After receiving the report of the high-powered committee in October, the Labour Ministry will take a call on the demand for increasing the minimum monthly pension of Rs 1000 under the Employees’ Pension Scheme 1995 and settlement of writs related to this in the Supreme Court.
Reportedly, there has been a demand by Central trade unions to enhance the minimum monthly pension under the scheme to Rs 3000 and also to index it (linked with inflation).
“We are expecting a report of the high-powered monitoring committee in October. There are 21 writ petitions in the Supreme Court on the issue. We will consider it after receiving the report and orders on writs,” said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Arjun Meghwal on behalf of Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar in the Rajya Sabha.
He informed the House that the committee has held three meetings; proceeding on the matter is going on in the Supreme Court. The minister also informed that the pension calculated under the scheme (at present wage ceiling) may be more or less than Rs 2,500 per month depending upon the pensionable salary and years of service. The pension entitlement was implemented on September 1, 2014. The government has been shelling out additional funds to providing this entitlement which gave relief to over 40 per cent pensioners under the scheme.
The minister further informed the House that as on July 20, 2018, there were as many as 62,42,807 pensioners under the Employees’ Pension Scheme. Also, the matters related to increasing government subsidy contribution of 1.16 per cent of basic wages to 4- 5 per cent will be taken ahead after viewing the report of the committee.
The high-powered committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Additional Labour Secretary with Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Central Provident Fund Commissioner and employees’ representatives.
There are over 6 crore subscribers of the pension and provident fund scheme provided by EPFO. Until now, the EPFO has invested Rs 6,11,354.42 crore in debt and Rs 32,127.41 crore in equity and related investments at cost value. The minister concluded by adding that, investments are reviewed from time to time and at present, the body invests 85 per cent in debt and 15 per cent in the equity-linked scheme (mutual funds).