EPFO members: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) willl likely to credit the interest on provident fund deposits for the financial year 2020-21 soon, according to reports. Over 6 crore employees will get the benefit by the end of next month.
The retirement body kept the interest rate unchanged on the provident fund deposits at 8.5 per cent for the financial year 2020-21. The decision was taken in the view of more withdrawals and less contribution by the members during COVID-19 pandemic.
EPFO had, during the meeting of its Central Board of Trustees in March 2021, decided to keep the interest rate for 2020-21 unchanged at 8.5 per cent. In 2019-20 also the interest rate was at 8.5 per cent.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, EPFO had cut down the interest rate to a seven-year low of 8.5 per cent for 2019-20 in last March.
12 Million New Members Arrived
Let us inform you that according to the latest report released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), 12.24 lakh new members have joined the schemes of EPFO in March this year. In February, 11.77 lakh new employees were associated with these schemes. However, in the last financial year, the number of members joining ESIC has decreased by 24 percent. During this period, 1.15 crore new employees were added to the schemes of ESIC. In the financial year 2019-20, their number was 1.50 crore.
PF withdrawal citing COVID-19
EPFO has recently allowed its members to withdraw money from the retirement fund as a non-refundable advance. In March, 2020, the central government introduced a special provision under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY) which would allow the EPF members to withdraw basic pay and dearness allowance (DA) of three months or 75 per cent of their Provident Fund money, whichever is lower as advance. “To support its subscribers during the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, EPFO has now allowed its members to avail second non-refundable COVID-19 advance. The provision for special withdrawal to meet the financial need of members during pandemic was introduced in March 2020, under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY),” the ministry said.