Fundamental changes to Employees’ Provident Funds & Pension Schemes have been introduced for coverage of international workers. The amendments as published in the Gazette of India No.538 dated October 1, 2008 have been made relating to Employees’ Provident Fund by introducing a new category of employes known as an “International Worker” who will be required to join these schemes with effect from 1st November, 2008.

These changes will result in additional liabilities of around 24% for all affected employees and the employers.

Earlier, the participation in Employees’ Provident Funds was not mandatory where an employee’s monthly wage/salary exceeds Rs.6500. The employees who will be affected are, therefore, those working in India who are assigned from a country with which there is no social security totalisation.


• The employees qualifying as ‘international workers’ will contribute to the EPF schemes and the employers would also be required to make an equal contribution.

Like Employees’ Provident Funds Act and schemes, there will be no wage/salary ceiling for international workers.

The employees likely to be affected or benefited would include expatriates (foreign citizens) working in India and even Indian employees deputed to work abroad. With almost all expatriates being tax equalised, and the employer picking up their share of the contributions also, the expatriate assignment costs are going to increase even further.

he notification exempts international workers from those countries with which India has signed Social Security Agreements, commonly known as Totalisation Agreements, and who have been contributing to their home country social security schemes. India has currently finalised totalisation agreements with Belgium, France and Germany. The entire objective of such agreements is to ensure a level playing-field for mobile assignees. These agreements aim to protect the interests of Indian professionals by securing exemption from social security contributions in case of certain short-term assignments in the host country.

In essence, there is no impact of the amendment on the employees of the establishment who are working in the foreign countries with whom India has not signed SSA. Such employees will continue to contribute to the Social Security Schemes of the country in which they are posted but may not get any benefit out of such contribution.

The Indian employees on short term international assignments (period specified in each agreement), who are contributing to Indian PF scheme, would not be required to contribute to the social security schemes in the respective host countries.


The amendment will apply to the establishments which employ expatriates and also depute their employees to work in foreign countries:-

S. No.


Impant with respect to SSA Country

Impant with respect to non-SSA Country


Persons deployed overseas by the Indian Company / Establishment.

Contribution to be made to Indian Provident/ Pension Funds. Rate and limit to be governed by the SSA.

Employees will continue to contribute to social security benefit in the Host Country.


Expatriates deployed in India

No contribution required to be made to the Indian Provident / Pension Funds.

Contribution to be made to Indian Provident/ Pension Fund on Basic Salary, DA and Retainers Allowance.


To send to the Provident Fund Commissioner, within 15 days of the commencement of the scheme (1.11.2008), a consolidated return in such form as the Commissioner may specify of the International worker indicating clearly nationality of each and every international worker required or entitled to become member of the fund showing the basic wage, retaining allowance, if any and Dearness Allowance irrespective of wage/salary ceiling including the cash value of any food concession paid to each of such international workers. However, if there is no international worker who is required or entitled to become a member of the fund, the employer shall send “Nil’ Returns.

To send to the Commissioner, within 15 days of close of each month, a return in Form 5 of the International workers qualifying to become members of the fund for the first time during the preceding month together with declaration in Form 2 to furnish by such qualifying International workers (indicating distinctly the nationality of each and every International worker.

If there is no International worker qualifying to become member of a fund for the first time or there is no International worker leaving the service of the employer, the employer shall send a ‘Nil’ Return.

Full notifications have been published in November 2008 issue of Labour Law Reporter.
28th October 2008 From Hong Kong

Anil Kaushik
Chief Editor,businessmanager
Kumar H P
Hr And Compliance
+2 Others

Dear friends,
This write up has been written by renowned authority Mr. H.L.Kumar, advocate S.C.
It is regreted that his article is posted in this forum even without his reference and acknowledgements attracting copyright issue.
Cant we restrain ourselves from doing such copy paste excercise?
anil kaushik

29th October 2008 From India, Delhi
Dera Sir,
I would also like to enqiure about the applicabilty of these notifications regarding the no. of Employees working in an establishment. So if an establishment is having less than 20 Employees including international workers, is there an obligation for these international workers to contribute to the funds?
Warm regards
14th November 2008 From Germany
Hi all,
I want to know that companies are paying salaries to expatriates in huge Dollar amounts, how is then are they adjusting this additional burden.??
Also, is this ammendment applicable to expats working on contract for some months (2-3mnths)??
seeking forward a prompt reply... thankss....
20th March 2009
if the Basic Salary is 10000 INR then the contribution made by the employee should be 1200 INR and what should be the contribution of the employer will that be calculated on on the basic salary of 10000 INR that will is 1200 INR ????????
Can you please reply to this immediately
Thanks and Regards
Saugata Das
14th October 2009 From United Kingdom, Brentford
Hi All, Any one can suggest, EPF is applicability for international worker is working in Indian company as a consultant. Regards Venu
16th October 2013 From India, Bangalore
Please login to participate in this discussion. Discuss problems, ideas, solutions with industry peers. Stay up-to-date with what's new and what's happening in the industry. Create Account (No Registration Charges)

About Us - Advertise - Contact Us - RSS   On Google+  
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Terms Of Service
Facebook Page | Follow Us On Twitter | Linkedin Network