According to the latest EPFO payroll data, employment generation in the formal sector increased by 48% to touch a 15-month high of 7.32 lakh in November 2018 as against 4.93 lakh in November 2017. 73.50 lakh new subscribers were added to the social security schemes of EPFO from September 2017 to November 2018, the data showed. The EPFO, however, revised its payroll data for October 2018 downwards to 6.66 lakh against the earlier estimate of 8.27 lakh. It also revised the cumulative job addition data from September 2017 to October 2018 downwards to 66.18 lakh from the estimated 79.16 lakh.
Government's flagship employment generation scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Prohatsan Yojana (PMRPY) has brought one crore workers into the fold of EPFO, thus ensuring social security PF pension and provident fund to them. The one-crore mark has been achieved in two and a half years since its launch in January 2016, the labour ministry said on Thursday. According to labour ministry data, 33,031, 30,27,612 and 69,49,436 beneficiaries have been enrolled with EPFO under the PMRPY during 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively.
A PF account becomes inoperative if the employee does not make an application for withdrawal within 36 months of retiring after attaining the age of 55 years. Therefore, even after leaving one company, the PF account continues to earn interest and is not termed inoperative PF account till such a situation rises till age 55. The interest credited to an Employees' Provident Fund account after an individual ceases to be in employment is taxable in his hands in the year of credit. The unclaimed amount which remains inoperative for 7 years is transferred to the Senior Citizens' Welfare Fund.
Prabhakar Banasure, a member of EPFO's central board of trustees, told the daily that EPFO is exploring whether they can offer interest rate of more than 8.55% this financial year. He also ruled out a possibility of a reduction in interest rate. Past few years have seen the interest rate on Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) steadily dip. In fact, it hit a five-year low of 8.55% in 2017-18.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) may allow its subscribers to increase their allocation of retirement savings in equity markets. At present, the EPFO invests up to 15% of its investible deposits into the exchange traded funds (ETFs). The EPFO is developing a software which would provide its subscribers details of retirement savings in cash and ETFs components separately. Once the cash and ETF components are shown separately in the EPF accounts, the EPFO would give an option to subscribers to increase or decrease investments in stocks. Presently the total EPFO investments in ETFs stand at Rs 55,000 crore.