The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today gave its approval for continuation of the minimum pension of Rs. 1,000/- per month to the pensioners of Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS) beyond the financial year 2014-15 on perpetual basis. Currently, it is effective only upto March, 2015. The Cabinet also approved corresponding grant of continuous annual budgetary support for implementing the minimum pension which will be to the tune of Rs. 850 crore per year on a tapering basis.
Providing a minimum pension of Rs. 1000/- per month is an effort to provide meaningful subsistence to pensioners who have served in the organized sector. The present proposal is likely to benefit approximately 20 lakh pensioners under EPS, 1995.
A large number of member pensioners under the EPS, 1995 receive low pensions which is not commensurate with the growing cost of living. The primary reason behind a meager pension is that it is calculated on the basis of pensionable service and average of last sixty months’ wages. If either of them is low, the pension amount will also be low. This is largely seen in cases of employees of seasonal industries. Further, pensioners who were earlier members of the erstwhile Family Pension Scheme, 1971 have been given past service benefits for determining pension as per Para 12 of the Employees’ Pension Scheme. This has resulted in fixation of low pension for these pensioners.
The Union Cabinet has in its meeting in February, 2014 accorded approval to the proposal for ensuring a minimum pension of Rs. 1,000/- per month for the pensioners of EPS for the financial year 2014-15 by way of providing budgetary support of Rs. 1217.03 crore. Based on the approval of the Union Cabinet, the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 (EPS) was amended on 19.08.2014 to incorporate the provision for providing a minimum pension of Rs. 1,000/- per month for the financial year 2014-15.
After the issue of the Gazette Notification dated 19.08.2014 (with effect from 01-09-2014), the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has commenced disbursing the revised pension from the month of September, 2014. The number of pensioners who have been benefited by the minimum pension provision, which has been compiled from the actual disbursement of pension made by the offices of EPFO after the implementation of the notification, is according to the table below:
|Month||Number of Pensioners affected||Amount as per original pension (Rs. Crore)||Amount paid after Minimum Pension Notification (Rs. Crore)||GOI support|