The Madras High Court has granted an interim stay of a clause in the ninth bipartite settlement for bank employees of April this year requiring contributory provident fund optees to become pension optees upon contributing 2.8 times of the revised pay payable for November 2007 onwards to the Pension Fund.
Justice K Venkataraman passed the interim order on a petition by the Canara Bank Workers Union, Nungambakkam and one R Radhakrishnan of Nungambakkam, a member of the managing committee of the union.
The petitioners submitted that in the previous pension settlement dated October 29, 1993 and Pension Regulations 1995, there was a provision only for transfer of banks' contribution to the PF account along with accrued interest. There was no provision for payment or transfer of any other additional amount.
While in the seventh and eighth bipartite settlements all employees (both pension and PF optees) had contributed to fund the gap in the Pension Fund, in the present settlement dated April 27, the entire load had been placed only on those employees who wanted to opt for pension now, while the existing pension optees were left free. The contemplated recovery exclusively from the PF optees who wished to join the Pension Fund now amounted to discrimination and was violative of the Constitution.