The Employee’s Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952

The Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952



It was in 1952 that the Provident Funds Act was enacted to provide for the institution of compulsory provident fund for the employees working in factories and other establishments. The Act was amended in 1971 to provide for family pension and life insurance benefits also and it was renamed as “the Employees Provident Funds and Family Pension Fund Act, 1952”. The Labour Provident Fund Laws (Amendment) Act, 1976 made further provision for deposit-linked insurance fund. It changed the title of the Act to “The Employee’s Provident Funds, Family Pension Fund, and Deposit-linked Insurance Fund Act, 1952. The Act was further amended to incorporate the Employees Pension Scheme, 1995.

Objects of the Act

The Employee’s Provident Funds and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 (EPF and MP Act) is a part of social security and welfare measures taken by the Government. It is intended to provide security for old age to the industrial workers who are not able to save out of their meager emoluments for their future. Under the Act, the employees and employers are required to contribute sums as prescribed under the Act to the Provident Fund for the benefit of the employees. As stated in the preamble of the Act, the object of the Act is to provide for the institution of provident funds for employees in factories and other establishments.

Applicability of the Act

Subject to the provisions contained in Section 16, the Act applies-
(a) To every establishment which is a factory engaged in any industry specified in Schedule I and in which twenty or more persons are employed, and
(b) To any other establishment employing twenty or more persons or class of such establishments which the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify in this behalf ;
(c) Provident that the Central Government may, after giving not less than two month’s notice of its intention so to do, by notification in the Official Gazette, apply the provisions of this Act to any establishment employing such number of persons less than twenty as may be specified in the notification. [Sec. 1(3)]

Exemption from the Application of the Act

Section 16 provides that the following establishments are exempted from the application of this Act:
(1) Any establishment registered under the C0-operative Societies Act, 1912 or under any other law for the time being in force in any State relating to co-operative societies employing less than fifty persons and working without the aid of power, or
(2) To any other establishment belonging to or under the control of the Central Government or a State Government and whose employees are entitled to the benefit of contributory provident fund or old age pension in accordance with any Scheme or rule framed by the Central Government or the State Government governing such benefits;
(3) To any other establishment set up under any Central, Provincial or State Act and whose employees are entitled to the benefits of contributory provident fund or old age pension in accordance with any scheme or rule framed under that Act governing such benefits; or
(4) To any other establishment newly set up, until the expiry of a period of three years from the date on which such establishment is, or has been set up.

Broad Features of Act

The salient features of the Employees Provident Funds Act are as under:
1. The object of the Act is to make some provision for the industrial worker for the future so that he may utilize this after retirement and his dependents may not suffer on account of his retirement or premature death.
2. The Act is applicable to any establishment if the following conditions are fulfilled :
(a) The establishment is engaged in an industry specified in Schedule I.
(b) At least 20 persons have been employed in it.
(c) In case of an establishment employing fifty or more persons, three years and in case of an establishment employing twenty or more but less than fifty persons, five years must have elapsed from the date of its establishment.

3. The following four schemes have been framed under the Act by the Central Government:
(a) The Employee’s Provident Funds Scheme, 1952
(b) The Employees’ Family Pension Scheme, 1971
(c) The Employee’s Deposit-Linked Insurances Scheme, 1976
(d) The Employee’s Pension Scheme, 1995

4. The scheme under the Act are financed by contributions from the employees and the employers and also the grants given by the Central Government.
5. There are more than 26 million subscribers to the provident fund, family pension and deposit linked insurance schemes.
6. The wage ceiling limit for coverage under the EPF and MP Act is Rs. 6,500 per month.

Sections  Content
1 Short title, extent and application
2 Definitions
2A Establishment to include all departments and branches
3 Power to apply the Act to an establishment which has a common provident fund with another establishment
4 Power to add to Schedule I
5 Employees Provident Funds Scheme
5A Central Board
5AA Executive Committee
5B State Board
5C Board of Trustees to be body corporate
5D Appointment of officers
5DD Acts and proceedings of the Central Board or its Executive Committee or the State Board not to be invalidated on certain grounds
5E Delegation
6 Contributions and matters which may be provided for in the Scheme
6A Employee’s Pension Scheme
6C Employee’s Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme
6D Laying of Schemes before Parliament
7 Modification of Scheme
7A Determination of moneys due from employers
7B Review of orders passed under section 7A
7C Determination of escaped amount
7D Employee’s Provident Funds Appellate Tribunal
7E Term of Office
7F Resignation
7G Salary and allowances and other terms and conditions of service of Presiding Officer
7H Staff of Tribunal
7I Appeals to Tribunal
7J Procedure of Tribunal
7K Right of appellant to take assistance of legal practitioner and of government, etc. to appoint presenting officers
7L Orders of Tribunal
7M Filling up of vacancies
7N Finality of orders constituting a Tribunal
7O Deposit of amount due, on filing appeal
7P Transfer of applications of Tribunal
7Q Interest payable by the employer
8 Mode of recovery of moneys due from employers
8A Recovery of moneys by employers and contractors
8B Issue of certificate to the Recovery Officer
8C Recovery Officer to whom certificate is to be forwarded
8D Validity of certificate and amendment thereof
8E Stay of proceedings under certificate and amendment or withdrawal thereof
8F Other modes of recovery
8G Application of certain provisions of Income Tax Act
9 Fund to be recognized under Act 11 of 1922
10 Protection against Attachment
11 Priority of payment of contributions over other debts
12 Employer not to reduce wages etc.
13 Inspectors
14 Penalties
14A Offences by companies
14AA Enhanced punishment in certain cases after previous conviction
14AB Certain offences to be cognizable
14AC Cognizance and trial of offences
14B Power to recover damages
14C Power of court to  make orders
15 Special provisions relating to existing provident funds
16 Act not to apply to certain establishments
16A Authorizing certain employers to maintain provident fund accounts
17 Power to exempt
17A Transfer of accounts
17AA Act to have effect notwithstanding anything contained in Act 31 of 1956
17B Liability in case of transfer of establishment
18 Protection of action taken in good faith
18A Presiding officer and other officers to be public servants
19 Delegation of powers
20 Power of Central Government to give directions
21 Power to make rules
22 Power to remove difficulties
Schedule I Matters of Industry engaged in Manufacture
Schedule II Matters for which provision may be made in a Scheme
Schedule III Matters for which provision may be made in the Pension Scheme
Schedule IV Matters to be provided for in the Employee’s Deposit insurance Scheme

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