EPFO net new enrolments up 24% to 12.54 lakh in Dec

New Delhi: Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO grew by 24 per cent to 12.54 lakh in December compared to the same month in 2019, according to the payroll data released on Saturday, providing a perspective on formal sector employment amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labour Ministry in a statement said that the provisional payroll data of Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) highlights a positive trend for net subscribers base growth with the addition of 12.54 lakh subscribers in December, 2020.

It stated that a year-on-year comparison of payroll data shows 24 per cent growth for December 2020, indicating return to the pre-Covid levels of subscriber growth for the EPFO.

The data reflects an increase of 44 per cent in net subscribers addition over the previous month of November, 2020.

Despite COVID-19 pandemic, the EPFO added around 53.70 lakh subscribers during the first three quarters of the current financial year (April to December in 2020), the data showed. The third quarter of the current financial year (October-December) has registered a robust 22 per cent growth over the second quarter (July-September) in terms of net payroll addition, it stated.

Growing trend in the EPFO payroll numbers and the accelerated expansion of the subscription base may partly be attributed to recent e-initiatives taken by the EPFO for seamless and uninterrupted service delivery in addition to the policy support for formalization of the economy through ABRY (Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana ), PMGKY (Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana) and PMRPY (Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana) schemes of Government of India, amid COVID -19 pandemic.

In December 2020, the data showed that around 8.04 lakh new members have been covered under the ambit of EPFO. Roughly 4.5 lakh net members exited and then rejoined the EPFO indicating switching of jobs by the subscribers within the establishments covered by EPFO and subscribers choosing to retain membership by transferring funds rather than opting for final settlement. Increase in the number of members rejoining indicates that workers are returning to their jobs with decline in active COVID-19 cases in India, the ministry said.

Further, auto-transfer facility initiated by the EPFO enabled hassle-free transfer of PF balance from the old account to the new account on change of job ensuring continuity of membership in many cases.

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