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Corporate & Other Laws EPF and MISC Provisions Act, 1952

  • Govt says it will cap EPFO fund flow to stocks, if results not encouraging
    Aug 24, 2015
    The EPFO fund flow into the stock markets is not without riders. If it doesn’t give the desired results, the government might cap the fund flows to the stock markets. The government has asserted that it would take a call on the fund flow (to stock markets) after reviewing the performance of the monies invested in the first tranche. It has also made it clear that if the performance was not encouraging, it would limit the amount. “We are releasing the funds in instalments. We have released 3-4 instalments (out of the Rs 5,000 crore for 2015-16) so far. “The fund managers are managing it well. If results are encouraging, we will continue the flows. If it is not encouraging, we will cap it,” said Union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya here on Sunday.
  • EPFO Gets Approval to Invest 5% Incremental Income in ETFs
    Apr 25, 2015
    The labour ministry has opened the floodgates for investing over Rs. 7,500 crore of retirement savings of workers in the capital markets for the first time. It has notified a new investment pattern that allows the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to deploy 5% of its incremental income in exchange-traded funds or ETFs from the current fiscal. The limit of investment in ETFs, starting from 1% with effect from April 1 and reaching 5% by the end of the financial year, is the lower end of the 5-15% investment in equities recommended by the finance ministry.
  • More contract workers to gain EPFO benefits
    Nov 04, 2014
    The labour ministry plans to extend the coverage of social security benefits under the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to a larger number of construction and contract workers, a move that is in line with the series of labour reforms initiated by the government. EPFO, a statutory body under the labour ministry, recently set up two sub-committees to study the gaps in coverage of construction and contract workers in the country under the EPFO net and suggest ways to extend its coverage. According to a senior government official, the two committees will identify all the eligible workers, who are not yet covered, and suggest ways to provide them benefits under the EPFO.
  • EPFO to seek clarity on transaction limit in Jan-Dhan scheme
    Nov 03, 2014
    Retirement fund body EPFO will soon approach the Finance Ministry on the transaction limit of Rs 1 lakh for accounts opened under Jan-Dhan Yojana as it cannot credit PF claims of higher amounts in such accounts. Employees' Provident Fund Organisation has found that it would be unable to credit PF withdrawals of more than Rs 1 lakh to bank accounts opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana which are being seeded with Universal PF Account Numbers (UAN).
  • Foreign Employees to Get PF Money in Their Own Countries
    Oct 22, 2014
    The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has started a new facility to transfer provident funds of foreign employees to bank accounts in their own countries.The facility will help international workers to avoid opening of bank accounts in India for settling their PF claims with EPFO, a senior official told PTI.As of now, foreign employees applying for withdrawal of provident funds (PF) are required to open bank accounts in India. After settlement of claims, they transfer their money from India to bank accounts in their own countries - a cumbersome and time-consuming exercise.
  • Plea to raise EPF ceiling must be ‘seriously considered’
    Jan 22, 2013
    The Government has been receiving requests to hike the EPF ceiling which have to be “seriously considered,” Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Kodikunnil Suresh said today.“The EPF ceiling is Rs 6,500. While salary has increased, this ceiling has remained same and therefore many employers are not contributing towards EPF,” Suresh told reporters after a review meeting with TN government officials
  • CBT to fix EPF rate on Jan 15
    Dec 20, 2012
    The Central Board of Trustees, chaired by labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge, will meet on January 15 to decide on the interest component for employees’ provident fund for 2012-13. It could be higher than the 8.25% offered last year. The CBT’s executive committee will on January 14 take a call on EPFO's financial position to offer a better rate than last year, sources told FE. A senior EPFO official told FE that the rate for 2012-13 could be at least 8.5% but won’t go beyond 9% despite pressure from various stakeholders, especially trade unions, to bring the rate closer to the PPF rate of 8.8% or bank fd rate of 9.5-10%. In March, the finance ministry’s decision to pare the EPF rate to 8.25% for 2011-12 after CBT’s proposal of 8.6% and previous year’s rate of 9.5% invited protest from many corners.
  • Permanent PF a/c number by 2013
    Sep 13, 2012
    Come March 2013, salaried employees will be able to switch jobs, without worrying about withdrawing or transferring their savings with the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). As the EPFO migrates from a decentralised to a centralised system, it intends to give permanent account numbers to their holders. Currently, salaried employees need to open new EPF accounts whenever they change jobs. The old PF numbers are either closed, or the money in it withdrawn or transferred into new accounts. It turns more complicated when the employee moves from one state to another for a job. To put an end to this difficulty, the EPFO intends to shift to a permanent account number, akin to a mobile number, to make this possible.
  • EPFO seeks greater flexibility to park fund in private sector companies
    Aug 03, 2012
    Retirement fund body EPFO managing huge corpus of over Rs 3.5 lakh crore has sought greater flexibility in investing larger amounts in private sector companies and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs). As per the proposal which would come before the EPFO's apex decision making body the Central Board of Trustees' (CBT) next week, the retirement fund also wants to invest in instruments having tenure of 15 years as against 10 years currently. The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is seeking greater flexibility to park its funds in private sector debt instruments as it has already exhausted the investment limits. Under the existing eligibility criteria, EPFO can park funds in only seven entities which include three banks (HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank) and four Non-banking Finance Companies (NBFCs) (HDFC Ltd, IDFC Ltd, LIC Housing Finance and IL&FS Ltd).
  • PF savings set to earn higher interest
    May 25, 2012
    The stage is set for millions of private sector employees to get a higher interest rate in 2012-13 on their provident fund accumulations. This is because the Finance Ministry has increased the interest rate on its special deposit scheme (SDS) deposits, in which a large chunk of EPF monies are parked. The SDS interest rate has been revised upwards to 8.8 per cent for the current fiscal, from the existing 8.6 per cent. The EPF subscribers, numbering about 5 crore, got only 8.25 per cent interest for the financial year 2011-12. This was lower than the 9.5 per cent interest provided in 2010-11.The Centre's move to increase interest rate on SDS for 2012-13 would imply higher income for the employee provident fund organisation (EPFO).The Labour Minister, Mr Mallikarjun Kharge, had recently told the Rajya Sabha that the EPF interest for 2012-13 would be 8.6 per cent, but later retracted stating that his remarks were misconstrued. The interest rate on EPF would depend on the earnings from the EPF corpus, he later said.
  • PF balance to be updated every month
    May 15, 2012
    Subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will soon be able to check the balance of their provident fund (PF) accounts on a monthly basis.Once in place, the new system is expected to benefit around 60 million workers covered under EPFO.“The new system will be operational next month,” said RC Mishra, Central Provident Fund Commissioner. At present, subscribers can view their balances only on a yearly basis. “We are moving towards a system similar to that of banks, where the accounts are updated instantly,” added Mishra.Apart from improving the service for the subscribers, the main trigger for the change was the repeated instances where employers had deducted the PF payments from the salaries of their employees, but had not submitted the deductions to EPFO, Mishra said. “Now, it will be very difficult for the employers to hide the deductions from the employees’ accounts. Employees would know when the deductions have been made,” he added.
  • Kharge writes to FM on I-T exemption to private PF subscribers
    Apr 14, 2012
    Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge has written to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to consider extending the time-limit for private PF trusts to seek exemption from income tax on retirement benefits.About 46 lakh subscribers of such trusts face the threat of their retirement funds coming under tax net as Budget 2012-13 is silent on this."I would also request to consider extending time-limit expiring on March 31, 2012 for private PF Fund to get exemption for EPFO Act, to up to March 31, 2013 so that enough time is available to process the eligible cases by EPFO," Kharge said in his recent letter to Mukherjee.In 2006, then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had made it mandatory for all such PF trusts to seek exemption certificates from the Labour Ministry within a year for enjoying the tax benefits.Since all these trusts could not get the exemption certificates in that year, successive budgets have given annual waiver on request from the Labour Ministry.Out of 2,700 trusts, only 284 have so far been given the exemption certificates from the Labour Ministry while 400 applications are under process.Kharge has assured the Finance Ministry in his letter that the process of issuing exemption certificates to these trust would be expedited.
  • EPFO may provide 8.6% interest rate for 2012-13
    Apr 06, 2012
    Faced with criticism for slashing interest rate on deposits by 1.25% for 2011-12, the retirement fund body EPFO may raise it to 8.6% for this fiscal to benefit about 5 crore subscribers. Last month, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had brought down the rate of interest to 8.25% for 2011-12 from 9.5% provided in 2010-11, evoking sharp criticism within and outside Parliament."EPFO is working on income estimates to provide 8.6% rate of return on provident fund deposits during this fiscal," a source privy to the development said. He further said the EPFO's apex decision making body, Central Board of Trustees (CBT), headed by the Labour Minister could meet next month to take a call on the issue.The source said EPFO can provide higher returns in the current fiscal as the government has increased interest rate on Special Deposit Scheme (SDS) 1975 to 8.6% from 8% with effect from December 1, 2011.The EPFO has parked about Rs 55,000 crore in the scheme which was launched by the Central government on July 1, 1975 to provide better returns to non-government provident funds and other such funds."EPFO was finding it difficult to maintain rate of return above 8.5% because of low interest rate on investment in SDS. But since that income would go up, it would be easier to provide interest rate over 8.5%," EPFO trustee D L Sachdev told PTI.
  • Confusion for company-run provident fund trusts
    Mar 22, 2012
    Some of India's top companies, that manage in-house provident fund trusts, will have to get an 'exemption' licence from the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), a unit of the labour ministry, to retain their tax benefits. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee's predecessor P Chidambaram, in his 2006 Budget, had stipulated that privately-managed PF trusts would have to seek exemptions from the labour ministry in order to operate. Chidambaram had set a one-year deadline for this, but this has been extended every year, till now.
  • Epfo cuts rate to 8.25%
    Mar 16, 2012
    After last year’s 9.5% interest rate bonanza, the 4.7-crore subscribers of Employees Provident Fund will have to settle for a lower rate this year. The government has decided to reduce the interest rate on the employees’ provident fund to 8.25% for the current fiscal, as advised by EPFO’s finance and investment committee.The finance ministry has approved the interest rate and the labour and employment ministry has directed the EPFO to take it forward.“Yes, the finance ministry has decided on 8.25% purely on the basis of EPFO's expected income and it is justified in that regard. We do not have any other option but to implement it. We have forwarded the directive to EPFO,” Mrutyunjay Sarangi, secretary, labour and employment told FE.
  • EPFO to begin end of inspector raj
    Mar 02, 2012
    Visits from the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) office to your company could soon be a thing of the past, as the EPFO plans to shift the entire compliance operation online.Senior officials say the EPFO will begin the process on April 1. That will eliminate the need for any EPFO officer to personally inspect company records. In the new system, the EPFO will ask companies to voluntarily disclose all information required to comply with the EPF Act. Based on the information, the EPFO will devise parameters to discover defaulters. The parameters will change each year to avoid companies being compliant with only certain parameters.
  • EPFO subscribers likely to get ‘Contribution Card’
    Feb 13, 2012
    The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s trustees are likely to approve this month a proposal to provide ‘Contribution Card’ similar to a bank pass book to its around 50 million subscribers from April 1 this year. The retirement fund body will make it mandatory for every employer to provide this card to his employees. The card shall have details of account and will be updated every month. The proposal to provide ‘Contribution Card’ to subscribers from April 1, 2012, will be discussed at the meeting of the EPFO’s apex decision making body — the Central Board of Trustees’ (CBT) headed by the Labour Minister — on February 22, a source said.
  • EPFO may fix minimum pension at Rs 1,000 at Feb 22 meeting
    Jan 30, 2012
    Retirement fund body EPFO is likely to fix the minimum pension for its subscribers at Rs 1,000 per month at the scheduled meeting the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) on February 22. "The CBT will take a call on the proposal to fix minimum pension at Rs 1,000 per month for its subscribers in a meeting scheduled on February 22," a source said. The meeting of CBT, the apex decision making body of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's (EPFO) had earlier in December deferred the decision on the matter.
  • Minimum pension under EPF to be hiked to R1,000
    Jan 27, 2012
    The government is likely to increase the minimum pension for subscribers of the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) scheme to R1,000. According to labour ministry officials, the Central Board of Trustees of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is going to meet on February 23 to decide the hike in minimum pension for the EPFO's over 5-crore subscribers. “A broad consensus has already been reached on increasing the minimum pension to R1,000. Now, the members of CBT and ministry officials will discuss the procedure of implementing this in their next meeting on 23 February," said an official. A decision in this regard was expected last month. Earlier, labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge had said that the recommendation of the committee on pension implementations to increase the minimum pension amount to R1,000 per month would be placed before the Trustees on December 23, 2011.
  • Provident fund and consumer courts
    Jan 25, 2012
    The Supreme Court has held that an “exempted establishment” would be liable for recovery of damages if it defaulted in making provident fund (PF) contributions. Setting aside the judgment of the Calcutta High Court in the case of Regional PF Fund Commissioner Vs Hooghly Mills, it said that since the Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952, is a social welfare law, courts should interpret provisions, if there is any doubt, in favour of the beneficiaries.
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