The government may soon allow the Provident Fund (PF) subscribers to invest their full PF money in stock market through National Pension Scheme (NPS). Besides this, the employees will also be asked at the time of joining a new job that whether they want to opt for EPF scheme or the NPS. Labour Ministry officials are holding consultations over this idea and it is expected that an announcement in this regard will be made soon. Sources told Zee Media that the Centre is in favour of this decision.
NPS is a government scheme which was launched by the Central government on January 1, 2004. It is to be noted that the NPS is mandatory for all government employees who have joined service after January 1, 2004. The scheme was opened for the employees of private companies in 2009.
On September 17, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar had announced that 6.5 crore members of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will receive 8.65% interest on their deposits for Financial Year 2018-19. Currently, the EPFO is settling PF withdrawal claims at 8.55% interest rate, which was approved for 2017-18.
The Central Board of Trustees, the highest decision-making body of the EPFO, had in February approved 8.65% interest rate for the last fiscal. The Finance Ministry on Tuesday approved 8.65% interest rate for EPF.
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 provided 8.75% interest for 2013-14 as well as 2014-15, while in 2012-13, the rate of interest was 8.5%.