Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  EPFO, PFs can now invest in Bharat Bond ETFs: Centre
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In a notification dated 4th Jan, the Government allowed the EPFO and exempted provident fund (PF) trusts to invest money in units of public sector debt ETFs such as the Bharat Bond ETFs.

Four tranches of Bharat Bond ETFs have been launched so far, two in December 2019 and two in mid-2020. Edelweiss Asset Management manages the ETFs which are allowed to invest in AAA PSU debt and have set expiry dates in 2023, 2025, 2030 and 2031. They have a collective size of around 30,000 crore. "I expect flows to come in monthly, rather than a single point of time. They will hence be manageable and won't present a supply problem," said Radhika Gupta MD and CEO Edelweiss Asset Management Limited.

However, the ETFs have yields in the 4.5%-6.6% range, well short of the 8.5% interest rate declared by the EPFO for FY20, which exempted PF trusts also have to match. Experts have called for a transfer of risk to subscribers rather than provident funds through unitization as a solution to this mismatch.

"This is a good move but ideally EPFO and PF trusts should be allowed to credit these units to employee accounts and allow employees to take decisions on them. Without unitization, this move will have limited impact on the operations and returns of provident funds," said Amit Gopal, India Business Leader, Investments, Mercer.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Borate
Neil heads the personal finance team at Mint. A former colleague called them 'money nerds' and that's what they are. They cover topics like mutual funds, taxation and retirement, all to improve your chances of building wealth. Neil graduated with a degree in law and economics. He passed the CFA Level I exam and began his writing career at Value Research, a mutual fund research firm in 2016. He joined the personal finance team Mint in 2019. Everyday, the Mint Money Team tackles personal finance questions such as where to invest and where to borrow, through articles, charts and reader queries. They also have a daily podcast - 'Why Not Mint Money' and an annual ranking of mutual funds - the Mint 20.
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Updated: 06 Jan 2021, 11:41 PM IST
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