Kathmandu, September 16
The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) has expressed willingness to manage the pension fund envisioned by the government. The government has envisioned to initiate contributory pension scheme through the fiscal budget 2017-18 and the bill for the contributory pension scheme has been submitted to the Cabinet for its approval before it is tabled at the Parliament.
In consideration of government’s liability on pension sky-rocketing over the years, the bill has envisioned separate fund for pension, in which the government employees would contribute during their service tenure and the government would also chip in to the fund. On the occasion of celebration of 56 years of establishment, the EPF has sought the government’s nod for the pension fund operation.
“EPF has signed memorandum of understanding with the NPS Korea, which is third-largest pension fund operator in the world, and is also negotiating with BPJS Ketenagakerjaan of Indonesia for technical know-how to manage the pension fund,” said Deepak Rauniyar, acting administrator of EPF. “If things go as per plan, EPF will be well-equipped to manage the fund.”
The government has to bring the pension fund into operation within three months after the bill is approved by the Parliament. Once the government’s contributory pension fund comes into operation, the civil servants, Nepal Police, Nepali Army, teachers and other government staffers would have to put aside 10 per cent of their monthly salary for their pension. The government would also contribute a certain amount to create the fund.
The fund operator can make investments in government securities, fixed deposits of banks and financial institutions, profit-making productive sectors by itself and in consortium to expand fund size, as per draft bill of the pension scheme.
“The long experience of EPF in managing employees’ provident fund may be fruitful in managing the government’s new pension fund scheme,” said Rajendra Kafle, chief officer of the EPF, adding, “The pension fund that the government is planning to initiate has similar characteristics like that of employees provident fund and we are also seeking technical expertise from reputed pension managing organisations of South Korea and Indonesia.”
The draft bill has proposed financial comptroller general to chair the pension fund. EPF celebrated its 56 years of establishment in the presence of State Minister for Finance Udaya Shumsher Rana, Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishor Kshetry, Revenue Secretary and Chair of EPF Sishir Kumar Dhungana and Energy Secretary Anup
Kumar Upadhyay, among other high-ranking government officials.
Employees Provident Fund at glance
|Total contributing offices||30,000|
|Provident fund||Rs 245.27bn|
|Reserve fund||Rs 278m|
|Other liabilities and provisions||Rs 2.44bn|
|Loan to contributors||Rs 137.53bn|
|Project loan||Rs 33.16bn|
|Fixed deposit in banks||Rs 54.69bn|
|Investment in the government bonds||Rs 13.99bn|
|Investment in shares||Rs 3.06bn|
|Investment in buildings and fixed assets||Rs 1.08bn|
|Other assets||Rs 2.36bn|
A version of this article appears in print on September 17, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.