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Employees’ provident fund UPSC NOTE

 What is EPF – Beneficiaries

  • EPF stands for Employees' Provident Fund. 

  • It's a retirement savings scheme in some countries. 

  • Beneficiaries are the people who will receive the money in the EPF account after the member (the person who contributes to the account) dies.

  • There can be differences between how EPF beneficiaries are determined depending on the country. Here's a quick look at two examples:

  • India (EPFO): In India, nomination is crucial. 

  • You can nominate one or more beneficiaries, including your spouse, children, or other dependents. 

  • The nominee(s) will receive the EPF amount if you pass away

  • If there's no nomination or the nominee predeceases you, the distribution follows specific rules .

  • Malaysia (KWSP): Nomination works similarly in Malaysia. 

  • You can nominate beneficiaries through a designated form. 

  • If there's no nomination or the nominee dies before you, the distribution is determined

according to Islamic law for Muslim members and by the Civil Law Act 1956 for others.

On what grounds has a 15- year-old amendment to the law been struck down?

  • The Karnataka High Court recently struck down a 15-year-old amendment to the law which permits the incorporation of foreign workers in the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF).

  • Accordingly, it quashed the special provisions for international workers under paragraph 83 of the Employees’ Provident Funds Scheme, 1952.

  • Paragraph 43A of the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 (EP Scheme) for being “unconstitutional and arbitrary.

How will withdrawing employees’ provident fund benefits affect international workers in India, and Indian workers abroad?

  • The Employees’ Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 is India’s pivotal social security legislation and regulates three main schemes — the EPF Scheme.

  • The EP Scheme and the Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance Scheme, 1976

  • It is administered through a statutory body — the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). 

  • An establishment with a minimum of 20 employees is required to register with the EPFO and make Provident Fund (PF) contributions for eligible employees. 

  • In 2008, the 1952 Act was amended to bring international workers or expatriates within the fold of the statute. 

  • As per the amendment, international workers employed in India for a minimum period of six months are mandated to make PF contributions which include 12% of the employee’s total salary. 

  • A matching contribution is made by the employer for each of these workers

  • However, contrary to their domestic counterparts, the wage ceiling of ₹15,000 per month for availing PF benefits does not apply to international workers

  • Withdrawal of PF accumulations by international workers based in India is permitted only upon retirement from service in the establishment at any time after the attainment of 58 years of age.

  • Upon retirement on account of permanent incapacity for work due to bodily or mental incapacity and pursuant to any stipulations under existing Social Security Agreements (SSAs).

What is the response from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation?

  • The Ministry of Labour and Employment through the EPFO has issued a statement saying that it was “actively evaluating the future course of action.” 

  • The appeal is being prepared and the argument will be based on special provisions in the

  • scheme that are drafted with specific purposes of protecting the interests of Indian workers abroad. 

  • The EPFO is also consulting representatives of employers and employees to clear apprehensions.

  • Referring to the SSAs executed with 21 countries so far, the EPFO’s press release said,

  • These agreements aim to guarantee the uninterrupted social security coverage of employees during international employment.

  • These agreements are very important for India for promoting international mobility and leverage the demographic dividend


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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Employees’ provident fund UPSC NOTE
Employees’ provident fund UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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