The Centre has made obtaining an Aadhaar number mandatory for 2.5 crore members of the Employees’ Pension Scheme of 1995, one of the benefits available to Employees’ Provident Fund subscribers.
The Labour Ministry said in a notification that those without an Aadhaar number will have to make an application to get enrolled by January 31, 2017.
The subsidy, equivalent to 1.16 per cent of the employee’s salary upto ₹6,500, paid by the Centre towards the EPS, will no longer be credited till the Aadhaar number is shared with the authorities.
“Members and pensioners of the Employees’ Pension Scheme desirous of continuing to avail pension and membership to the Employees’ Pension Scheme by availing the Central Government’s contribution and subsidy under the said scheme, are hereby required to furnish proof of the possession of the Aadhaar number or undergo Aadhaar authentication,” a notification issued by the Union Labour and Employment Ministry on January 4 said.
According to the notification, till a subscriber enrolls for Aadhaar, the Central government will provide pension subsidy under the scheme only after certain documents are produced, including identity certificate issued by the employer and a copy of the request made for Aadhaar enrolment.
These documents will have to be submitted to the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation or EPFO along with either of the following documents: voter ID card, passport, PAN card, driving license or a certificate of identity approved by a gazetted officer.
At present, the minimum pension under EPS is ₹1,000 per month and an employee can receive pension only after a minimum 10 years of service.
The Centre contributes 1.16 per cent of the employee’s salary towards the scheme along with employer contribution of 8.33 per cent of the salary.
Employees are automatically enrolled under EPS if they are members of the Employees’ Provident Fund scheme. The Centre gives Rs 850 crore every year on a tapering basis as annual budgetary support towards the pension scheme.
“Not all workers have an Aadhaar number. We are not against the government’s move to link disbursement of subsidy amount with Aadhaar number but the government has given a very short notice to get enrolled under Aadhaar and it should be reviewed,” All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) secretary D.L. Sachdev said.