Mumbai, January 28: In what can be seen as an important decision that could impact hundreds and thousands of pensioners, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has decided to stop higher pensions of pre-2014 retirees. The EPFO has directed field officers to reduce the pension payouts of those employees who retired before September 2024.
The pre-2014 retirees were given pension on higher wages without exercising such an option. According to a report in Financial Express, the EPFO has asked the officers to recover the excess pension payments that the retirees have received till date. Report suggests that the move by EPFO is aimed to reduce the outgo on account of the November 2022 Supreme Court ruling which upheld the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) amendment of 2014. EPFO Lowers Interest Rate on Provident Fund to 8.55% For 2017-18, Against 8.65% in 2016-17.
A report in the Indian Express quoted the latest circular issued by EPFO which said, "in order to stop over payment, if any, in respect of employees who had retired prior to September 1 2014, without exercising any option under Para 11(3) or the pre-amended scheme, and have been granted a pension on higher wages, their cases need to be re-examined to ensure that they are not given higher pension from the month of January 2023 onwards."
The circular further said, "Pension in such cases may be immediately restored to pension on wages up to the ceiling of Rs 5,000 or Rs 6,500". Meanwhile, experts suggest that the move by EPFO, which has already sparked row could lead to litigation before the court. The EPFO has also asked its officer to issue advance notice to pensioners before revising their pension entitlement. EPFO Update: EPF Members Can Now Avail 'COVID Advance Facility' Even After Leaving Service.
Various reports suggest that the new circular issued by EPFO has created concern and confusion among its officers as well as industry experts with many stating that the decision could lead to litigation. Reports suggest that the issue could also be raised by Members of Parliament during the Budget 2023 session. The decision is likely to impact pensioners as their pensions would reduce significantly.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 28, 2023 01:37 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).