|The Employees' Provident Fund & MP Act,1952 is an important piece of Labour Welfare legislation enacted by the Parliament to provide social security benefits to the workers . At present , the Act and the Schemes framed there under provides for three types of benefits -Contributory Provident Fund , Pensionary benefits to the employees/ family members and the insurance cover to the members of the Provident Fund.
The object of the Act in 1952 was the institution of the compulsory contributory Provident Fund to the employees to which both the employee and the employer would contribute . The Employees' Provident Fund Scheme was accordingly framed under the Act and it came into effect from 1-11-1952 . Initally the title of the Act was , "The Provident Fund Act 1952".
On a review of the working of the scheme over the years , it was found that in the event of the premature death of the employees the accumulation in the Provident Fund were too meagre to the family of the deceased .Thus another social security benefit of providing Family Pension through the Employees' Family Pension Fund Scheme , 1971 was introduced by amending the Act . At this stage , the Act was renamed as "The Employees' Provident Fund & Family Pension Act , 1952" and the Employees' Family Pension Scheme came into force on 1-3-1971 .
The Act was further amended in the year 1976 to introduce another social security benefit to provide an insurance cover to the members of the Provident Fund in covered establishment . The Employees' Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme , 1976 came into force from 1-8-1976 . The name of the Act was then changed to the present one i.e. 'The Employees' Provident Fund & MP Act,1952' . From 16-11-1995 , the Employees' Pension Scheme has come into force which provides pension to retiring employees on reaching 50/58 years of age , widow pension , children pension and nominee pension on death of the member to his eligible family members . This replaces the Employees' Family Pension Scheme 1971 .
The provisions of the Employees' Provident Fund & MP
Act , 1952 extends to whole of India except the State of
Jammu & Kashmir.
The State Government of Jammu & Kashmir have instituted a seperate Provident Fund Scheme w.e.f. 1-6-1961.
The Act initially applied to factories/establishments falling within six specified industries which had completed three years of existence and employed 50 or more persons. With effect from 31-12-1960 , the establishments employing 20 or more persons were also brought under the purview of the Act .
Under the infancy protection , the Act was not applicable for the establishment employing 50 or more persons , up to a period of three years from the date of set up . Infancy of five years was allowed in the case of establishment employing twenty or more persons but less than 50 persons.
With effect from 1-8-1988 , the Act is applicable to the establishment employing twenty or more persons on expiry of a period of three years from the date of set up . From 22-9-1997 this infancy of three years has been dispensed with and all the establishments employing 20 or more persons are brought under the purview of the Act from the very date of set up subject to fulfillment of other conditions . The provisions of the Act applies on its own force independently .
The Central Government has residual powers to apply this act to any establishment employing less than twenty employees . By virtue of these provisions , the Employees' Provident Fund Scheme has been extended to Cinema theaters employing five or more persons , w.e.f. 1-10-1984 . Also there is a provision for voluntary application of the Act to any establishment upon joint request from the employer and majority of its employees , to whom it does not apply otherwise . An establishment to which this Act applies shall continue to be governed by this Act notwithstanding that the number of persons employed therein at any time falls below twenty .
The Act does not apply to certain establishments as specified under Section 16 of the Act .
The Employees' Provident Fund organisation came into being following enactment of the Employees' Provident Fund Act in the year 1952 . The funds established under the Act vests in and administered by Central Board of Trustees constituted by Central Government which functions subject to overall regulatory control of the Central Government .
At the inception of the scheme an employee who was in receipt of pay up to Rs.300/- p.m. , and who worked for one year was eligible for membership of the fund. As a result of amendments made from time to time , the conditions of eligibility for membership of the fund have been liberalised in favour of employee. Presently an employee at the time of joining the employment and getting wages upto Rs.6500/- is required to become a member. Now an employee is eligible for membership of fund from the very first date of joining a covered establishment.
The Act provides for :
-- grant of exemption from the operation of the scheme/s framed under the Act to an establishment , to a class of employees and to an individual employee , on certain conditions.
-- Penalties to employers/trustees of exempted Provident Fund who contravene the provision of the Act and the Scheme.
-- appointment of inspector to secure compliance under the Act and the Schemes framed there under.
-- mode of recovery of moneys due from employers.