AHEAD of general elections, the interest rate paid on employee provident fund was on Saturday hiked to 8.5 per cent for fiscal year ending March 31, the highest in three years. The Central Board of trustees of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) recommended to the finance ministry for raising the interest rate for nearly 8 crore contributing subscribers, the Labour Ministry said in a statement. This will be the highest rate of interest for EPF subscribers in the last three years. The previous high was in 2019-20 when 8.5 per cent interest was paid. The rate of payout was maintained at the same level in 2020-21 but in the following year it was cut to 8.1 per cent, the lowest in four decades. (EPF interest rate was 8 per cent in 1977-78).
The interest rate was marginally hiked to 8.15 per cent in 2022-23 (April 2022 to March 2023). The recommendation for 2023-24 fiscal will now go to the Finance Ministry and once it agrees to it, the EPFO will credit the rate of interest to the EPF subscribers. India will go to the polls in April-May to elect a new Government. According to the Labour Ministry statement, the decision to hike interest rate for 2023-24 was taken at the 235th meeting of the Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of EPFO on Saturday, under the chairmanship of Union Labour & Employment Minister Bhupender Yadav.