Kerala High Court: Pension is a Constitutional right for an employee

Kerala High Court Pension is a Constitutional right for an employee
Concerning Pension Regulations, The retired employees appeared through Advocates Kaleeswaram Raj and T.M Raman Kartha and argued that they were entitled to get a full pension from the date of their retirement.

The Kerala High Court recently held that the right to pension is a constitutional right, if not a fundamental right and a retired employee cannot be deprived of this right.

Case Background

The petitions were existing and retired employees of the Kerala Books and Publications Society (KBPS), which is a State government-owned registered society, and whose staff were eligible for the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Miscellaneous Provisions Act and Employees’ Pension Scheme. They were seeking to implement the pension scheme.

Case Orders Bases

According to the Pension Regulations of 2014, “The court declared that the employees who have been superannuated/retired before December 24, 2019, are entitled to a pension.

Case Proceeding’s

Justice V.G Arun observed that pension is deferred salary and the right to the same is akin to the right to property under Article 300A of the Constitution of India.

Justice Arun said, “I do not doubt that having formulated the pension regulations and having stopped payment of contribution to the EPF pension fund, the society cannot wriggle out of its responsibility by pleading paucity of funds. It is for the society to generate the required funds, either from its profit or revenue.”

“The dispute with the EPF Organisation and the delay in receiving back the EPF contribution is not acceptable as an excuse for non-payment of eligible pension to the retired employees”, Justice Arun added.

The society is bound to discharge full pension to the petitioners by utilizing the fund/profit obtained by the society. The disbursement of pensions to retired employees is a social security measure and a reward for their blemishless service.

Further, the right to receive a pension is a fundamental right and the pension has even been recognized as property under Article 300A of the Constitution of India.

The counsel for the society submitted that a full pension can be paid only if the contribution already made is refunded by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation or the huge amounts due from the government for the works executed by the society are paid at the earliest.

“It may be true that a significant portion of the corpus of the pension fund consists of the amount to be refunded by the EPF Organisation. The fact that no amount has so far been repaid is also not disputed. Even then, the question is whether the retired employees can be denied pension on that ground.”

Court Order

As provided in the government order in 2019 or the National Pension Scheme, “They shall be paid full pension with effect from October 1, 2022. The employees in service as of December 24, 2019, like the petitioners, shall be governed by the EPF Pension Scheme.”

Other Details Pointed out by the Kerala High Court

The court pointed out that going by the regulations, an employee will become entitled to the pension from the next day of his/her retirement. There is no provision enabling the employer to pay any amount lesser than what is legitimately due to the pensioner.


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