On August 21, 2019, the 225th meeting of Central Board of Trustees (CBT) held at Hyderabad, Telangana. It was attended by the Minister of State (I/C) for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Kumar Gangwar, who is also Chairman of CBT.
i.EPS 1995: It approved the proposal to recommend for amendment in Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) 1995 for the restoration of commuted value of the pension to the Pensioners after 15 years of drawing commutation which will benefit approximately 6.3 lakhs pensioners.
ii.Educative booklet: The Minister released the educative booklet on seasonal employees regarding special provision in EPS’ 1995 regarding eligibility of seasonal employees for pension. The contents of the booklet brings out the Scheme provision that contributory service in any year, even if contributory period is less than a year is treated as a full year of eligible service for seasonal employee and this will help dispel doubts in minds of members/employers.
iii.EPFIGMS 2.0 version: The minister launched the revamped EPFIGMS 2.0 version which will benefit more than 5 crores subscribers and lakhs of employers by speedy and smooth resolution of grievances.
iv.Selection and Performance Evaluation: The Board approved the proposal for Selection and Performance Evaluation of next Custodian by the new Consultant which will be appointed on the basis of Report of Five Members’ Committee constituted by the CBT.
v.Selection of ETF Manufacturers: The Board approved the decision to choose the Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) manufacturers through public bidding by October 30, 2019, extension of the term of the present ETF manufacturers (SBI MF and UTI MF) till then and also to authorize the Finance Investment & Audit Committee (FIAC) to conduct the exercise of choosing ETF manufacturers.
vi.Allocation of investment in Nifty 50 and Sensex: The Board approved the proposal that the fund allocation between Nifty 50 and Sensex ETFs be divided evenly, i.e. in the ratio of 50% to 50%.
vii.Appointment of a Consultant in addition to M/s. CRISIL Ltd: The Board approved the nomination of members from employer and employee side in a Committee constituted to select and appoint a separate Agency/Consultant in addition to M/s. CRISIL (Credit Rating Information Services of India) limited, inter-alia to review the working of the Portfolio Managers (PMs), assist the investment Committee in redemption of ETFs, etc.
viii.Appointment of Portfolio Managers for managing funds of Central Board, EPF: The Central Board approved Request for Proposal (RFP) document for appointment of Portfolio Managers and recommendation of the FIAC on appointment of Portfolio Managers.
ix.Exercise of early redemption options available in DHFL Bonds: The Board approved for early redemption option in DHFL bonds recommended by FIAC.
x.Consent for Transfer of Non- Convertible Debentures (NCDs) of GSPC to GSIL: EPFO has total investment of Rs.2300 Cr in Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd (GSPC) NCDs. The Board approved the transfer of NCDs of GSPC to GSIL, a wholly owned subsidiary of Govt. of Gujarat and a better rated company which had made an offer to take over debt of GSPC with budgetary support of Government of Gujarat.
xi.Legal Entity Identifier Code (LEI) for participation in non- derivative markets by EPFO: In Nov’18, the Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) issued an advisory to all eligible market participants in the Financial Markets to obtain LEI Code. The Board approved the nomination of the EPFO Officers as the authorized Officials to obtain LEI Code.
xii.Withholding Investments in bonds of private sector companies: The CBT approved the decision to withhold any further investment in Private Sector Companies Bonds and to compulsorily consider one of the two required ratings necessarily from CRISIL, CARE, ICRA & India Ratings for investments in PSU Bonds category.
xiii.Ratification: The Board ratified the decision of put option in NCDs of Tamil Nadu Power Finance Corporation and also approved put option in bond issued Kerala Finance Corporation & Tamil Nadu Power Finance and Infrastructure Dev. Corp. Ltd.
xiv.EPFO exit from DHFL: CBT has allowed the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to exercise an exit option for recovering the pending Rs 600 crore from Dewan Housing Finance Corporation (DHFL), and approved the appointment of 3 fund managers to manage its corpus.
xv.Fund managers: The EPFO’s advisory body Finance, Audit and Investment Committee (FAIC) had finalised and recommended the names of three asset management firms- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Asset Management Company (AMC), United Trust of India (UTI) AMC and State Bank of India (SBI) Mutual Fund – for their appointment as fund managers for three years beginning October 1, 2019.
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