EPFO users may get an option to increase or decrease investments in ETFs

The subscribers to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) may soon get an option to increase or decrease investments in exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The EPFO also approved a plan to create a reserve fund for its equity investments to shield the subscribers from stock market volatility.

Besides, the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees (CBT), chaired by Labour and Employment Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar, met on Friday and approved changes to the accounting policy of investment in equity.

The CBT also approved the recommendation of the finance investment and audit committee, the EPFO’s advisory body, which suggested that the subscribers be allocated equity units only for 15 per cent of their contributions and all units over and above this allocation would be held by the EPFO, a statement issued by the EPFO said. 

“A separate reserve fund for smoothening out volatility of equity returns and to provide equitable returns to all the subscribers needs to be created,” a statement issued by the EPFO said. EPFO Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy said a committee had been formed to decide the modalities of creating a reserve fund for equity investments. The EPFO invests up to 15 per cent of the subscribers’ incremental deposits in ETFs. The EPFO has been investing in ETFs since August 2015 and has invested around Rs 420 billion in the equity instrument so far, giving a return of 17 per cent till February 28 this year.

The EPFO’s decision follows a suggestion by the finance ministry to create a reserve fund for its investments in various instruments such as equity and bonds. For the past few years, the finance ministry has been asking the EPFO to create a reserve fund and offer lower interest rates to ensure it does not suffer losses due to market volatility.

(With inputs from PTI)

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel