The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation's apex decision making body, the Central Board of Trustees (CBT), which is headed by the Labour Minister, met on Wednesday and took a slew of other decisions, CBT member D L Sachdev said.

At present, a formal sector worker covered under the EPS-95 can make contributions towards pension scheme till the age of 58 years and can claim pension thereafter.
    
After the amendment to the pension scheme, a formal sector worker can choose to contribute towards it till 60 years of age. This will provide him a benefit of 4 percent enhanced pension per year.

The Pension Implementation Committee (PIC) had recommended an increase in the age for vesting pension to 60 years, while suggesting that the Actuary should be asked to develop a model to give incentive to those persons who opt for drawing pension at the age of 60 years.
    
Besides, the trustees on Wednesday has also decided to raise the age of short-term pension by five years to 55 years. The CBT also decided to appoint SBI as it new fund manager for a three year term beginning April 1. Besides, the trust has empowered the Chairman of CBT to choose 3-4 fund managers among the six shortlisted asset management firms.
    
According to the agenda listed for the meeting, asset management firms ICICI Securities Primary Dealership, Reliance Capital AMC and HSBC AMC emerged as top bidders for managing the huge corpus of EPFO. The other shortlisted bidders are UTI AMC, followed by ICICI Prudential and Birla Sun Life AMC.

Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya also launched EPFO's Short Code SMS services for the members on Thursday.
    
In this facility, a member can send an SMS from his/her mobile number registered during Universal Account Number (UAN) activation.
    
The EPFO on receipt of the SMS will send details of KYC seeded, last contribution and total PF balance. Members have been given an option to know the details in 10 Indian languages -- English, Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam and Bengali.
    
Last year, EPFO had launched the UAN programme wherein UAN was allotted to all the members and different services such as passbook, monthly SMS of contributions were provided on its activation at EPFO's UAN portal.
    
The Short Code SMS service will be available to UAN activated members.

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