The Centre on Thursday informed Rajya Sabha that 1,20,279 employees have submitted joint options at the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) portal for higher pension. The Ministry said there is no option under the Employees Pension Scheme to allow employees to contribute towards the scheme on their own, where employers are not contributing for pension on actual salary.
Answering a question from Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)] MP John Brittas, Minister of State in Union Labour Ministry Rameswar Teli said the total number of beneficiaries of the Supreme Court judgement on higher PF pension will depend upon the employees who exercise joint option and the number of such employees who are eligible. “The quantum of monthly pension pay out for such pensioners will depend upon the number of eligible members exercising the option for pension at higher salary,” Mr. Teli said.
Mr. Teli maintained that the joint option for pension on higher wages is available to only those employees where employee’s and employer’s contributions were on actual salary exceeding the prevalent wage ceiling and who did not exercise the joint option under the para 11(3) of the pre-amendment Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 prior to September 1, 2014 and continued to be members of the scheme.
‘Pension Payment Order Cancelled’
Meanwhile, activist for pensioners’ rights Parveen Kohli alleged that the EPFO cancelled his PPO for fighting for pensioners.
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He said he has been exposing misdeeds of EPFO through thousands of Right to Information questions. “Even though, I had already exercised joint option under Para 26(6) within my service tenure, contributed employee and employer share on actual salary in PF, exercised joint option under Para 11(3)/11(4) of EPS in July 2017, and deposited total required differential amount at the rate of 8.33% on my actual salary from November 16, 1995 till my retirement, the EPFO has cancelled my PPO. EPFO had duly approved all these options and my pension was ₹ 30,592 per month. Now, the EPFO has issued a new PPO where my pension is ₹ 2,372 per month. This is total breach of trust and high headedness and vindictive attitude of EPFO,” he said.
Mr. Kohli added that he has written to the authorities against the decision of the EPFO.