The Central Board of Trustees (CBT) of EPFO, is the statutory body constituted by the Central Government to decide on matters related to EPF, including the rate of interest to be applicable. The rate of interest applicable on EPF deposits is revised every year, based on the income projections of EPFO. For instance, the applicable interest rate was 8.8% for FY 2015-16, 8.65% for FY-2016-17, 8.55% FY-2017-18, and 8.75% for FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15. The board assesses the income projections of EPFO and thus decides on the applicable rate of interest. CBT is scheduled to meet on 5th March 2020, and speculations are that the meeting may decide on the rate of interest to be applicable. Though, the agenda of the meeting has not been declared yet.
Sources have reported that The Ministry of Labor is keen to keep the applicable rate of interest on EPF deposits at 8.65% for FY 2019-20. If reports are true and the decision at the said CBT meeting is taken to maintain the rate of interest at 8.65% then about 6 crores EPFO subscribers will be benefited. There are rumors that the interest rate may be reduced from 8.65% to 8.5%, but nothing can be said until EPFO declares its income projections.
It is known that for long, the Ministry of Finance has been proposing the Ministry of Labor to keep the interest rate on EPF deposits at par with small savings schemes. Small Savings Schemes comprise Public Blocks Provident Fund and other Post Office savings schemes.