Retirement fund body EPFO is considering crediting subscribers’ share of its investments in ETFs to their provident fund accounts which may be redeemed at the time of taking advances. The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) has sought views from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in this regard. As per estimates, EPFO’s investment in ETFs is expected to touch Rs 45,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal. The CAG is likely to give its comments shortly, Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy told PTI. After CAG’s views, the proposal will be placed for final approval before the EPFO’s apex decision making body Central Board of Trustees (CBT) headed by Labour Minister.
The CBT is likely to meet next month. “We have not taken any return from the ETF and given it to members till now. We have made some system. We are in consultation with the CAG. After that consultation we will take it to CBT for approval and then implement it,” Joy said. He further said that the proposal was also discussed at the last meeting of EPFO trustees but the decision was deferred. The EPFO had started investing in the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF) in August 2015, putting 5 per cent of its investible deposits in stock linked products. It was raised to 15 per cent for the current fiscal. Once approved, the share of subscribers in the form of ETF units will be credited to their accounts.
Subscribers will have the option to redeem the ETF units while taking loans from the PF account, Joy said.
All rules of Employee Provident Fund withdrawals and advances will be applicable on ETF units redemption also. An ETF is a security that tracks an index, a commodity or a basket of assets like an index fund, but trades like a stock on an exchange. EPFO, which has about 5 crore subscribers, manages a corpus of over Rs 10 lakh crore.