HomeCURRENT AFFAIRSBUSINESSEPFO Updates: No Changes to Equity Investments

EPFO Updates: No Changes to Equity Investments

EPFO Updates: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation did not take up the proposal to hike up investments. The decision was expected to take place at the 231st meeting of the Central Board of Trustees this past weekend, increasing investments from 15 percent of incremental flows, to 20 percent. However, despite concerns raised by employees’ representatives and noting the need for further deliberations the proposal was rejected.

Among other decisions, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation also launched a face authentication facility in order to provide its 72 lakh pensioners with the option to submit digital life certificates from anywhere.

The agenda for the meeting had listed the proposal to hike the investment limit for equity but it was then withdrawn, an employees’ representative said.

“The proposal was listed in the agenda but was withdrawn later. Employees’ representatives had raised concerns over it in an earlier meeting as raising the investment cap in equity could be risky,” the Board member said.

The topic has been pushed back to the upcoming meetings of the Finance Investment and Audit Committee, as Labour Ministry officials said more informed discussions need to happen before taking a call on the decision.

The EPFO can invest up to 15 percent of its funds in equity, as per the internal guidelines. It invests only in exchange-traded funds and not individual shares.

The rate of return from investments of EPFO assumes significance as the retirement fund body opted to lower its interest rate for 2021-22 to 8.1 percent, a four-decade low.

The CBT also gave approval for the centralised disbursal of pensions for further improving services for pensioners, said a Labour Ministry statement.

A pension and employees deposit linked insurance scheme calculator was also launched, providing the online facility to subscribers to calculate the benefits of Pension and Death Linked Insurance Benefit for which they are eligible.

The fund body also approved the appointment of Citibank as custodian of securities for three years along with a proposal to extend the tenure of the present custodian Standard Chartered Bank till the new custodian takes over, in addition to ratification of the tenure of SBI MF and UTI MF as the ETF managers.

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