DMK, CPI (M) demand withdrawal of EPFO’s circulars on higher pension

Both parties have pointed out that the recent circulars issues by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation have caused confusion and distress among workers; the DMK has urged the Centre to hold talks with trade unions before any scheme is formulated

January 31, 2023 04:15 pm | Updated 09:00 pm IST - CHENNAI

Employees Providend Fund Organisation building at Bandra.

Employees Providend Fund Organisation building at Bandra. | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The DMK and the CPI (M) have demanded the withdrawal of two circulars issued by the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) in late December 2022 and January, on the issue of payments of higher pensions.

M. Shanmugam, DMK’s Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and general secretary of the Labour Progressive Federation (LPF), told The Hindu over the phone from New Delhi that the circulars had only “created confusion” among workers as they were “drafted in haste” and they did not provide any details regarding  benefits that a pensioner would get. “They have also not made it clear whether one will get a higher pension or not.”  

Contending that the circulars  had reflected an “antagonistic attitude” of the PF authorities towards labour welfare, Mr. Shanmugam, also the secretary of the PF Employees’ Union in Chennai, argued that the talk of recovery, as mentioned in the second circular issued in late January, appeared to send out a message to pensioners that the authorities were “out to penalise them” for having approached the courts. 

The DMK MP urged the Central government to call all trade unions for a comprehensive discussion on the matter before framing any scheme for the implementation of the November 2022 Supreme Court’s judgement that pertained to the validity of the Employees’ Pension (amendment) Scheme of 2014.

He emphasised that the proposed consultation should also cover many other matters including an upward revision in the minimum amount of pension, which is now ₹ 1,000.

In a letter written a few days ago to Union Minister for Labour Bhupender Yadav, the CPI (M)’s MP from Kerala, John Brittas, confined himself to the second circular of the EPFO which, he held, was “formulated on fallacious grounds and distorted interpretation” of the Court’s judgement. 

He also pointed out that the circular in question had caused “inconceivable agony and perturbation” among a large section of EPF pensioners, who retired prior to September 1, 2014 without exercising the option for higher pensions. 

The position, as spelt out in the judgement, was that the Court had neither commanded stoppage of the payment of higher pensions to the pre-2014 retirees nor had it permitted recovery. The operative portion of the  judgement had  dealt with some other aspects, “that too mostly in favour of the employees.” 

The move to reopen cases of the already-sanctioned higher pension “would obviously result in the defiance of the laws of limitation,” the MP said, apprehending that a “regressive and callous” stand of the EPFO  would “cast a shadow on the future of the hapless pensioners” of the Employees’ Pension Scheme. 

Speaking to The Hindu,” Dr. Brittas said he had planned to raise the matter in Parliament.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.