“We have devised a voluntary pension scheme for individuals where workers can put in money voluntarily which would be managed by EPFO,” said, V P Joy, Central Provident Fund Commissioner (CPFC). The proposal had been sent to the Labour Ministry which is actively considering it, he said adding that the government was keen to formulate such a scheme.
“After the labour ministry considers it, it will be then sent to the finance ministry for income tax exemption”, he told reporters here. Joy said LIC was also running a similar scheme, adding that the voluntary scheme was besides the mandatory pension scheme being run by the EPFO where Rs 15,000 was limit for compulsory credit to the provident fund and the maximum pension amount was Rs 7,500 per month. “The deduction of Rs 15,000 as compulsory credit is likely to be revised which will again raise the maximum pension limit,” he said. Under the proposed scheme, the employers could also make voluntary contribution if they wanted to for the benefit of the employees, he said.
Unlike the present PF pension scheme, the proposed scheme would have a vesting age of 60 years instead of 58 years, he said. Joy said that EPFO would start an exercise soon to rank the performance of exempted trusts on various parameters. “There are nearly 1,000 exempted trusts now. We will start ranking their performances shortly. Of some of them are found to be dismal, their exemptions may be cancelled,” he said. The CPFC also said that pensioners would now have to link their UAN (universal account number) with Aadhar for getting pension. The EPFO was also taking with 24 public sector banks for disbursal of pension money. “Linking of Aadhar to made mandatory by law. There are 104 crore odd Aadhar cards issued out of 125 crore total population. So there will be no problem.”
Regarding PF investments, he said only five per cent of investable money was being put into equity, which according to him was too small. “Over time, this percentage of investments in equity will go up”, he said.