It will be mandatory for life insurance companies to issue an electronic insurance policy for any individual who takes a sum assured of Rs10 lakh or more, or pays annual premium of Rs10,000 or more. In general insurance, for individual health policies of Rs5 lakh+, or annual premium of Rs5,000+, insurers are required to offer policies in e-format. For retail motor as well as individual overseas travel insurance, all policies will be electronic. For other retail general insurance policies, the cut-off is sum assured of Rs10 lakh or more or annual premium of Rs5,000 or more. All policies issued in electronic form by the insurer directly to the policyholder would also have to be issued in physical form, unless the insurer is given an exemption.
Instead of raising interest rates, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is considering doling out a Rs750-crore bonus to its subscribers for 2015-16. This is the first such move which could translate into double-digit returns on retirement funds for millions of workers. As per EPFO’s internal estimate, around half its subscribers would get bonus this year, if the proposal goes through. Certain trade unions are opposing the idea as this will benefit only a few and not all EPFO subscribers.
Members will not be able to fully withdraw from their Employees Provident Fund (EPF) before they reach the retirement age. The ministry of labour and employment issued a notification, dated 10 February 2016, to this effect. The maximum amount that can be withdrawn from EPF is the employee’s own contribution and interest. Employers’ contribution to provident fund and interest thereon will be retained until retirement. The notification also increases the retirement age to 58 years from the earlier 55 years for EPF.