Following the privatisation of Air India, its employees have now been covered under the Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952, starting December 1, 2021. That means, Air India staff can now enjoy social security including provident fund, pension and insurance under the Employee’s Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO).
The financially ill Air India was taken over by the Tata Group. Post this takeover, and the ensuing shift from the old provident fund system to the new one, the employees will now be guaranteed a minimum pension of Rs 1,000 every month. In case of their death, their families or dependants will receive this amount. Additionally, in case of a staff member’s unfortunate demise, the family or dependants can look forward to an assured insurance of at least Rs 2.5 lakhs, which can even go up to Rs 7 lakhs, with no premium charged.
For the month of December 2021 itself EPFO received contributions for about 7,453 employees.
Earlier, the contributions by the Air India staff, totalling about Rs 4,500 crore, went into two funds recognised by the Provident Fund Act 1925 — Air India Employees Provident Fund (AIEPF) and the Indian Airlines Employees Provident Fund (IAEPF).
While the earlier system did provide for provident fund, it did not ensure any statutory pension or insurance. There was only a self-contributory annuity-based pension scheme employees of which the staff were a part.