New Delhi: The Supreme Court, on Monday, has dismissed the special leave petition filed by the Employees Provident Fund Organization against an October 2018 Kerala high court order, entitling all retiring employees to get their pension on their full salary.
The bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed the plea in a short order on April 1, while clarifying that the court find no merit in the special leave petition.
According to the amendments made to the Employees’ Pension Scheme, new employees who earned more than the capped wages ₹15,000 per month, would not be eligible for EPS. The new rules also said that the existing employees should provide fresh applications along with the employer in one year’s time or else their contribution would be restricted to the capped wages.
The Kerala high court has nullified the amendments in 2018. The HC had insisted that capping the salary to ₹15,000 for quantifying pension is unrealistic. The amendment limiting the maximum salary to ₹15,000 for pensions would deprive most of the employees of a decent pension in their old age. Since the pension scheme was intended to provide succour to the retired employees, this objective would be defeated by capping the salary, the HC maintained.
A petition, filed by retirees and members of Employees Pension Scheme (EPS) against the government and EPFO was pending in the Supreme Court for the final argument. The petitioners had claimed that a 2014 amendment in the employees’ pension scheme and a 2017 circular deprive thousands from receiving their rightful benefits under EPS 95.