The provident fund body has reduced the minimum investment in debt securities to 20% from the current 35%. Will it change returns for you as an EPF subscriber. Here's a take on this:
Current investment pattern of EPF which shall now on be changed:
As per the last notification dated April 1, 2015, a minimum of 35% of EPF corpus has to be invested in debt securities and the maximum cap in it has been 45%. But this reduction in the minimum limit to 20% is aimed at reducing the exposure to risky corporate debt instruments. The other deb investments of the organization include bank term deposits.
The change has been notified in the circular dated February 23.
EPF begun investment in equity related instruments from 2015
Other than the debt instruments, from the year 2015, the EPF body was allowed to invest in equity securities including ETFs, index funds as well as derivatives. And a minimum of 5% to a maximum of 15% can be invested in such equity related investments.
Investors or subscribers in the EPF should acquaint themselves with the new unitization policy which got approved last year. And as per it, earnings from debt securities shall be paid back to the subscribers as interest while returns from equity investment shall be provided as units similar to mutual funds.
How the change in investment pattern is likely to affect an EPF subscriber?
Since the year 2015, the EPFO has invested in equity-related instruments though via a passive approach by investing in ETFs, it is known to earn 13% returns on an annualized basis beating the inflation rate. And this recent reduction in minimum investment limit in debt securities can be likely followed by an increase in the investment in equity for better and tax-efficient returns for the EPF subscribers who depend to a great degree on the EPF corpus for their retirement years.