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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Proposal for Rs 1,000 minimum monthly pension approved: Government

NEW DELHI: Government has approved minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 under  Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95) run by the retirement body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation   (EPFO), Parliament was informed today.

The decision of the government  would immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners including 5 lakh widows getting  less than Rs 1000 as pension every month. In all, there are 44 lakh pensioners  under the EPS-95  scheme.

"Yes, Government has approved mi"Yes, Government has approved minimum pension of Rs 1000 per month to the  pensioners under the EPS-95," Minister of state for Steel, Mines, Labour and  Employment Vishnu Deo Sai said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

According to the  Minister, several representations have been received for enhancement of pension  under EPS-95 and based on those, "government has approved minimum pension of Rs  1,000 to pensioners under the EPS-95."

Earlier, Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had discussed the proposal with trade  unions on June 24 and assured the government will take a decision within two  weeks.

As per the proposal, pensioners were to get the benefit with  effect from April 1 this year. The government would have to provide an  additional amount of around Rs 1,217 crore to ensure a minimum pension of Rs  1,000 for 2014-15.

A senior official said the new government did not want to provide this  entitlement merely for one financial year and wanted this to be implemented for  all times to come. That is why the proposal was reviewed.

The proposal  was already approved by the UPA  government for the current financial year but could not be implemented as it  was not notified.

However a senior EPFO  official, when contacted, said that the body has not yet received any  notification or official order in this regard from the Labour Ministry.

According to him, the government could formally announce this entitlement in the   forthcoming budget on Thursday.

Besides, the EPFO is also awaiting  government's approval for enhancing the wage ceiling for organised sector  workers under EPFO ambit to Rs 15,000 per month from the existing Rs 6,500. This was also approved by the previous government but could not be notified due
to coming into force of the model code of conduct during that time.

The  decision to increase basic wage ceiling to Rs 15,000 per month is expected to  bring in 50 lakh more workers under the EPFO's ambit.

The notification  regarding the decision of the EPFO trustees to reduce administrative charges  paid by employers to EPFO is also awaited. It was proposed to reduce  administrative charges paid by employers to EPFO is also awaited. It was proposed to reduce  administrative charges from 1.10 per cent of basic wage to 0.85 per cent.
Source :  http://economictimes.indiatimes.com


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