In a good news for over 6 crore subscribers of Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), the Centre on Tuesday notified 8.65 per cent interest rate on employees' provident fund (EPF) for 2018-19. The approval by Finance Ministry means that interest amount will now be credited into the accounts of PF subscribers. It may be recalled that 8.65 per cent interest rate for the last fiscal was approved by the Central Board of Trustees - the top decision-making body of the EPFO - on February 21, 2019.
The proposal was forwarded to Finance Ministry following the approval by the CBT, which is headed by Labour Minister and is responsible for deciding rate of interest on PF deposits for a financial year. The CBT's proposal requires the concurrence of the Finance Ministry and only after the approval the subscribers receive the increased interest rate into their account.
Currently, the EPFO was settling PF withdrawal claims at 8.55% interest rate, which was approved for 2017-18. It is to be noted that rate of interest of 8.55% for 2017-18 was the lowest in the last five years. In 2016-17, the interest rate was kept at 8.65%, while in 2015-16 it was 8.8%. The EPFO had provided 8.75% interest for 2013-14 as well as 2014-15, while in 2012-13, the rate of interest was 8.5%.
In August, the CBT had approved the proposal to recommend for amendment in Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995 for the restoration of commuted value of pension to the Pensioners after 15 years of drawing commutation. This was a long pending demand of the pensioners, expected to benefit approximately 6.3 lakhs pensioners.