EPF is the most popular choice for retirement saving. Almost four crore employees are contributing to EPF for the post retirement savings. NPS can be considered the second most popular scheme which was launched in 2004. However, its popularity still not very close to the EPF scheme. This post compares benefits of EPF scheme and NPS scheme. The main difference between EPF and NPS is related to tax exemption. EPFO gives tax free PF withdrawal, but NPS is conditionally attracts tax. NPS offers market linked returns. 50% of contributions can be given to equity markets. The higher returns lies with NPS instead of EPF if investment is planned for period of 10 years or more than that.
Guideline For NPS and EPF
However it is easy to maintain EPF account and keep a track of it. The annual returns or interest earned by all the members or subscribers remain same. It is not with NPS as the allocation of debit and equity differs. Here are some main points of differences between NPS and EPF:
- EPF scheme can be joined only by the salaried employees of the non-government sectors. But national pension scheme or NPS is open for everyone. Salaried people from any sector, self-employed, freelancers, and businessman can join this scheme. You can also open nps account using pan card.
- In EPF scheme, employee does not have to decide his contribution. 12% of his basic salary (with DA) is deducted towards PF account. The similar amount is contributed by the employer. But NPS is entirely voluntary. Investors can invest in instalment or can invest a lump sum amount.
- Go here for the limit of minimum investment for NPS is Rs. 6000 per single financial year. There is no limit for maximum investment. While in EPF, the employer contribution remains restricted to 12% of the basic salary of the employee. But employee an opt for more than 12% of basic salary as contribution as per his will.
National pension scheme is open for all citizens between 18 to 60 years. In EPFO the PF balance return money is assured and it is same for all the subscribers. Currently the interest rate is 8.8% per yearly. But in NPS one may expect a higher return because of the equity allocation.