EPFO ‘new’ subscribers decline 23% in FY21; job-creation pace falls too

By: |
May 21, 2021 4:45 AM

“Maximum improvement of 33.64 lakh net subscribers was observed during the 4th quarter (Jan-March, 2021) with a growth of 37.44% as compared to the third quarter (Oct-Dec, 2020),” the EPFO said in a statement.

As of date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh Covid-19 advance claims, disbursing a total of `18,698.15 crore, the labour ministry said Monday.As of date, EPFO has settled more than 76.31 lakh Covid-19 advance claims, disbursing a total of `18,698.15 crore, the labour ministry said Monday.

The pace of new formal job creation fell yet again in 2020-21. While it declined by 21% in 2019-20 over the previous year, the 2020-21 fiscal also saw a 22.56% decline in the number of new subscribers joining in the retirement scheme run by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) over 2019-20.

However, the cumulative net payroll addition to the EPFO’s subscribers’ base remained static at 77.08 lakh in 2020-21. EPFO arrives at the net number deducting the total of the subscribers’ who exited from the sum of new subscribers and those who left earlier but rejoined during the year.

“The data of exited members is based on the claims submitted by the individuals/establishments and the exit data uploaded by employers, whereas number of new subscribers is based on the Universal Account Number (UAN) generated in the system and has received non-zero subscription,” the EPFO said. Since April 2018, EPFO has been releasing payroll data covering the period September 2017 onward.

The latest data, which is provisional and subject to change, showed that nearly 98 lakh exited from the EPFO in 2020-21 compared with around 110 lakh in the previous year. But, the number of subscribers those exited earlier but rejoined during the higher was higher by around 11 lakh in 2020-21 compared with 2019-20.

Quarterly analysis of payroll data for the 2020-21 fiscal indicates that net subscribers addition improved consistently from second quarter after taking hit in the first quarter due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Maximum improvement of 33.64 lakh net subscribers was observed during the 4th quarter (Jan-March, 2021) with a growth of 37.44% as compared to the third quarter (Oct-Dec, 2020),” the EPFO said in a statement.

Of the 11.22 lakh net subscribers added in March 2021, around 7.16 lakh new members have come into the social security ambit of EPFO for the first time. Around 4.06 lakh net subscribers exited and then rejoined EPFO by switching their jobs within the establishments covered by EPFO and choosing to retain membership through transfer of funds rather than opting for final settlement, it said.

Gender-wise analysis of FY21 reflects an upward swing in ratio of net female subscribers addition to the total net additions, from the month of October 2020 till the end of FY21. In March 2021, around 2.42 lakh net female subscribers have been added, which is 21.56% of total net addition during the month.

Among the main industries, iron ore mines, courier services, restaurants, road motor transport, petroleum & natural gas refining, iron and steel and establishments engaged in manufacture, marketing and usage of computers have seen positive growth in terms of net member addition in the month of March, 2021 as compared to net subscribers additions in February, 2021.

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