May 21, 2023

Rescind Notification on Pension Contribution

THE Petroleum & Gas Workers Federation of India is taken aback to learn that through a notification dated May 3, 2023, the Government of India has assigned 1.16 per cent of its contribution towards EPS' 95 to the employers' account, without it being in addition to their contribution to the PF kitty. This decision will ultimately result in a loss for the employees. It is deeply concerning as it goes against the essence of the Supreme Court's judgment dated November 4, 2022, and the principles of EPS' 95.

The Petroleum & Gas Workers Federation of India submitted a memorandum to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Government of India on May 15, to rescind this notification.

The Supreme Court's judgment on November 4, 2022, specifically outlined in paragraph 44 (vii) that authorities should ensure adjustments in the scheme to generate additional contributions from legitimate sources within the scope of the Act. However, it is concerning to note that the central government has issued a notification without making the corresponding amendment in the EPS 1995, which outlines the payable contributions.

The memorandum made it clear that the aforementioned notification lacks legal validity and should be promptly withdrawn. Moreover, in the given context, the Social Security Code cannot be invoked as a basis for justification, it said. Therefore, the notification issued on May 3rd, 2023, should be withdrawn in the interest of fairness, propriety, and to ensure the true implementation of the Supreme Court Judgment on higher pension, both in letter and spirit.

If the 1.16 per cent contribution is shifted to employers from their own contributions, it will ultimately be borne by the higher pension applicants from September 2014, in addition to the 8.33 per cent and corresponding interest. This will significantly increase the refundable amount for retired senior citizens.
Given these circumstances, the notification S.O 2061 (E) dated May 3, 2023 should be immediately withdrawn and the 1.16 per cent contribution from the central government should be restored.