Retirement fund body EPFO has tightened norms on withdrawal of provident fund as well investment of such amount in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana for its over five crore subscribers.
"Now, the subscribers will not be able to claim withdrawal of their provident fund after attaining age of 54 years. They would have to wait till attaining the age 57 years. The ministry has notified new rules," a senior official told PTI.
As per the earlier norms, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) subscribers were allowed to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations in their PF account at the age of 54 years and their claims were settled just one year before their retirement.
The official said that the earlier clause was relevant because there were establishments where retirement age was 55 years or 56 years.
"In today's scenario when retirement age is 58 years across all organisation the clause of scheme is not relevant. But the big change is that now under this facility, the subscriber would be able to withdraw his contribution and interest earned on it unlike 90 per cent of the total accumulations earlier," he explained.
In another change, EPFO has made it mandatory to wait till attaining the age of 57 for claiming PF withdrawal for transferring that to the Life Insurance Corporation of India for investment in Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana.
Earlier norms used to allow subscribers to claim 90 per cent of their accumulations for investing in the scheme after attaining the age of 55 years.
The EPFO has also amended the scheme for appointment of upto Joint Secretary level officers by its apex decision making body the Central Board of Trustees' (CBT).
The official said that this will help expedite promotions and appointment of officials because earlier the EPFO had to seek Labour Ministry approval of any appointment with pay scale of higher than Rs 14,300 to Rs 18,300 pay band.
In another enabling amendment to the scheme, the subscribers can directly file their claims like PF withdrawals without attestation of present or previous employers.
Earlier EPFO has launched new simplified form for subscribers who have activated their Universal Account Number to apply directly for settling such claims.
This amendment to scheme will remove any legal hassle for settling such claims through new simplified forms.