Economy

Govt notifies EPF interest rate at 8.65 per cent for FY19

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on September 24, 2019 Published on September 24, 2019

The Labour Ministry on Tuesday notified 8.65 rate of interest on Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) for 2018-19.

This will enable crediting the interest amount of Rs 54,000 crore into accounts of over 6 crore subscribers. Besides, it would enable Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to settle withdrawal claims on this rate.

This 8.65 per cent rate of interest is 10 basis points higher than that for 2017-18. There was some disagreement between Finance Ministry and the Labour Ministry. However, Labour Minister Santosh Gangwar said that Finance Ministry gave its recommendation for the new rate after which it has been notified.

In February, the EPFO’s apex decision-making body Central Board of Trustees, headed by the labour minister, had decided to raise the interest rate on EPF to 8.65 per cent for 2018-19, which was the first increase in the past three years. In April, the Department of Financial Services (DFS), a wing of the finance ministry, had given its concurrence to the EPFO’s decision to provide 8.65 per cent rate of interest for 2018-19.

The rate was raised to 8.65 per cent for the previous financial year from 8.55 per cent provided in 2017-18. The EPFO had earlier reduced the interest rate for 2016-17 to 8.65 per cent as compared with 8.8 per cent for 2015-16.

After the Finance Ministry’s concurrence, the income tax department and the labour ministry are required to notify the rate of interest for 2018-19. Thereafter, the EPFO would give directions to its over 136 field offices to credit the rate of interest into subscribers’ account and settle their claims accordingly.

According to the EPFO estimates, there would be a surplus of ₹ 151.67 crore after providing 8.65 per cent rate of interest for 2018-19 on EPF. There would have been a deficit of Rs 158 crore on providing 8.7 per cent rate of interest on EPF for the previous financial year. That is why the body decided to provide 8.65 per cent rate of interest for 2018-19. The EPFO had provided a five-year-low interest rate of 8.55 per cent to its subscribers for 2017-18.

Published on September 24, 2019
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