New Delhi, 26 September 2014: The Union Minister of Labour & Employment, Steel and Mines, Narendra Singh Tomar announced the launch of a guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1000 per month under Employees’ Pension Scheme, 1995. Speaking to journalists at a press conference in here today, he said, the Union Government has decided to organize functions in every office of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation spread across 120 locations in the country. It has also been decided that in 37 locations, Union Ministers will preside over the functions and felicitate the pensioners whose pension is getting increased.
Tomar stated that this is being done to interact with the pensioners and to ensure that no eligible person is left out. He expressed confidence that this interaction will help the EPFO to design its pension re-engineering process in a better way. The Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Smt Gauri Kumar and Central PF Commissioner K.K. Jalan were also present on the occasion.
The Minister said that the long-pending demand for increase in the pension will soon see the light of day. At present, a large number of pensioners are getting only paltry amounts as pension under the scheme. Nearly two-thirds of the pensioners are in receipt of pension of less than 1000 rupees. Thus, this move would benefit approximately 32 lakh out of a total of 49 lakh pensioners who are getting below Rs 1000 as pension, he added.
It is relevant to note that the wage ceiling for coverage under the three schemes of EPFO i.e. Employees Provident Fund Scheme, Employees’ Pension Scheme and Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance Scheme (EDLI) has also been increased from monthly Rs 6500 to Rs 15000. This increased wage ceiling is expected to bring in an additional 50 lakh employees under the ambit of these social security programmes. The increased wage ceiling will also result into higher benefit under the EDLI from a maximum of Rs.1,30,000 to a maximum of Rs 3,60,000.
In the recent past EPFO has taken a series of measures to bring in greater transparency and efficiency in its functioning. These include the facility for online registration of establishments (OLRE), Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP), e-passbook and electronic payment of PF and Pension benefits through NEFT (National Electronic Fund Transfer) and CBS (Core Banking Solution).