Q. What is a covered establishment?

Ans. Covered establishment is an establishment belonging to any of the classes of industries/other establishments, which are listed in the Schedule appended to the Employees' Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act and where 20 or more persons are employed. Co-operative Societies, employing 50 or more persons and working without the aid of power are also covered. An establishment continues to be covered under the Act, irrespective of the fall in the employment strength. Since the Act applies on its own force to the establishments, the employers are required to file the particulars in the specified format for registration and allotment of business number. Where an establishment consists of different departments or has branches, whether situate in the same place or in different places, all such departments or branches shall be treated as parts of the same establishment.

Q. Is employee the only beneficiary of Employees Provident Fund?

Ans. Benefit will be paid to him/her and in his/her absence to his/her family.

Q. Who will be covered by the Employees Pension Scheme?

Ans. Every member of the ceased Family Pension Scheme and anyone who joins any covered establishment on or after 16-11-95 is compulsorily to join this scheme, provided his/her salary/wage is less than Rs.6500/- per month at the date of appointment. There is no provision for exemption of individuals or for class of employees.

Q. When is a member eligible to receive pension?

Ans. A minimum of 10 years' eligible service will entitle a member to receive pension after attaining age of 58 years. On ceasing employment earlier than 58 years, pension may be availed of by a member at his option, before attaining the age of 58 years but not below 50 years. Such early pension will be subject to discounting factor. However, no such age restriction or eligibility requirement will apply for pension entitlement on disablement or pension payable to the family members on death of the member. Membership with one contribution is enough in such cases.

Q. What is meant by Family under Employees Pension Scheme?

Ans. Family means employee's spouse and children below 25 years of age.

Q. If an employee does not have a Family and he/she dies before receiving benefit does his/her pension get lost?

Ans. No, if he/she does not have a family, benefits will be paid to his/her nominee who will receive the benefit in his/her absence.

Q. What will happen if a member has not nominated anyone?

Ans. The pension/ROC (Return of capital) will be paid to the dependent parents if there is no eligible family member to receive the same.

Q. Can a member change his/her nomination?

Ans. He/She can change his/her nomination whenever he/she decides within the framework of rules for such nomination. In other words if he/she has a family, nomination should be in favor of member(s) of the family. If he/she has no family, he/she can nominate anyone he/she wishes.

Q. What is nomination and what is its effect?

Ans. Every member has to give the details of himself and details of the nominee for Employees' Provident Fund and Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme and details of family such as name, relationship and age of all the family members for Employees Pension Scheme. Family for the purpose of Employee Provident Fund Scheme means wife/husband, children, whether married or unmarried, including adopted children, if adoption is recognized and dependant parents of the member. Employees Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme benefit will be paid to the nominee under Employees Provident Fund Scheme. If there is no nomination, payment will be made to the family members excluding major sons and married daughters. Whenever a member wants to make a change in the nomination already made for Provident Fund or to update the details of Family for Employees Pension Scheme, he has to send a revised nomination form routed through the employer.

Q. What is the protection against attachment?

Ans. Amount standing to the credit of any member in Fund or of any exempted employee in a provident fund shall not in any way be capable of being assigned or charged and shall not be liable to attachment under any decree or order of any court in respect of any debt or liability incurred by the member or the exempted employee, and neither an official assignee nor a receiver appointed under the Insolvency laws shall be entitled to have any claim on any such amount. Any amount standing to the credit of a member in the fund or of an exempted employee in a provident fund at the time of his death and payable to his nominee under the Scheme or the rules of the provident fund shall, subject to any deduction authorized by the said Scheme or rules, vest in the nominee and shall be free from any debt or other liability incurred by the deceased or the nominee before the death of the member or of exempted employee and shall also not be liable to attachment under any decree or order of any court. The above provisions shall, so far as may be, apply in relation to the pension or any other amount, payable under the Pension Scheme and also in relation to any amount payable under the Insurance Scheme as they apply in relation to any amount payable out of the Fund.

Q. What are the periodical returns to be sent by an employer to the Provident Fund Office?

Ans. The employer of an un-exempted establishment has to forward the prescribed returns which will include details required under the three schemes namely, Employees Provident Fund Scheme, Employee Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme and Employee Pension Scheme.

Disclaimer: The information given hereinabove is for general guidance which cannot be quoted in any legal proceeding and will have no legal purpose. The users are advised to refer to the provisions of the relevant/applicable Acts, Rules, Regulations and Govt. policies as may be amended and in force from time to time.