Employees Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO Board of Trustees is scheduled to hold its 229th meeting today.
As per some media reports, main agenda of this EPFO’s board meeting today can be expansion of EPFO’s investment basket, rise in EPF or Provident (PF) interest rate and rise in minimum pension under Employees’ Pension Scheme or EPS from ₹1,000 to ₹3,000.
Here we list out the key things to watch out from this EPFO board meeting today:
1] PF or EPF interest rate: In FY 2019-20, pension fund regulator had reduced EPF interest rate to 7-year low of 8.50 per cent on provident fund deposits. This EPF interest rate was kept unchanged for FY 2020-21. In today’ meeting, EPFO board is expected to discuss EPF interest rate for FY2021-22. So, speculations are rife that EPFO may enhance return on provident fund deposits by announcing higher EPF interest rate.
The EPF or PF interest rate for FY 19 was 8.65 per cent, 8.55 per cent for FY18 and 8.65 per cent for FY17.
2] Hike in minimum pension under EPS: In 2014, EPFO had fixed minimum pension under EPF at ₹1000. But, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour has recently recommended that minimum pension should be raised from ₹1,000 to ₹3,000. The committee headed by Bhartruhari Mahtab, a member of parliament from Biju Janata Dal, has noted in its report that current ₹1,000 minimum pension under EPS is inadequate. So, raising the minimum pension under EPS from ₹1,000 to ₹3,000 can be one of the important agendas of this EPFO board meeting today.
3] Expansion of EPFO investment: In EPFO Board of Trustees meet today, expansion of EPFO investment basket could be one of the important agenda items. This will enable EPFO to tap the untapped investment options like alternative investment funds (AIFs) and infrastructure investment trusts (InvITs). The Ministry of Labour notified changes in EPFO investment options in April 2021 to include units issued by Category I and Category II AIFs regulated by SEBI or Securities and Exchange Board of India.