Government has Approved 8.65% Interest on EPF Deposits for 2016-17

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in a notification has said that it has asked field offices to credit 8.65 per cent rate of interest into the accounts of subscribers. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation trustees had approved 8.65 per cent rate on EPF in December last year. The government generally ratifies the rate of return approved by the CBT because the EPFO is an autonomous body and provides interest on EPF deposits from its own income.

Keeping a tab on EPF balance regularly gives employees a better handle to plan for their retirement years. EFPO has rolled out many initiatives through which employees can check their PF balances quickly. EPFO had in 2014 launched Universal Account Number or UAN-based portal to provide a number of facilities to its members through a single window. In this regard, EPFO has rolled out a unified UAN-based portal.

EPFO or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has made partial withdrawal easier from provident fund for medical and other purposes like purchase of house, education and marriage of children. The subscriber is no longer required to submit various certificates or documents. EFPO subscribers can seek withdrawal from their employee provident fund (EPF) account on various grounds by using a composite form along with a self-declaration. The submission of composite claim form signed by the EPF subscriber shall be construed as ‘self-certification’ for partial withdrawals, according to the retirement fund body.

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EPFO has also proposed a 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. The benefit will also be provided in case of permanent disability even if the members have contributed for less than 20 years, the EPFO board has decided. The benefits will be available for EPFO subscribers after approval from the government.

The Central Board of Trustees (CBT), which is the EPFO’s apex decision-making body, has also recommended a minimum sum assured of Rs 2.5 lakh in the event of death of a subscriber. At present, the dependants of the deceased get a sum assured of up to Rs 6 lakh. There is no provision of minimum insurance and any benefit for surviving members or in cases of permanent disability under the scheme. The benefits will be available for EPFO subscribers after approval from the government.

Nearly four crore members of retirement fund body EPFO will soon be able to settle their claims like EPF withdrawal through mobile application UMANG. “The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is developing online claims settlement process by receiving application online,” Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha

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