Acting on a petition challenging the new contributory pension scheme introduced for Tamil Nadu Government employees, the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) has issued notices to State authorities.
In his petition, P Frederic Engels of Dindigul submitted that he was appointed Junior Grade Secondary Grade teacher on consolidated pay in 2005. The following year, he was regularised as a Secondary Grade teacher and was included in the pension scheme.
As per Rule 2 of Tamil Nadu Pensions Rules, 1978 and Sub Rule (3) of Rule 4 of the Tamil Nadu General Provident Fund Rules, 10% of his salary was deducted towards the contributory pension scheme with another 10% percent being contributed by the Government. From responses received to an application filed under the RTI Act, the petitioner learnt that the Contributory Pension Scheme introduced through the impugned Rule, was not a pension scheme in the true sense.
Petitioner alleged that the State Government has deprived its employees of all existing retirement benefits of pension, family pension, gratuity and provident fund, which was made available to them until March 31, 2003.
But employees who entered service from April 1, 2003 were affected by the amendments as the Government completely took away all their retirement benefits.
Hence the petitioner prayed the court to quash the impugned Rules of the new Contributory Pension Scheme and to declare it as illegal. He also sought a direction to the Government to shift the enrollment of his service to that of the previous pension scheme.
Justice N Paul Vasantha Kumar issued notice to the Secretary of Finance (Pension Department) to reply within four weeks.