HC verdict likely to affect pension scheme, EPFO tells SC


Shine Mohan

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New Delhi: The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) stated in the Supreme Court that if the Kerala high court verdict on full pension is implemented, the social security of the people getting low salary would be affected.

The EPFO further requested in its plea that daily hearing should be held on the petitions against the high court verdict. EPFO approached the top court when the case was about to be considered on Wednesday.

EPFO pointed out that the high court verdict will let those who discontinued the EPS years ago to claim full pension. If the verdict is implemented, there will be a shortage of Rs 15.28 lakh crore and this will affect the social security of the ordinary employees.

Read more: SC to consider pension case on Jan 29; listed before same bench

The Kerala high court pronounced the verdict that ensures pension in accordance to the salary on October 12, 2018. The salary limit of Rs 15,000 on the basis of which the share of the employee to the EPS (Employees’ Pension Scheme) was calculated, was revoked. With this, pension was allowed in accordance to the salary of the staff.

The Supreme Court also upheld the Kerala High Court verdict on monthly pension from the Employees’ Pension Scheme on April 1, 2019. Following this, the EPFO filed a review petition and the Ministry of Labour filed an appeal against the high court verdict.

Read more: SC not to consider EPS pension case on Jan 25

In the new appeal filed by the Centre, it has been pointed out that the limit of Rs 15,000 was determined targeting the financially and socially backward people. If the verdict revoking the limit was implemented, there will be a shortage of Rs 15,28,519.47 crore in the EPS. The EPFO had to give Rs 839.76 crore after the high court verdict.

The Centre stated that if the apex court upheld the appeal of the Ministry of Labour, the increased pension cannot be recovered. The pension increased 50 times after the verdict. This huge amount cannot be recovered during the superannuation period of the employees. So, the verdict should be stayed immediately, requested Sameer Kumar Das, the Under Secretary to the Ministry of Labour.

Read more: SC to consider EPF pension case on Jan 18, after 21 months

The three-member bench headed by Justice U U Lalit will consider on Monday the appeal filed by the Ministry of Labour against the high court verdict and the review petition of the EPFO against the supreme court verdict that upheld the high court verdict. The EPF members are denied full pension at present pointing out that the appeal and review plea are under consideration of the court.

Read more: High PF pension: Centre approaches SC seeking stay on verdict

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