Call to raise EOBI pension to Rs25,000 pm

KARACHI: EOBI Pensioners Welfare Association (EPWA) Saturday demanded the government to immediately increase the pension to Rs25,000 per month, says a Press release.
In a press conference, the representatives of the association also demanded that private institutions and their employees from all over the country should be registered with EOBI, their country-wide contributions should be received, and every insured person should be issued an EOBI registration card (PI-03).
The EOBI pension scheme should be made universal, and the facility of individual registration and country-wide contributions should be provided to every employed Pakistani between the ages of 18 and 45 on a daily basis.
EPWA should be represented on the Board of Trustees (BoT): The term of the current EOBI Board of Trustees (BoT) ended in 2015. Therefore, after immediate analysis of the board, a new board should be formed with representation of the real representatives of workers and employees and EPWA should be represented on EOBI’s board as a real stakeholder.”
At present, the number of elderly, disabled, and orphaned pensioners under EOBI has exceeded 500,000 throughout the country. Despite the high cost of living, they are only receiving a meager monthly pension of Rs8,500, which is equivalent to putting a drop in the ocean in the face of the ongoing economic crisis and skyrocketing inflation in the country. This ordinary amount is not enough for an elderly person or a sick couple to survive even for a week. It should be noted that the last increase in EOBI pension was implemented in January 2020, and according to the law, it was mandatory to increase pension after every three years of Actuarial valuation of the department’s liabilities and assets.
However, instead of immediately addressing the demand of hundreds of thousands of pensioners, EOBI’s administration is ignoring it and keeping silent. It is regrettable that despite several letters sent by the representative of pensioners and the national organization EPWA, which expose the administration of EOBI as entirely illegal and immoral, they do not even bother to respond.
They said that their demand is immediate relief should be provided to pensioners by raising the monthly pension to at least Rs25,000.
EOBI was established 47 years ago, with the primary objective of providing pension benefits to employees working in the private sector, particularly those in their old age. However, even after the passage of 47 years, the inadequate performance of this national agricultural institution is such that a significant portion of the country’s workforce, consisting of millions of employees who serve in thousands of private institutions, still cannot register with EOBI to secure their pension benefits.
So far, only 10 million out of the country’s workforce of 750 million have been able to register with EOBI, which means that the majority of employees, about 83%, are being denied their fundamental right to pension benefits, as well as leaving their dependents helpless in case of their disability or death. This raises questions about the performance of EOBI.
The Board of Trustees, management, and field operations of EOBI are equally responsible for the criminal act of depriving the basic rights of pension benefits to millions of employees in the private sector. The association said that corrupt field officers who are involved in corruption on a large scale, with their criminal neglect and secret dealings, are partners in crime with the Board of Trustees and management, resulting in the failure of timely registration of millions of employees with EOBI.
Due to this corruption, EOBI is suffering annual losses of PKR 8 billion. The administrative negligence and collusion of field operations with corrupt field officers have resulted in the denial of old-age benefits to millions of employees and have caused enormous financial loss to EOBI.
Illegal suspension of Matching Grant by Federal Government: Under the EOB Act 1976, the Federal Government is required to provide the Employees’ Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) with Matching Grants on an annual basis. (Matching Grants equal to the amount of annual contribution collected from EOBI’s insured persons). Unfortunately, the Federal Government has illegally suspended EOBI’s Matching Grant since 1995. As a result, EOBI’s pension fund is gradually declining.