I am a government employee and joined the services recently so I don’t have a General Provident Fund (GPF) account but people who joined before January 2004 have a mandatory GPF account. I wish to contribute to a GPF or Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) account. Is it possible? If yes, please explain the procedure.

—Prakash Kumar Singh

GPF was available only for government employees before January 2004. For all government employees joining with effect from January 2004, National Pension System or NPS was made applicable; it was only from May 2009 that NPS was made available to all Indian citizens.

NPS, which is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), is a retiral benefit where a subscriber has the option to choose from various asset classes. For investments made towards equity under Scheme E of NPS, government subscribers can contribute up to 50% of their total investments. Active and auto choices are the two different investment options available to them. NPS allows investors to have a retirement corpus that invests in equity, thereby giving inflation-adjusted returns.

Government employees are now not eligible for EPF; the earlier GPF has been replaced by NPS.

Surya Bhatia is managing partner of Asset Managers. Queries and views at mintmoney@livemint.com

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