‘Declare Pension a Basic Right’
   27-Feb-2019
All India Executive of BMS for 50 per cent of the last drawn salary as pension for retired employees and holistic revision of all the pension schemes
Dr Pramod Kumar
 
Patna: Welcoming the new pension scheme announced by Government of India for the workers of unorganised sector and granting pension to the retired employees similar to the OROP for ex-servicemen, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) demanded holistic review of all the existing pension schemes in the country.
 
 
BMS general secretary Shri Virjesh Upadhyaya addressing the BMS meeting in Patna. BMS president Shri CK Sajinarayanan and MoS Labour Shri Santosh Gangwar are also seen 
 
In a resolution passed at the three-day All India Executive Meeting held here from February 15 to 17, the country’s largest labour organisation said the pension should be declared a basic right of a retired employee and the pension amount for the employees of every sector should be fixed 50 per cent of the employees’ last salary drawn or the minimum wage declared by the appropriate agency, whichever is higher. “If the central and state governments fail to act on these demands, the BMS will call upon all its units to prepare the ground for a big agitation while conducting awareness,” the resolution said.
 
A copy of the resolution was presented to the Union Labour Minister Shri Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi on February 18 by the BMS leaders under the leadership of BMS president Shri CK Sajinarayanan. In another resolution, the BMS paid tribute to the soldiers killed in terrorist attack at Pulwama.
 
 
Delegates from various parts of the country and BMS leaders at the meeting in Patna 
 
The three-day meeting was attended by 121 delegates from various states and federations. Prominent among those who were present were RSS Sahsarkaryavah Shri V. Bhagaiah, BMS president Shri Sajinarayanan, general secretary Shri Virjesh Upadhyaya, secretary Shri Vinay Sinha and others. Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Shri Santosh Gangwar was also present. In the inaugural session Shri Sajinarayanan stressed the need on organising the labourers as unity will fetch good results.
A copy of the resolution was presented to the Union Mos Labour Shri Santosh Gangwar in New Delhi on February 18 by BMS leaders 
The BMS National Executive further said that abolishing the new pension scheme, all government employees should be covered under the old pension scheme and the shortcomings found in the EPF pension scheme should be overcome and a decision should be taken that the employees get 50 per cent of their last drawn salary. Till such a decision is taken, a minimum Rs 5,000 per month should be declared as pension for the EPF contributors. In order to ensure better implementation of the pension scheme, declared for unorganised sector, a joint meeting of all the trade unions should be called as earliest and all pension schemes should be linked to the price index. All pension schemes, including the pension schemes for bank and insurance corporations employees, should also be revised time to time. The employees of Banks, GIC and LIC should also be provided another chance of pension. Those employees who have contributed to EPF less than minimum wages, the arrears with interest from 2004 onwards should be recovered from them and legal steps should be taken against such employees and the concerned officers responsible, the resolution said.
 
In 2010 while giving one more option for pension in Banking sector, the promise given by Government to LIC/GIC employees also should be fulfilled. It is to be remembered that Management of both these categories have agreed to it and clarified that there will not be any burden on the treasury by it. “Pension is the right of an employee. The Constitution of India also ensures Right to Live to every citizen. Hence, a retired employee too has the right to live. If the workers in unorganised sector get minimum Rs 3000 per month pension, it is strange that the employees in the organised sector get only Rs 1000 as EPF pension. The pension amount for the employee should not be less than 50 per cent of the employees’ last drawn salary or the minimum declared salary, whichever is higher,” the resolution added.
 
Presently, various pension schemes are being followed in the country in different sectors. First, a pension scheme was introduced in 1972 under the CCS Rule for government employees. It was also called GPF. Prior to that, there was a provision for the Contributory Provident Fund (CPF), which used to be the basis of the pension for the employees. Under that scheme, the pension amount of a contributor was calculated as per his/her contribution to the scheme and that amount was paid after retirement of the employee. The old CPF contributors still get some additional allowances. In the year 1986, the amount of that allowance was Rs 610. After the introduction of the new pension scheme in 1972, the employee’s contribution in GPF was returned to him/her after retirement and one got pension (about 50 per cent of his/her last salary) on the basis of the government contribution in GPF. After January 1, 2004, this pension scheme witnessed a new turn in the form of a new pension system (NPS). CPF was again introduced in the NPS and it was claimed that 10 per cent amount will be deducted from the salary of the employee and 10 per cent will be contributed by the government. A total of 60 per cent of this 20 per cent contribution will be returned to the employee after retirement and the rest amount will be invested in the market in the form of PF, RDA, etc. and the return from the market will decide the pension amount of the employee. A new provision was added into this scheme later. In case of death of an employee, his dependent family members will get some pension and that amount was fixed by the UPA government at Rs 3500 per month. This amount has now been increased by the present NDA government to Rs 9500 per month. The present NDA government on its part has also decided to contribute 4 per cent extra amount in this scheme.
 
The second pension scheme was implemented in 1972 by the EPF in the form of the Family Pension Scheme. Under this scheme, 1.16 per cent amount was contributed by the employee, the management and the government. The dependents of the employee basically got the benefit of this pension scheme. On the demand of workers organisations, that Family Pension Scheme was converted into Employees Pension Scheme on November 16, 1995 and the provision for pension was made under a fixed formula. The present NDA government has increased the pension amount under that scheme to Rs 1000 per month because most contributors earlier got as low amount like Rs 50 or 100 per month.
 
In the present budget 2019-20, the Government of India has declared a pension scheme for the workers of unorganised sector also in which the contributors have to contribute from Rs 55 to Rs 200 per month as per their age. If one joins this scheme at the age of 18 years, one has to contribute Rs 55, if one joins it at the age of 29, one has to contribute Rs 100 and if one joins it at the age of 40 or above one has to contribute Rs 200. Following this contribution the person, when turned 60, will get a minimum Rs 3000 per month as pension.