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The Government of India will pay the employer and employee contribution to EPF account of employees for another three months from June to August 2020. The benefit is for establishments with up to 100 employees and where 90% of those employees draw a salary of less than Rs 15,000 per month. The contribution to EPF is reduced to 10% from 12% for non-government organisations.
The interest rate applicable to the EPF contributions is 8.5% for FY 2020-21.
Voluntary Provident Fund (VPF) aka Voluntary Retirement Fund is the voluntary fund contribution from the employee towards his provident fund account. This contribution is beyond the 12% of contribution by an employee towards his EPF. The maximum contribution is up to 100% of his Basic Salary and Dearness Allowance. Interest is earned at the same rate as the EPF.
Employers are under no obligation to contribute to their employees’ VPF portfolio. Likewise, an employee is also under no obligation to contribute to the Plan. Once the contribution is chosen in VPF, the same cannot be terminated or discontinued before the base tenure of 5 years completed. The interest rate of Voluntary Retirement Plan is decided by the Government of India at the start of each financial year.
A VPF is an extension of the EPF. The VPF option is available only to salaried individuals who receive their monthly payments through a specific salary account.
The VPF falls under the EEE category ( EEE – exempt on contribution; exempt from the principal; exempt on interest) making it an excellent tax saving option. It also helps the employee amass a sizeable savings portfolio and help him during big life milestones.
Other benefits are
The fund allows partial withdrawals as loans with also the possibility of complete withdrawals. If the withdrawal happens before the 5-year minimum tenure, then tax will be applicable on the accumulated maturity amount. Once the employee resigns or retires from the employment the final maturity amount is paid to him. At the time of the untimely death of the account holder, the nominee can get the possession of the accumulated fund in the VPF account.
The VPF fund is mainly popular as the accumulated money can be withdrawn at any given time. In case of an unforeseen financial emergency, one can always fall back to his VPF account. The account can be broken for many reasons which include :
VPF is the extension of EPF. In an EPF account, a person has to mandatorily give 12% of his Basic Salary and Dearness Allowance towards the fund. In a VPF, it is a voluntary contribution with the maximum limit at 100%.
All employees who are on a company’s payroll are eligible to open a VPF account.
The VPF account is linked to your Aadhar Card. So, it is very easy to transfer your account from one employer to another.