Proposal for Rs 1,000 minimum monthly pension approved: Govt

Government has approved minimum monthly pension of Rs 1,000 under Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95) run by the retirement body Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), Parliament was informed today.

The decision of the government would immediately benefit 28 lakh pensioners including 5 lakh widows getting less than Rs 1000 as pension every month. In all, there are 44 lakh pensioners under the EPS-95 scheme.

"Yes, Government has approved minimum pension of Rs 1000 per month to the pensioners under the EPS-95," Minister of state for Steel, Mines, Labour and Employment Vishnu Deo Sai said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.

According to the Minister, several representations have been received for enhancement of pension under EPS-95 and based on those, "government has approved minimum pension of Rs 1,000 to pensioners under the EPS-95."

Earlier, Labour Minister Narendra Singh Tomar had discussed the proposal with trade unions on June 24 and assured the government will take a decision within two weeks.

As per the proposal, pensioners were to get the benefit with effect from April 1 this year. The government would have to provide an additional amount of around Rs 1,217 crore to ensure a minimum pension of Rs 1,000 for 2014-15.

A senior official said the new government did not want to provide this entitlement merely for one financial year and wanted this to be implemented for all times to come. That is why the proposal was reviewed.

The proposal was already approved by the UPA government for the current financial year but could not be implemented as it was not notified.

However a senior EPFO official, when contacted, said that the body has not yet received any notification or official order in this regard from the Labour Ministry.

According to him, the government could formally announce this entitlement in the forthcoming budget on Thursday.

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