Net new enrolments with retirement fund body EPFO rose to 8.45 lakh in July from 4.82 lakh in June 2020, according to its latest payroll data, providing a perspective on employment in the formal sector amid the COVID-19 crisis. Provisional payroll data released by the EPFO last month had shown that net new enrolments stood at 6.55 lakh in June this year.
The figure has now been revised down to 4,82,352. The net enrolments with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) had dropped to 5.72 lakh in March 2020 from 10.21 lakh in February, according to the payroll data released in May. The latest data released on Sunday showed that net new enrolments in April were in the negative zone at (-) 61,807 against the figure of 20,164 released in August.
This means that the number of members who exited the EPFO subscription was more than the number of people who joined or rejoined the scheme. Earlier in July, provisional data had showed net new enrolments for the month April at 1 lakh which were revised down to 20,164 in August. The net new enrolments with the EPFO hover around 7 lakh every month on an average. During 2019-20, the number of net new subscribers rose to 78.58 lakh as compared to 61.12 lakh in the preceding fiscal, according to the payroll data released on Sunday. The EPFO has been releasing the payroll data of new subscribers since April 2018, covering the period starting from September 2017.
The data also showed that during September 2017-July 2020, the number of net new subscribers was over 1.68 crore. The EPFO said the payroll data is provisional as updation of employees’ records is a continuous process and gets updated in subsequent months. ”The government announced a lockdown on March 24, 2020. Accordingly, ECR (PF returns) filing date for March month was extended to May 15, 2020,” the EPFO had said in May while releasing the data. In June, it had said, ”The due date for submission of ECRs for April 2020 has been extended in view of the lockdown.” The estimates are net of the new members enrolled, members exited and rejoined during the month, as per records of the EPFO. The estimates may include temporary employees whose contributions may not be continuous for the entire year, it has said.
The EPFO manages social security funds of workers in the organised/ semi-organised sector in India. It has more than 6 crore active members (with at least one-month contribution during the year).