To combat financial difficulties faced by the families of active employees who have lost their lives due to covid-19, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) will now provide the overall maximum death insurance benefits of ₹7 lakh under the Employees’ Deposit-Linked Insurance (EDLI) scheme.
The scheme’s purpose is to ensure that the family gets financial assistance in case of the member’s death.
While the maximum limit has been raised from ₹6 lakh to ₹7 lakh, the minimum sum has been increased to ₹2.5 lakh. These new limits are in effect for three years from 28 April.
EDLI is one of the schemes formulated under the Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act (EPF and MP Act), 1952.
Saraswathi Kasturirangan, partner, Deloitte India, said, “The EDLI scheme is available to all members who are contributing to the provident fund. The coverage includes establishments that have their own provident fund trust as well. The scheme, therefore, provides coverage to employees in the event of their untimely death, and the nominees shall receive the stated benefits."
EPFO operates three schemes—the EPF Scheme, 1952; Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS); and Insurance Scheme, 1976 (EDLI). For such an insurance scheme, the employee need not make any contribution but only the employer has to contribute. Members of EPFO have automatic enrolment to the EDLI scheme.
Pooja Ramchandani, partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas and Co., said, “Unlike the provident and pension funds established under the EPF Act, where both employer and employee make contributions, for the EDLI, only the employer and the government contribute towards the EDLI fund." The employer normally contributes 0.5% of PF wages limited to ₹75 per month.
Employers can also set up a separate insurance scheme for their employees with approvals from the EPFO if they find that the current coverage is low.
In such a case, the EPFO normally exempts an employer from EDLI and the scheme provided by the employer to their employees is called group EDLI policy.
Beneficiaries of employees who are working in organizations enrolled under the EPF scheme are eligible to get the EDLI scheme benefits.
They get covered even if they shift jobs and work for another employer covered by the EDLI scheme before they complete one year of service.
Vishwanath B.G., senior consultant, Mercer, said, “The major amendment to the scheme is continuous service of one year not restricted to one establishment. Earlier, 12 months’ service was applicable under one establishment."
Further, the deceased employee must have to be a member of the fund or a provident fund exempted under Section 17 of the EPF and MP Act.
For instance, suppose the average salary for the preceding 12 months, if the employee is at wage ceiling levels, is ₹15,000. The average salary will then be multiplied by 35 times, i.e., ₹15,000 x 35 = ₹5.25 lakh (Previously, it was 30 times = ₹4.5 lakh).
Note that ₹15,000 is the ceiling under the EDLI scheme for the purpose of this calculation even if your basic salary exceeds this amount.
In addition to the above, 50% of the average balance in the provident fund account of the member during the preceding 12 months, subject to a ceiling limit of ₹1.75 lakh (previously it was ₹1.5 lakh), is also paid to the beneficiary family. Hence, the maximum benefit paid will be ₹5.25 lakh + ₹1.75 lakh = ₹7 lakh.
You must first know that during employment, the employee files the PF nomination form (Form 2) with the employer, and it is those nominees who are beneficiaries in the event of the death of the employee.
“Upon the death of the employee, each of the nominees needs to make a claim of the PF, pension withdrawal and EDLI claim in the composite claim form instead of filing three forms separately (viz. Form 20 for PF withdrawal, Form 10-D for pension claim and Form 5-IF for EDLI)," said Kasturirangan.
The composite claim form can also be used for claiming PF, pension and EDLI together since the nominees are the same. If the claimant is a minor, then the guardian will have to fill the form on his/her behalf.
This composite claim form needs to be filed with the employer along with the mandatory documents. The employer would then attest the form, and in turn, submit the form to the jurisdictional Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) for processing the claim along with the copy of the nomination made by the employee.
Archit Gupta, founder and CEO, ClearTax, said, “To get the insurance claim, which is usually a factor of the last drawn salary of the subscriber, the nominee needs to submit the required documents, which are duly filled EDLI Form 5-IF, death certificate of the insured person, succession certificate if the claimant is a person other than the nominee, guardianship certificate if the claim is being filed on behalf of a minor and bank details of the account in which the claimant would like to receive the benefit."
The mode of fund transfer has to be mentioned in the form.
“Once the form is submitted, the claim has to get settled in 30 days and if the RPFC is not able to settle the claim within a month’s time, he/she will be liable to pay an interest of 12% per annum from the deadline date to the date of actual disbursal," said Kasturirangan.
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