EMPLOYEES’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has further simplified rules for giving option to its members across the country to withdraw 75 per cent of their funds if they remain unemployed for one month and keep their PF account with the body for rejoining it when they are employed again .The Board of Trustees comprising representatives of employers, employees and the central labour minister decided on Tuesday that members will be allowed to withdraw remaining 25 per cent of their funds and go for final settlement of account after completion of two months of unemployment under the new provision in the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme of 1952. “We have decided to amend the scheme to allow members to take advance from its account one month of unemployment. He can withdraw 75 per cent of its funds as advance from its account after one month of unemployment and keep its account with the EPFO,” Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who is also the Chairman of EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees, told reporters .Presently, due to unemployment, a subscriber can withdraw his or her funds after two months of unemployment and settle the account in one go. The minister said the amended provision would help members to keep their accounts with the EPFO which he or she can use after regaining employment again. “We approved almost the entire agenda listed for the meeting of the CBT today. We have also given an extension of one year to ETF (exchange-traded funds) manufacturers SBI and UTI Mutual funds till July 1, 2019. We have also extended the term of fund managers till December 31, 2018, ”Gangwar added. There was a proposal to give an extension of six more months to its five fund managers SBI, ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, Reliance Capital, HSBC AMC and UTI AMC for managing its corpus. The EPFO’s ETF investment would soon cross Rs 1 trillion mark as its has already invested Rs 474.31 billion till May end this year earning a return of 16.07 per cent. The EPFO has also extended the tenure of its consultant CRISIL for evaluation of the performance of fund manager till December 31, 2018, Gangwar added. PFO is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken. It maintains more than 15 crore accounts pertaining to its members, says its website.
The Employees’ Provident Fund came into existence with the promulgation of the Employees’ Provident Funds Ordinance on the 15th November, 1951. It was replaced by the Employees’ Provident Funds Act, 1952. The Employees’ Provident Funds Bill was introduced in the Parliament as Bill Number 15 of the year 1952 as a Bill to provide for the institution of provident funds for employees in factories and other establishments. The Act is now referred as the Employees’ Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 which extends to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir. The Act and Schemes framed there under are administered by a tri-partite Board known as the Central Board of Trustees, Employees’ Provident Fund, consisting of representatives of Government (Both Central and State), Employers, and Employees.
The Central Board of Trustees administers a contributory provident fund, pension scheme and an insurance scheme for the workforce engaged in the organized sector in India. The Board is assisted by the Employees’ PF Organization (EPFO), consisting of offices at 122 locations across the country. The Organization has a well equipped training set up where officers and employees of the Organization as well as Representatives of the Employers and Employees attend sessions for trainings and seminars. The EPFO is under the administrative control of Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India (image taken from EPFO’s website ).