New Delhi : The Finance Ministry has approved a proposal for providing a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 to workers in the organised sector, a move which would benefit 27 lakh pensioners immediately. The ministry has also approved a proposal for raising the basic wage ceiling under the Employees Provident Fund Scheme to Rs 15,000 from existing
Rs 6,500 per month.
At present, there are about 44 lakh pensioners. Of this 27 lakh, including 5 lakh widows, get less than Rs 1,000 a month. “The Finance Ministry has approved the proposal for providing a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 under the Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95) run by EPFO. The ministry also cleared enhancing the wage ceiling to 15,000 under social security schemes run by the retirement fund body,” an official source told PTI.
The government will provide extra subsidy of Rs 1,217 crore to ensure the minimum monthly pension starting 2014-15. Pensioners are, therefore, expected to get benefit with effect from April 1 this year. Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, however, is yet to decide on whether the move requires Cabinet approval or not.
The increase in the wage ceiling to Rs 15,000 would be effective only after the notification of the decision by the government.
At present, government contributes 1.16% of basic wage of workers as contribution toward the EPS-95. Government had provided around Rs 1,400 crore for the purpose in 2012-13. All those employees getting basic wages, including basic pay and dearness allowance, of more than Rs 6,500 per month, are not covered under the social security schemes run by EPFO.