Forum to fight against EPFO move

Employees of exempted organisations whose PF is managed by trusts have come together to form an association to fight against the Employees Provident Fund Organisation’s (EPFO) decision not to extend the benefit of higher pension to them as per the Supreme Court verdict.
In October 2016, the Supreme Court passed an order directing the EPFO to revise the pension of 12 petitioners under the Employees Pension Scheme.

Since the EPFO said the scheme was applicable only to unexempted organisations, employees of BPCL, FCI, ONGC, Ashok Leyland, SPIC, Elcot, NLC, Rane Brakes among others have formed an association called Joint Action Committee-EPS 95 Pensioners SR and are also planning to register it under the Societies Act. The EPS was launched in 1995. Employers and employees contribute 12% each of the sum that is the total of the basic wage plus dearness allowance to the EPF account. The employers’ contribution has a twin component: 8.33% goes to the Employee Pension Scheme and the balance 3.67% to the PF account. This was originally subject to a salary ceiling of ₹5,000.Though the ceiling is at ₹15,000 at the moment, in 1996 the EPFO passed an amendment which provided employees to contribute the full salary (basic pay and dearness allowance) over and above the ceiling amount towards pension. Citing this amendment, 12 employees approached the apex court in 2016. They sought the implementation of the 1996 amendment, and the Supreme Court directed the EPFO to implement the change after collecting the arrears along with interest, which facilitated an increase in their pension corpus, and, therefore, monthly disbursal to them.
However, the EPFO said that would be applicable only to unexempted organisation and employees from exempted organisation were not eligible.
“We have filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court against the EPFO decision on exempted organisation. The organisation has sought all such cases to be transferred to the Supreme Court,” Murugaian G, president of the association said. The association will mobilise funds to fight court cases on the issue.

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