Analysis of Cut-Off Dates in Pension Scheme Amendments

The Division Bench of the High Court conducted a detailed legal analysis regarding the impact of cut-off dates in pension scheme amendments. This analysis is essential for understanding the fairness and implications of such dates in the context of pension schemes. The court’s findings provide valuable insights into the principles governing pension schemes and the rights of pensioners affected by these provisions.


  • The Division Bench of the High Court found that the effect of the amendment to the Pension Scheme created different classes of pensioners based on the date, namely 01.09.2014.
  • The amendments to the Pension Scheme were deemed arbitrary by the High Court, and as a result, the Writ Petitions were allowed with specific directions.
  • The Employee’s Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014 was set aside, along with all consequential orders and proceedings issued by the Provident Fund authorities based on the impugned amendments.
  • Various proceedings issued by the Employees Provident Fund Organization, which declined to grant opportunities to the petitioners to exercise a joint option along with other employees, were also set aside.
  • Employees were granted the right to exercise the option stipulated by paragraph 26 of the EPF Scheme without being restricted by a specific date.

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  • The principal questions at hand involve determining the existence of a cut-off date under paragraph 11(3) of the Employees’ Pension Scheme.
  • It is crucial to ascertain whether the decision in R.C. Gupta serves as the guiding principle for resolving these issues.

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  • Senior Advocate relied on the decision of the Constitution Bench in Krishena Kumar Vs. Union of India to support the argument made by the Petitioner.

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  • The proviso to Clause 11(3) of the Employees’ Pension Scheme does not have a cut-off date for determining eligibility.
  • The dates mentioned in the proviso are for calculating the pensionable salary based on the option exercised, not for determining eligibility.
  • Beneficial schemes should not be defeated by reference to a cut-off date, especially when actual salary deposits have been made by the employer.
  • The exercise of option under Para 26 of the Provident Fund Scheme does not stop employees from exercising a similar option under Clause 11(3) of the Pension Scheme.
  • Exercise of option under Para 26(6) is a necessary step before exercising an option under Clause 11(3) of the Pension Scheme unless there are clear circumstances indicating otherwise.
  • The Provident Fund Commissioner could seek a return of amounts withdrawn from the Provident Fund accounts of employees before granting them benefits under the proviso to Clause 11(3) of the Pension Scheme.
  • The Apex Court found the insistence on a date for exercise of the joint option to be unjustified.
  • The government’s obligation towards an employee under the CPF Scheme begins when the account is opened and ends at retirement, unlike the Pension Scheme where it begins only at retirement.
  • The emphasis on investment in both funds is of different dimensions, with the Pension Scheme requiring post-retirement returns for the employee and their family.
  • The Court clarified that the Pension Scheme does not have a cut-off date, unlike the Provident Fund Scheme which ends at retirement.
  • The State’s continuing obligation towards Pension retirees is impacted by economic factors, unlike PF retirees.
  • The difference between the rules governing Provident Fund and Pension Schemes is well recognized.
  • Cross-subsidization concerns were raised if the option under the Pension Scheme was extended beyond the cut-off date.
  • The matter concerning the applicability of the principle in the R.C. Gupta case was considered significant and requires further review by a larger Bench.


Case Number: C.A. No.-008143-008144 / 2022

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