2011-12 from 9.5 percent provided during 2010-11 to its over 50 million subscribers.