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Apex court extends deadline to join EPF pension scheme; now Rs 15,000 threshold invalid

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Apex court extends deadline to join EPF pension scheme; now Rs 15,000 threshold invalid
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New Delhi: Terming the Employees Pension( Amendment) Scheme 2014 to be valid and legal, the Supreme Court on Friday also held that employees who have not joined the Employees Pension Scheme be given a further chance of six months to join it, giving relief to scores of employees.

The judgments were in response to the appeals filed by the Employees Provident Fund Organization and the Union Government challenging the Kerala, Rajasthan and Delhi High court judgments that had quashed the Employee's Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014.

The additional opportunity, the court held, is to be given on the ground of lacking clarity regarding the cut-off date in view of the High court judgments that invalidated the provisions of the Employee's Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014.

The court invalidated the condition in the 2014 scheme requiring employees to make an additional contribution at the rate of 1.16% on the salary exceeding Rs 15,000.

The court called the condition requiring additional contribution on the salary exceeding the threshold limit ultra vires.

However, this part of the judgment has been kept in suspension for six months to enable the authorities to generate funds, according to a report in Livelaw.

The court also agreed with the judgment in R.C. Gupta v. Regional Provident Fund Commissioner where a division bench of the SC held against having any cut-off date for the exercise of the option.

Earlier setting aside the 2014 amendment, the Kerala High Court held as unreasonable the threshold limit of Rs 15,000/-monthly salary for joining the pension fund

The High Court allowed paying pension in proportion to the salary above the threshold limit of Rs 15,000 per month alongside saying there can be no cut-off date for joining the pension scheme.

With inputs from Live Law

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