Union Budget 2015-16: PF contribution limit to be made optional

Employees can now opt for EPF or New Pension Scheme and those below a certain threshold of income contribution to PF likely to be made optional

Updated - December 03, 2021 08:08 am IST

Published - February 28, 2015 04:00 pm IST - New Delhi

The government on Saturday proposed to revamp laws governing salary payment and granting employees a choice over how they get salary, saying it will amend legislation in this regard after consultation with stakeholders.

Presenting his first full year Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said employees need to be provided two options with respect to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

“Firstly, the employee may opt for EPF or the New Pension Scheme (NPS). Secondly, for employees below a certain threshold of monthly income, contribution to EPF should be optional, without affecting or reducing the employer’s contribution,” Mr. Jaitley said.

With respect to ESI, he said the employee would have the option of choosing either ESI or a Health Insurance product, recognised by the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA).

“We intend to bring amending legislation in this regard, after stakeholder consultation,” Mr. Jaitley added.

According to HR experts, the Finance Minister has thus created incentives for our youth to join the formal sector and curb the decade old trend of growing informal workforce.

“Indian Staffing Federation has been actively supporting and promoting the drive to provide these choices and believes that this move would actually contribute to formal job creation and a formal job can change the life of a youth in ways that no amount of subsidy or more rights can,” Rituparna Chakraborty, president, Indian Staffing Federation said.

According to HR consultancy firm TeamLease, India has one of the highest ‘salary confiscation’ regimes in the world and giving employees the choice to decide how their salaries are paid is by far the most important reform.

Nearly 100 per cent of the net job creation over the last two decades has taken place in the informal sector and we have overall 90 per cent informal employment, TeamLease said, adding that by recognising and offering employees the right to choose their take home pay will increase the share of our formal labour force.

Currently, in a cost-to-company model, informal employees can take home their entire salary while employees in the organised sector “lose” a part of their earnings to schemes like PF, ESI, Professional Tax, Employees Pension Scheme, statutory bonus and gratuity, TeamLease said.

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