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RSTV: IN DEPTH- EPFO

RSTV

Introduction:

1st November is observed as the foundation day of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation. The day marks the roll out of the Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme on 1st November 1952. This was the first social security scheme under the EPF Act. Beginning its journey with a few lakh beneficiaries, the EPFO now services more than 4.5 crore employees, who are engaged in around 6 lakh contributing establishments. With over 63 lakh pensioners, the EPFO is the 21st largest pension fund globally. Recent e-governance initiatives of online coverage of establishments, online grievance redressal and online filing of claims backed by Universal Account Number have all generated a huge trust in public service delivery. It is noteworthy that more than 50% claims in EPFO are preferred through online mode, indicating a wide acceptance in just one year of its rollout.

  • EPFO is one of the World’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken. At present it maintains 19.34 crore accounts (Annual Report 2016-17) pertaining to its members.
  • 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 in 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.
  • 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 135 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
  • The Board operates three schemes – EPF Scheme 1952, Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) and Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI).

Vision:

  • Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation has a vision to reposition itself as a world class Social Security Organisation providing futuristic services meeting the growing requirements of all categories of its stakeholders.
  • EPFO Vision 2030 envisages:
    • Universal Social Security Coverage on mandatory basis by way of Provident Fund, Pension and Life Insurance for all workers of the country
    • Online Services for all EPFO benefits with State-of-the-Art Technology
    • Implementation of policies for a benefit structure with adequate support level of social security

EPFO Schemes:

  • EPF Scheme 1952
    • Accumulation plus interest upon retirement and death
    • Partial withdrawals allowed for education, marriage, illness and house construction.
    • Housing Scheme for EPFO Members to achieve Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Vision of housing to all Indians by 2022
  • Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS)
    • Monthly benefit for superannuation/retirement, disability, survivor, widow(er) and children
    • Minimum pension on disablement
    • Past service benefit to participants of erstwhile Family Pension Scheme, 1971
  • Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI)
    • Benefit provided in case of death of an employee who was a member of the scheme at the time of death
    • Benefit amount 20 times of the wages. Maximum benefit of 6 lakh.

International workers:

  • The Government of India through its initiative for the benefit of both the employers and employees has entered into Agreement with several countries to ensure that the employees of home country do not remit contribution in that country, get the benefit of totalisation period for deciding the eligibility for pension, may get the pension in the country where they choose to live, and the employers are saved from making double social security contributions for the same set of employees.
  • The Employees Provident Fund Organisation has been authorized to issue the Certificate of Coverage to the employees posted to the countries having signed Agreement with the Government of India.