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employee pension scheme: Raising minimum monthly pension under Employees’ Pension Scheme of EPFO not financially viable: Govt

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The government on Wednesday said raising the minimum monthly pension under the Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995 of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation will compromise the financial viability of the scheme while putting an additional burden on the exchequer.

“It is not possible to increase the minimum monthly pension amount without compromising the financial viability of the scheme and additional budgetary support,” labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar said in response to a question in Rajya Sabha.

The government had introduced a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1000 under the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 from September 1, 2014 despite no provisions in the scheme following widespread demand from the subscribers.

According to minister Gangwar, the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995 has been designed on the principles of a “defined contribution-defined benefit” social insurance scheme and adopts “actuarial principles” for ensuring long term financial viability.

“As such, there is no provision in the scheme for budgetary support,” he said.

“However, the government is already providing budgetary support for providing a minimum pension of Rs 1000,” he said, admitting that a high-level committee set up for the purpose had recommended raising the minimum pension with some proviso.

Social Security Fund

Labour minister Gangwar said as per section 141 of the Code on Social Security, 2020, the central government shall establish a Social Security Fund for social security and welfare of the unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.

According to the minister, the Code on Social Security, 2020 envisages a contribution between 1% and 2% of annual turnover of an aggregator subject to maximum 5% of the amount paid or payable by an aggregator to gig and platform workers. “This shall be credited to the Social Security Fund,” he added.

Migrant workers

Talking about the date on migrant workers who moved back to their native places during the Covid-induced lockdown, minister Gangwar informed Rajya Sabha a total of 11.4 million inter-state migrant workers returned to their home states during Covid-19 lockdown.

“However, most of them have gone back to their original or other workplaces and engaged themselves in productive employment,” he said.

According to the minister, the Code on Occupational Safety Health and Working Conditions (OSH & WC) provides for decent working conditions, minimum wages, grievances redressal mechanisms, toll free helpline, protection from abuse and exploitation and social security to all category of organised and unorganised workers including migrant workers.



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