EPF pension case to come for hearing on March 23
New Delhi: The supreme court will consider the petition against the Kerala high court verdict leading to full pension as per Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) on March 23. In this context, the central government has raised new arguments against granting full pension.
The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) stated in a detailed note that the high court did not consider the fact that there are employees who join PF scheme voluntarily and those who are added compulsorily.
EPS membership was limited to only those who have compulsory membership in provident fund scheme from September 1, 2014. This was implemented in order to ensure maximum membership in PF scheme and retirement benefits for financially backward people. But the high court verdict neutralised this by directing to make it available for all members.
EPS has no individual accounts. It is a pooled fund that adds all contributions. So, the high court direction to recover the amount with retrospective effect to increase the pension is invalid. The court did not consider the financial pressure on pension fund. It took into account baseless media reports and reached the conclusion that a huge amount is remaining unused in the EPF.
The high court also made a mistake by cancelling the system of calculating pension on the basis of the salary during last 60 months instead of 12 months. When the pension is calculated on the basis of 60 months, the changes in last 12 months will not affect the pension.
The high court had cancelled the order increasing the salary limit for pension from Rs 6500 to Rs 15,000. With this, the liability of the employer and the central government had decreased. Though there were 1.26 crore employees who have salary above Rs 15,000, only 1.54 lakh among them contribute to the EPS proportionate to the actual salary.