Parliamentary Standing Committee told the Parliament that the minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for EPFO subscribers of the pension scheme is “grossly inadequate” and needs to be relooked at. According to reports, the panel also added that the labour ministry must pursue a proposal for raising the amount.
“…Rs 1000 per month pension which was fixed eight years back appears to be grossly inadequate now”, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour stated in its 30th report on Demand for Grants 2022-23, tabled in Parliament.
A High-Empowered Committee was constituted in 2018 for the evaluation of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) pension schemes. The committee had later said that budgetary support to the Ministry of Labour and Employment needs to be increased and the minimum monthly pension must be raised to at least Rs 2,000 per month. The parliamentary committee said, on Tuesday, that the recommendations by the HEC must be followed and the Ministry of Finance must increase the budgetary allocation for EPFO schemes.
Actuarial Assessment Of EPFO Schemes Necessary
According to reports, the parliamentary panel found that the issue has been discussed in detail by several committees. The committees have reached a conclusion that unless the actuarial assessment of surplus/deficit of EPFO’s pension schemes is made, revision of the monthly pension cannot be done.
It also said difficulties are being faced by EPFO members for e-nomination, especially by those who retired before 2015, as well as in the functioning of the Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP).
While taking note of the appreciable efforts made by the EPFO to maximise the use of information and technology tools in line with the Digital India initiative, the panel suggested that the retirement fund body should strive further to usher in systemic improvements to address the problems faced in e-nomination.
The panel also noted that out of the target of 71.80 lakh beneficiaries by March 31, 2022, under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY), a total of 47.06 lakh employees have benefited as of February 6, 2022.
Eligibility Of Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana Must Be Revised
The panel also said the eligibility conditions specified for availing the benefits under the ABRY need to be revisited. It further added that as a large number of employers/ employees are unaware of the complex procedures, they get deprived of the benefits offered by the schemes.
It recommended that the ministry should look into these issues with a sense of urgency and priority, especially according to a focussed approach towards strengthening the awareness programmes so that the very purpose of benefitting both employers and employees under ABRY is truly achieved.