Time to streamline the Provident Fund pension scheme
#GS-02 Governance, Social Security
- Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is a statutory body established under Employee Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952.
- Its aim is to provide social security to workers working throughout India.
- EPFO works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.
- It is one of the world’s largest Social Security Organisations in terms of number of clients and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
Schemes of EPFO:
EPFO Scheme 1952
Salient features of PFO scheme:
- Accumulation plus interest upon retirement or death
- Partial withdrawals allowed for the purpose of education, marriage, house construction or illness.
- Housing scheme for EPFO members in order to achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of Housing for all by 2022.
Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS)
Salient features of the Pension Scheme
- The monthly pensions for superannuation, disability, survivor, widow(er) and children.
- Minimum pension for disablement.
- Past service benefit given to participants of the erstwhile Family Pension Scheme, 1971.
Insurance Scheme 1976 (EDLI)
Salient features of the scheme
- The insurance provided in case of the death of an employee who was a member of the scheme at the time of death.
- Insurance amount calculated as 20 times the wages, with a maximum benefit of Rs, 6 Lakh.
What needs to be done:
- The Government and the EPFO should increase the minimum monthly pension of ₹3,000 from the current ₹1,000.
- The EPFO can give a one-time opportunity to all those in the higher wage group who retired since December 2004 without exercising the option so that they can also join.
- The Code on Social Security, 2020, when it gets implemented, can have a scheme for those youngsters who got their jobs after September 2014 and have been left out of the EPS due to their higher wages.
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