Eligible employees who had not opted for enhanced pension coverage prior to 2014 can jointly do so with their employers within the next four months after the Supreme Court upheld the Employees' Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014.

Employees who were existing EPS members as on September 1, 2014, can contribute up to 8.33 per cent of their 'actual' salaries — as against 8.33 per cent of the pensionable salary capped ₹Rs 15,000 a month — towards pension.

The court on Friday struck down the requirement in the 2014 amendments mandating employee contribution of 1.16 per cent of the salary exceeding ₹15,000 per month.

This will facilitate the subscribers to contribute higher to the scheme and get enhanced benefits accordingly.

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Trade unions have demanded that the government call an extraordinary meeting of the central board of trustees of the retirement fund body EPFO for quick implementation of the apex court order.

The apex court also held that the EPFO cannot ask subscribers for an additional 1.16 per cent of contribution of salary for opting pension on higher earnings without amending the existing law.

The court has given the option of pension on higher earnings to subscribers of exempted provident fund trusts also.

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An EPFO trustee and All India Vice-President of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) Sunkari Mallesham also demanded an extraordinary meeting of the CBT. "There is a need to call an extraordinary meeting of the CBT to discuss the order thoroughly and provide relief given to members," Mallesham told PTI.

"The requirement of the members to contribute at the rate of 1.16 per cent of their salary to the extent such salary exceeds ₹15,000 per month as an additional contribution under the amended scheme is held to be ultra vires the provisions of the 1952 Act," the Supreme Court held.

K E Raghunathan, a CBT member representing employers, told PTI: "Supreme Court suggests that employers' contribution to pension can be increased as a possible solution. This could be a cause of concern as employers' burden may increase. This, anyway, would require amendment to the Act, if the government so decides. Even then there will be no additional liability on employer. Only inter-se allocation of contribution between PF and pension will change."

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