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The minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 for subscribers to the pension scheme of the pension fund body EPFO ​​is “grossly inadequate” and it is imperative for the Ministry of Labor to make a proposal to increase the amount, a parliamentary panel said Tuesday.

“… Rs 1000 per month pension set eight years ago now seems vastly inadequate,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labor said in its 30th report on subsidy demand 2022-23, submitted in parliament.

The panel said it becomes imperative on the part of the Ministry of Labor and Employment to discuss the matter with the Ministry of Finance for obtaining adequate budget support, as recommended by the High-Empowered Monitoring Committee, in addition to impressing the EPFO ​​(Employees’ Provident Fund). organization) to make an actuarial assessment of all its pension plans, so that the monthly participant’s pension is increased to a reasonable extent.

It noted that the Ministry established a High-Empowered Monitoring Committee for the full evaluation and review of the employee pension system in 2018, 1995.

That committee had recommended in its report, among other things, that the minimum monthly pension to be paid to the retired participant/widower/widower could be increased to at least Rs 2,000, subject to an annual budgetary provision.

However, it also noted that the Ministry of Finance has not agreed to such an increase in the minimum pension above Rs 1,000 per month.

The parliamentary panel noted that the issue has been discussed in detail by several committees that have come to the conclusion that monthly pension review is not possible unless the actuarial assessment of the surplus/deficit of EPFO’s pension schemes is made.

It also said EPFO ​​members are experiencing difficulties for e-nomination, especially from those who retired before 2015, as well as with the functioning of the Online Transfer Claim Portal (OTCP).

While the panel noted the significant efforts of the EPFO ​​to maximize the use of information and technology resources in line with the Digital India initiative, the panel suggested that the pension fund should further pursue system improvements to address the issues address with which e-recitation.

The panel also noted that from the target of 71.80 lakh beneficiaries by March 31, 2022 under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY), a total of 47.06 lakh workers have benefited as of February 6, 2022.

On the same date, 5.42 lakh employees who retired between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020 and joined an EPF registered branch between October 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022, have availed themselves of the benefits under the scheme.

In addition, as of February 14, 2022, a total of 1,29,672 branches took advantage of benefits related to 48,95,597 employees after meeting the requirements under ABRY.

In order to cover all 71.80 lakh intended beneficiaries by March 31, 2022, the ministry is taking a number of steps.

The panel also said that the eligibility requirements to use the benefits under the ABRY should be reconsidered and streamlined as a number of employers/employees are being denied benefits due to lack of awareness and the associated complexity.

It recommended that the Department investigate these issues with a sense of urgency and priority, especially following a focused approach to strengthening awareness programs so that the very purpose of helping both employers and employees is truly achieved under ABRY.

Against the background of the impact of the pandemic, the panel suggested that the ministry revive its resources to make up for the shortcomings encountered in optimally achieving the objectives in some major programs.

It has established that the ministry has not been able to achieve the objectives in 2021-2022 for a large number of large schemes.

Citing an example, it stated that the targets for new enrollments of working children in special education centers (STCs) under the National Child Labor Project could only be met up to the size of 2,514 new enrollments against a target of 50,000 children.

Of the 40,000 children that would be included in the regular education system, only 5,534 could be enrolled.

As for the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi MaanDhaan Yojana (PM-SYM), while the target was 1 crore of new enrollments, the number of beneficiaries enrolled was only for 1,10,791 (as in December 2021).

Of the 100 Model Career Centers (MCCs) proposed to be operationalized, only 41 could be commissioned. In labor welfare schemes, while the target for education was 4 lakh, the achievement was 1.11 lakh.

Likewise, it noted that for the national pension scheme for merchants, shopkeepers and self-employed, enrollments were a minuscule 4,249 against the target of 25 lakh.

This post Rs 1,000 minimum monthly pension for EPFO ​​members insufficient, says parliamentary panel

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