Subscribers hoping for improved returns on their retirement savings may have to wait for another year. The rate of interest for the Employees’ Provident Fund is likely to hover at about 8% for the current fiscal. This will be in line with the 8.1% interest rate declared for 2021-22.
The issue is likely to be taken up at the meeting of the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which is scheduled to meet on March 25 and 26. While the EPFO has sent a letter to the trustees informing them about the date of the meeting, the exact agenda and venue have not been finalised as of now. Further communication on the agenda is expected over the next few days.
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Chaired by Union labour and employment minister Bhupender Yadav, the CBT, which is the apex decision-making body of the EPFO, had last met on October 31, 2022. A subsequent meeting planned for January did not take place.
The CBT’s key sub-committee — the Finance Investment and Audit Committee (FIAC) — which is responsible for monitoring the EPFO’s investments, is also likely to be reconstituted soon. It is likely to meet a day or so before the meeting of the full CBT to examine and discuss all investment and earnings-related issues, including a proposal on the interest rate.
“Overall, EPFO investments have been doing well but it is unlikely that there will be a major increase in the return. It is expected to stay on the lines of the interest rate announced for last fiscal,” said a person familiar with the development.
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The 68 million-odd subscribers of the EPFO have been hoping for better returns on the provident fund deposits amid consistently high inflation eating into their earnings. The retirement fund body had announced a 45-year low interest rate of 8.1% for 2021-22, as against 8.5% in 2020-21.
Other issues on the agenda could include an update on the implementation of the Supreme Court’s ruling on higher pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme, as well as an update on credit of interest to subscribers for the year 2021-22.