Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Let's All Remember the Miseries of EPF '95 Pensioners

From D.N.Chapke Secy. Genl. AISCCON


Dear friends,

This is our eighth sharing with you all on the challenges faced by the senior citizens in India. Today, we focus on the measley pension being given by the employers to those eligible for
Employees Pension Scheme '95. Shri Maheshwari representing our sister organization - Bharat Pensioners Samaj - has accepted our invitation to elaborate on the crisis; please remember that he along with Shri Shyam Sundar (who I am told is not keeping well and our heart goes out to him wishing him a speedy recovery so that he continues to share his specialization along with Shri Maheshwari on this vital segment of our fairly large society!) are two of the best brains on the subject:


EPS95 i.e. Employees Pension Scheme 95:

You may be stunned to know that there are pensioners in this country who get as little a pension as Rs4/- per  month. Nearly 18.7 lakh EPS95 pensioners in this country get less than Rs 500 per month & as low as Rs4/ per month, while about 15 lakyh of these pensioners get pension ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Only about 7.3 lakh of these pensioners get a pension of more than Rs 1,000. These are the workers who toiled in 186 industries during the entire productive years of their lives for development of this country and who have been ditched by the employers & the Govt. during their sunset years.

These pensioners before retirement held RESPECTABLE POSITIONS in society as BREAD WINNERS of the family.Their EARNINGS were sufficient enough to maintain a STANDARD OF LIVING according to their status.
Suddenly on retirement they became PAUPERS with pension per month ranging between Rs. 4 to 2000/

What is the concept of Pension & how much minimum it should be?
* Pension weather contributory or non contributory is a Social security tool  to ensure that  pensioner would be able to live free from want, with decency, independence, dignity and self respect at a standard equivalent to the pre-retirement level.Study after study has revealed that pay scales of pensionable employees are by design kept on lower side. A pensionable employee contributes for the social security by

1.Accepting lower Salaries
2.Giving entire productive years of his life for the development of the country
3.By foregoing matching contribution to his PF by the employer and the annual interest thereon. The apex court has time & again ruled that Pension is not a largesse but a deferred wage which the ex employee earned by the sweat of his/her brow during productive years.

* The amount of Pension should be linked with sustainability & the right to live with dignity. In case of EPS 95 pensioners the pension amount is not only illogically low, it has remained stagnant all these years and there is no provision for adjustment with increase in cost of living &health care.

HOW DOES EPS 95 WORK?
As per the EPS, 1995, the employer needs to contribute 8.33% of the salary of the worker. But usually the employer contributes only up to Rs 541 per month, 8.33% of Rs 6,500, irrespective of your salary, to your EPS account. That is because according to EPS 1995, the maximum pensionable salary is restricted to Rs 6,500/, Govt. contributes 1.16% of employee’s salary which is subjected to the maximum of Rs 6500 for this purpose. Thus Govt contributes only up to Rs75/per month.

WHEN DOES EPS DELIVER?
You are entitled to pension under EPS when you turn 58 years' of age and after 10 years of continuous service. Since EPS is a defined pension product, the amount of pension you get depends upon a fixed formula, which is average monthly salary of the last year of service multiplied by the number of years of service divided by 70.

What is Pensioners Contribution v/s gain?
Contributions!
• Accepting lower salaries, worked hard during productive years towards development of the Nation
• Made to forego a provident fund amount equal to 8.33% of wages & annual interest on it for years in the name contribution to pension corpus

. GAIN??

• Pension that is humiliating to announce
• No protection from inflation
• No Medical care

 Government stand on the subject: 
• The scheme is making losses

Bharat Pensioners Samaj' investigations show that govt’s stand is incorrect
• The fund is increasing,
• The incomes are increasing.
• The investments are increasing.
• The benefits are NOT. These are being reduced.

GOVERNMENT IS STARVING THE FUND
• Not paying interest at par with provident fund
• A ceiling on salary at 6500/,, results into less contribution to pension fund
• This gives concession to employers (an amount of 8.33% of salary employers up to 6500/ PF contribution is diverted to Pension Corpus)
• Also gives concession to government (contribution 1,16% of salary upto 6500/)
• Workers up to 20 in private and 50 in cooperative exempted from scheme

EMPLOYERS ARE STARVING THE FUND
• Less salary, more perks
• Keep members unregistered by avoiding names in Muster rolls to get exemptions
• Unregistered contracting out sourcing of regular work to get exempted.

Bharat Pensioners Samaj finds that still the Scheme is not going in Loss
• The Pension corpus is increasing
• The provident fund interest has been around 9% in last few years
• The senior citizens are being paid 10.5% on their deposits
• If we study statistical information as available from the PROVIDENT FUND AUTHORITY BPS find RS 3000/

Are they spending more than earnings? NO!
• NO. They are not

• Year 2012: Corpus 1,62,980.04 Crores, Interest earned 13,315,79 crores, Pensioners 40,00,000
• Amount available per pensioner per month Rs 2774/
• Pensioners paid pension between 4 to 1900 {28 lakh got less than 1000)
• Not a single person got 2774/

BY REMOVAL OF SALARY LIMIT OF RS 6500/ & WITH EQUAL CONTRIBUTION of 8.33%FROM MANAGEMENT & THE GOVT. Situation can further improve.

Keeping in mind that Pension is not a largesse but a deferred wage & that amount of pension should be such as to enable the beneficiary to live upto the standard of living he had been used to during his/her service life

BHARAT PENSIONERS SAMAJ DEMANDS:

• Minimum pension of Rs 3500/ per month or equal to minimum Pension of C.G. Pensioners whichever is more. Plus Dearness Relief thereon equal to C.G pensioners with NO limit to maximum pension for all existing & future pensioners.
• Pay dearness allowance At Central Govt. Rates
* Provide medical facilities sinceRight to health and medical care is a fundamental right of ex employee as envisaged by Supreme Court in their Judgment dated 27/01/1995 in the case CONSUMER EDUCATION & RESEARCH CENTRE AND OTHERS. Vs. UNION OF INDIA & OTHERS,

S.C.Maheshwari
Secy. General
Bharat Pensioners Samaj

Dear Friends,
We could not accommodate a Table illustrating the situation further on account of  its technical intricacies. The main point is that this segment of senior citizens has a legitimate claim  to be treated with dignity through payment of life-sustaining and human dignity pension. It is their RIGHT and the Employers and the Government cannot act like mute spectators while they suffer. We understand that the Bharat Pensioners Samaj has taken up the matter at the highest level in the Government throough meetings with the concerned Minister. WE THE SENIOR CITIZENS OF INDIA EXPRESS OUR SOLIDARITY WITH OUR BRETHEREN RECEIVING GROSSLY INADEQUATE  PENSION AND DEMAND THAT THEY BE PAID THEIR LEGITIMATE CLAIM. THE GOVERNMENT MUST GRANT THEM THE RIGHT TO LIFE WITH DIGNITY!

YOUR TEAM CONTESTING THE AISCCON ELECTIONS:

D.N. Chapke, (M) 09820021224 (For President) ; 
 B.B. Dixit, (M) 09451937991; Daljit Singh Grewal,(M) 09855153203; Dr. Sugan Bhatia ,(M) 09811225103;
 Krupasindhu Sahu,(M) 09437001251; Narayan N. Ingle,(M) 09822717199;  PrabhakarS. Kulkarni,(M) 09845257990) ; 
Haneefa Rawther, (M) 09446362105;  and  D. Rajasekaran (M) 009444368077( For VicePresidents) ;
Anil P. Kaskhedikar,(M) 09969128678 (For Secretary General)  and

Om Prakash Hingar, (M) 09829046901 (For Organizing Secretary)



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