Accepting a major demand of various employee unions, the Punjab government on Monday decided to increase its share in the New Pension Scheme, in line with the decision of the Centre, with effect from April 1, 2019.
The state Cabinet, led by Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, decided to hike the state’s monthly matching contribution for employees under the NPS from 10 per cent to 14 per cent of Basic Pay plus Dearness Allowance (DA). The government has also agreed to give the benefit of death-cum-retirement gratuity to all employees of the state government recruited on or after January 1, 2004, and covered under the NPS.
The total number of the state government employees is 3,53,074, of whom 1,52,646 are covered under the NPS. The annual expenditure on account of contribution by the state at the rate of 10 per cent for employees covered under NPS during the financial year 2018-19 was Rs 585 crore and in 2019-20, it is expected to be Rs 645 crore. With the hike in state share, the annual financial implication of enhancement will be Rs 258 crore over and above the earlier contribution.
In another decision, the Cabinet gave ex-post facto approval to the Department of Finance’s proposal to allow implementation of the benefit of ex-gratia to dependents of employees recruited on or after January 1, 2004, who die in harness, on the lines of benefits extended under the old pension scheme.