EPFO vs NPS
The pension regulator exhorting companies to offer their employees the New Pension Scheme (NPS) is clearly working since over 300 firms including Reliance, Wipro, Cognizant, Pantaloon, ICICI Bank, Axis Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank have enrolled new and existing staff under the NPS facility. Given the relatively better returns NPS offers compared to the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), thatís not surprising either. In even the case of NPS for government employees where a maximum of 15% of the corpus can be invested in equity, subscribers got a return of 9.95% in FY12, 11.35% in FY11 and 13.05% in FY10 while the EPFO offered 8.25%, 9.5% and 8.5% in these years. The returns offered under NPS Scheme-C (where majority of the investment goes into corporate bonds) were over 11% while Scheme-E (where up to 50% is invested in equities) ranged from 8.35% to 28.6% in the last three years. Once you factor in consumer inflation, in fact, EPFO is yielding a negative return.
If this isnít bad enough, around a third of EPFO accounts are inoperative, with balances of around R22,000 croreóthis means workers whoíve put in their hard-earned money over the years havenít been able to withdraw their funds thanks to the EPFO bureaucracy. Account portability still remains a dream and while EPFO balances can now be viewed online, though with a lag, transfers from one account to another still take several years
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