23 Feb, 2024 08:57 PM

Only 9 of 17.5 lakh applicants received higher PF pensions so far

Only 9 of 17.5 lakh applicants received higher PF pensions so far

Only a handful of retirees from the same company have managed to secure increased PF pensions in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling issued 15 months ago. The beneficiaries are former employees of the Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC), with only nine individuals having received the enhanced pensions thus far. However, a legal dispute looms over pension calculations, spearheaded by RC Gupta and others from HPTDC, who contest the methodology used.

The Supreme Court's decision on November 4, 2022, mandated higher pensions for EPF members based on their accurate salaries, prompting a surge of 17.5 lakh applications, albeit with several deadline extensions. Balak Ram Chauhan, who retired from HPTDC in December, was the inaugural recipient of the upgraded pension pay order, followed by Jabe Ram and Hari Ram. Tragically, Jabe Ram passed away shortly after receiving his first payment. On February 19, 2024, six more retirees joined the ranks of beneficiaries. While similar processes are underway in states like Kerala, no pay orders have been issued elsewhere yet.

In a legal skirmish, HPTDC employees are challenging the pension reduction tactic, which distinguishes between service periods pre and post-September 2024. This contradicts the Supreme Court's directive to base pensions on the average salary of the last 60 months of service.

Madan Sharma, a former HPTDC employee and the latest pension recipient, intends to file a writ petition against EPFO's actions at the Himachal Pradesh High Court. A collective of 650 retirees from HPTDC, who left service post-September 2014, are gearing up to voice similar grievances before the high court.

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