EPF Pension Case: Supreme Court Verdict On EPFO Appeals Likely to Be Pronounced Next Week
Contents News/Article Date: 30th October 2022
Relating to which Act the Employees Provident Funds & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952
Type: Supreme Court Hearing – Day 6 and thereafter
Pertains to employers and employees and EPFO
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EPF Pension which is a part of PF compliance, in this case, the high courts had allowed a pension in proportion to the salary above the ceiling limit of Rs. 15,000/- but later on, the EPFO and Union government sought to review, and the matter was re-opened for hearing on merits.
There were 6 days of hearings After 6 days of hearings, as follows:
EPF Pension Case: Provident Fund Members Don’t Automatically Become Eligible Under EPS, EPFO Tells Supreme Court [ Day 1]
EPF Pension Case: Supreme Court Asks Centre, EPFO to Show Materials On Cross Subsidy & Financial Burden [Day 2 Hearing Report]
EPF Pension Case: ‘No Deficit in Pension Fund’, Pensioners Tell Supreme Court Countering EPFO Argument of Financial Burden [Hearing Day 3]
EPF Pension Case: Employees Argue They Can’t Be Asked To Contribute 1.16% Of Salaries Above Rest 15,000 [Supreme Court Hearing Day 4]
EPS Case: Pension Corpus Remains Intact, Payments Coming From Interest, EPFO Can’t Raise Fund Issues – Employees To Supreme Court [Day 5 Hearing]
EPF Pension Case: Why Annual Reports Don’t Reflect Potential Financial Burden? Supreme Court Asks Union, EPFO [Day 6 Hearing]
A 3-judge bench comprising Justices Uday Umesh Lalit, Aniruddha Bose, and Sudhanshu Dhulia had reserved judgment on August 11 after 6-days of hearing.
Since Chief Justice of India UU Lalit is retiring on November 8, 2022, the judgment will likely be delivered in the coming days.
Subject: EPF Pension Case: Supreme Court Verdict On EPFO Appeals Likely To Be Pronounced Next Week
For greater details, appended below is the complete news item
SC Judgment on EPFO Pension Case Likely to be Pronounced Next Week
Published on: October 30, 2022, at 20:49 IST
The Supreme Court is expected to rule next week on the Employees Provident Fund Organization’s appeals challenging the Kerala, Rajasthan, and Delhi High Court verdicts that had annulled the Employees’ Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014.
After six days of the hearing, a three-judge bench comprising CJI Uday Umesh Lalit and Justices Aniruddha Bose, and Sudhanshu Dhulia reserved decision on August 11.
Because Chief Justice of India UU Lalit is retiring on November 8, 2022, the decision is expected in the coming days.
While setting aside the Employee’s Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014, the Kerala High Court authorized paying pension in proportion to salary beyond the Rs. 15,000 per month threshold limit in 2018.
The High Court also ruled that there cannot be a deadline for entering the pension program.
The EPFO’s Special Leave Petition against the Kerala High Court verdict was denied by the Supreme Court in 2019.
Following a review requested by the EPFO and the Union Government, the dismissal of the SLP was reversed and the case was reopened for a merits hearing.
A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court referred the appeals to a three-judge bench in August 2021 to address the following issues:
- Whether a cut-off date would be imposed under paragraph 11(3) of the Employees’ Pension Scheme, and
- Whether the decision in R.C. Gupta v. Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (2016) would be the guiding principle under which all of these issues must be resolved.
SC Verdict On EPFO Appeals – Pension Scheme is intended for low-age employees
The EPFO’s major argument is that the Pension Fund and the Provident Fund are separate entities, and participation in the latter does not inevitably imply membership in the former.
It was stated that the Pension Scheme is intended for low-age employees, and allowing people earning more than the cut-off point to draw pensions would create a large imbalance in the fund.
The modifications of 2014 were introduced to address the issue of cross-subsidization between pension and provident funds.
The pensioners contested the EPFO’s claim of financial strain. They claimed that the corpus money was still intact and that the payments were paid from the interest.
The pensioners further argued that the EPFO’s position that there must be a separate choice exercised during the cut-off time to join the pension programme is contrary to the statute.