Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Employees, employers differ on Rs 1,000 pension in EPF scheme

Amid differences among trade unions and employers over sharing of additional annual contribution of Rs 600 crore required for minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month for EPFO subscribers, the retirement fund body today deferred the decision on the contentious issue. The Central Board of Trustees (CBT),the apex decision-making body of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO),could not approve the proposal to benefit its 4.72 crore subscribers, as neither employers' representatives nor the union leaders were willing to share any extra load, sources said.

"We have decided to form a committee to suggest modalities for implementing the proposal. The committee will give its report within a month," Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also Chairman of the CBT said, after the meeting.

However, this committee would be an informal arrangement among the trade unionists, he said.

Of 35 lakh EPFO pensioners, 14 lakh get monthly payment of less than Rs 500 per month. Only seven lakh of them get above Rs 1,000 or more as monthly pension and there are cases where pensioners are getting as low as Rs 12-38 per month.

At present, both an employer and his employee contribute 12 per cent of basic pay plus dearness allowance (BPDA), each towards the PF fund. Out of the employer's contribution 8.33 percentage points goes towards the pension account.

Over and above, the government contributes 1.16 per cent of BPDA towards this head.

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