EPFO to offer 8.65% interest to over 4 crore provident fund members; here are key highlights

Aiding over four crore members with higher retirement benefits, the rate of interest on employees' provident fund has been set at 8.65 percent for 2016-17 following the finance ministry's approval.

Here are the other key developments with regards to employees' provident fund.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

1) The Finance Ministry in its communication to the Labour Ministry has, however, put a rider that the interest rate should not result in a deficit for the retirement fund. This will enable the Labour Ministry to provide 8.65 percent rate as decided by the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) trustees. According to EPFO estimates, the fund will see a surplus after providing 8.65 percent interest rate for the last fiscal.

2) The Finance Ministry had last year also decided to lower the EPF interest rate of 8.8 percent for 2015-16, decided by the CBT, to 8.7 percent. The decision had drawn flak from all quarters forcing the government to uphold 8.8 percent.

3) Earlier this month, the government said EPFO's subscribers will get loyalty-cum-life benefit of up to Rs 50,000 at the time of retirement for contributing to the scheme for 20 years or more. It further said, the benefit will also be provided in case of permanent disability even if the members have contributed for less than 20 years.

4) Recently, labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya launched Aadhaar Seeding Application allowing a PF member or pensioner to walk into any of the field offices of EPFO or CSC outlets with UAN and Aadhaar card and seed them.

5) The EPFO enrolled 49,39,929 workers during January-March 2017. It had launched a special enrolment scheme to cover leftout formal sector workers from January 2017.

6) With mobile internet gaining traction in recent years, the retirement fund body EPFO said nearly four crore members will soon be able to settle their claims like EPF withdrawal through mobile application Umang.

7) EPFO has also extended the date for submitting Aadhaar number to 30 April, 2017 against the earlier deadline of 31 March. Also, the deadline for submitting digital life certificates for its over 50 lakh pensioners has been extended till 30 April in order to link pension accounts with Aadhaar.

8) Even as domestic stock market bourses continue to maintain upward bias, the retirement fund body postponed the proposal to hike investment in stock market to 15 percent of the total corpus from the existing 10 percent limit. According to a report, the EPFO has infused funds to the tune of Rs 18,069 crore into the exchange traded funds till 18 February and clocked a return of 18.13 percent on its investments.

With PTI inputs

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Updated Date: Apr 17, 2017 13:20:40 IST

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