Eps 95 Pension News | NCR:
NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF RETIREES
(All India Federation of Associations of Retired Employees)
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The Central Provident Fund Commissioner, Bhavishya Nidhi Bhawan,
Bhikaji Cama Place
Sub: Implementation of RC Gupta judgment dated 4.10.2016 upheld in the latest judgment dated 04.11.2022 in the matter of EPFO Vs Sunil Kumar B. of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
With reference to the subject cited above, your kind attention is invited to EPFO Circulars dated 29.12.2022 and dated 20.02.2023 regarding implementation of the above judgments of the Hon ble Supreme Court.
At the outset we would like to state that your Circulars are not in line and in conformity with the above referred judgments and EPFO is imposing it’s own conditions which were not envisaged in the said judgments. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has re-stated the law while upholding judgment in the case of RC Gupta under which the right of pensioners is crystallized regarding options under deleted para 11 (3) EPFO has already implemented the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgment in the case of RC Gupta vide Circular dated 23.03.2017 after taking due approvals from PEIC on 8.12.2016, CBT on 19.12.2016 and Ministry of Labour & Employment on 16.03.2017, EPFO had issued Circular dated 23.03.2017 and subsequently approx 24672 Nos of pensioners were allowed higher pension after payment of differential amounts as per the orders of the Hon’ble Court.
We draw your kind attention to the following factual position: 1. That the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not directed EPFO to ask for any kind of proof of
option under para 26(6) while in service or refusal of EPFO as the Hon’ble Court has
already stated in RC Gupta Order upheld in the 4.11.22 judgment that those who were
contributing PF at actual salary are eligible for higher pension after payment of
differential amount of wage ceiling and actual salary.
2. That asking proof of option under para 26(6) is not only violation of upheld judgment but also unrealistic as how a pensioner or employer can provide the old records of 25/30 years old especially when some of the establishments have been closed down.
3. That the Circular dated 20.02.2023 has been issued too late and not keeping in mind the deadline of 4 months stipulated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The EPFO is yet to streamline the process of online submission whereas the last date as per stipulated time is 03.03.2023.
1. That the EPFO vide above Circulars has made filing of fresh joint option online mandatory without keeping in mind the ground realities and this is totally illogical against the principles of natural justice. Imagine how the poor pensioners who are not tech savvy and have settled down in far flung areas of the Nation in the villages after retirement can file an option online! This is a totally unrealistic approach.
2. That in case – EPFO is so much inclined to implement the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgement through latest technology then EPFO should have made elaborate arrangements in it’s regional and zonal offices for filing online so that poor pensioners could have travelled to these offices and filed the same with the help and guidance of EPFO’s local staff.
3. That, in support of the above, we may like to draw your kind attention towards the literacy rate
of our country which was only 40.76 % in 1981 and gradually increases to the level of 74.3% in
2018. A large number of these retirees about whom we are pursuing – were all recruited in the
1980s and majority of them are not Computer literate and Tech savvy. It is easily presumed
that they will NOT be able to upload their option on your provided URL. In this regard,
you are requested to accept JOF in the shape of Hard Copies too.
4. Keeping in view of the above submissions of genuine hardships, we request your good self to kindly arrange to issue necessary instructions to EPFO’s officials:
A. to follow the Hon’ble Supreme Court judgments in its true letter and spirit wherein employees retired Pre 2014 amendments are covered under RC Gupta Order and those retired post 2014 amendments are covered under 04.11.2022 judgment.
B. to implement judgment to those pensioners who were contributing to PF at actual salary without asking proof of option under para 26 (6) or 11(3).
C. to accept joint option of employees and employers in physical form and not to insist
on online submission.
We hope that you would appreciate the plight of poor old aged pensioners drawing a meagre pension and give them an opportunity to avail of this chance to pay differential amounts.
Thanking you and hoping for a positive response,
Yours Sincerely. 22
President. NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF RETIREES