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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 21 April 2024 11.24 AM IST

Higher Pension scheme: Supreme Court judgment getting toppled

supreme-court

The EPFO decision to finally allow higher pension demand is one such stark example of how even the Supreme Court decisions are toppled in India. Workers had to litigate for years to get a fair pension even after paying the exact monthly contribution while on the job.

The High Courts of various states and the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the workers, but the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) again filed a review petition in the apex Court, though it failed to yield the necessary results.

In an attempt to consider all petitions in one go, the Supreme Court on November 4, 2022, gave the judgment that a higher pension should be paid in proportion to a higher salary. Even after one and half years, the implementation has not even achieved half success. EPFO ​​and the Union Ministry of Labor are still in search of some devious ways to avoid paying higher salaries.

Although the procedures for payment of higher pensions are progressing slowly, ambiguity still looms over major questions regarding the implementation. In connection with the higher PF pension, the Center has extended the time till May 31 for the employers to update the salary details of their employees. This is the third time the time has been extended. After a long wait, the pension payment order has also started. Despite the relief provided by PPO, many are worried that the higher pension will be lesser in amount.

EPFO has sent a circular to the zonal offices to fix the higher pension following the current pro-rate system. This will cause the pension amount to decrease by up to 35 per cent. However, EPFO ​​has not released any documents verifying the calculations made in this way.

According to the Supreme Court verdict, the demand letter to get the additional share from those who have requested higher pension options has been sent without including pension details. These pensioners while paying five to six lakh rupees have the right to know how much they will receive as a pension.

This also shows how EPFO which was formed to work for the welfare of workers have reduced to become an anti-worker organisation over time. Many people have died in the long wait yearning for higher pensions. EPFO upholds a superior attitude of delaying the implementation as they give no hoots if the employees have to walk the steps of the apex court a zillion times to get the implementation successful.

The central government is also obliged to at least inform that the option applications of the retirees will be processed as soon as possible and payment of revised pension will be completed. It is not prudent to subvert the higher pension by taking advantage of the ambiguities of the Supreme Court judgment.

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