While equity investment is in with the EPFO from the year 2015, its subscribers both currently in the system as well as those who have quit the job market haven't been able to realize the gains from it on an actual terms. 15% of the EPF contribution is being diverted to equity markets that invest in ETFs, a passive fund which tracks the underlying companies of the index.
EPFO fund into equity is being managed by UTI Asset Management and SBI Mutual Fund.
So, this year the retirement fund body which has decided on allotting ETF units to its subscribers is mulling on a proposal to either distribute the gains realized until now as inclusive of the interest rate component for the FY 2018 or as distributed as a opening balance account in its account holder's account.
For those of them who have left the job world, the body might be offering a one-time opportunity to make the claim failing which the funds shall be diverted to the welfare scheme of the government.
So, in order to increase your long term gains from the retirement fund, the new EPF account will well may be split into accounts- one wherein the interest component shall be credited and in the other you will be notified about the ETF units and the NAV.
Though the long term nature of such investments is likely to produce gains for you through equity investments, nonetheless you shall be exposed to risks as well.
Also, remember rules per se withdrawal and redemption shall remain the same for equity component of your EPF account. So in case you are unemployed for over 2 months or require funds for some life events or medical exigencies you shall be allowed to redeem the investment.