The Supreme Court’s Judgement on 04th Nov’22, has upheld the constitutional validity of Employee’s Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014, but extended the timeline by FOUR months for the members to exercise their option to avail higher rate of pension if contribution was deposited on their FULL wages prior to 01st Sep’2014.
Gist of the Supreme Court’s Judgment dt. 04th Nov’2022 are as of the following:
- The provisions contained in the notification dated 22nd Aug’2014 issued under EPS are legal and valid.
- Amendment made to the pension scheme applies to both the employees of the exempted & un-exempted establishments.
- The employees who had exercised option for pension on higher salary and continued to be in service as on 01st Sep’2014 can exercise option afresh under paragraph 11(4) of the scheme within a period of 4 months from the date of judgment (i.e.) 04th Nov’2022.
- The members of the scheme, who did not exercise option but against whom the employer was depositing contribution on their full wages, can exercise option afresh under paragraph 11(4) of the scheme within a period of 4 months from the date of judgment (i.e.) 04th Nov’2022.
- The employees who had retired prior to 01st Sep’2014 without exercising any option will not be entitled to the benefit of this judgment.
- The employees who have retired before 01st Sep’2014 upon exercising option for pension on higher salary shall be eligible to receive benefit as it stood prior to the amendment of 2014.
- Amendment which mandated the members to continue to contribute at the rate of 1.16 % of their salary exceeding Rs.15,000/- per month as an additional contribution is held to be ultra vires to the provisions of the 1952 Act. However, EPFO can collect this amount from the members for a period of 6 months as a stop gap measure. The same shall be adjusted in accordance to the alteration to the scheme which shall be made within a period of 6 months by EPFO.
- Pensionable salary shall be computable on the average wages of 60 months instead of 12 months.
- The directives contained in the judgment (RC Gupta v. RPFC) be implemented within a period of eight weeks subject to the aforesaid points.
Team –Compliance Knowledge Hub
Disclaimer: “The article represents the opinions of the author and the author is soley responsible for the facts, cases and legal or otherwise reproduced in the article”