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Business News/ News / India/  EPFO extends deadline to apply for higher pension till June 26
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EPFO extends deadline to apply for higher pension till June 26

EPFO: The timeline is being extended to facilitate and provide ample opportunity to the pensioners/members so as to to ease out any difficulty being faced by them.

10 May 2016, Bhikaji Cama Place,New Delhi: employees provident fund organisation head office , EPFO office.Premium
10 May 2016, Bhikaji Cama Place,New Delhi: employees provident fund organisation head office , EPFO office.

Retirement fund body EPFO on Tuesday extended the deadline to apply for higher pension till June 26. The Ministry of Labour & Employment in a notification that many representations have been received from various quarters seeking extension of time. 

“The issue has been considered and it has been decided that in order to provide a larger window of opportunity and in order to enable all eligible persons to file their applications, the timeline for filing applications would now be till 26th June, 2023," the notification said.

“The timeline is being extended to facilitate and provide ample opportunity to the pensioners / members so as to to ease out any difficulty being faced by them. This has been decided after sympathetically considering the various demands received from employees, employers and their associations," the notification further said.

EPFO has made arrangements for obtaining applications for the validation of option / joint option from pensioners / members as per the Hon’ble Supreme Court order dated 4 November 2022. To facilitate this process, online facility has been made available. More than 12 lakh applications have been received till date. The online facility was to remain available only till 03.05.2023.

Earlier, the Supreme Court in its order on November 4, 2022 had mandated the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to provide four months to all eligible members to opt for higher pension.

In November 2022, the Supreme Court had upheld Employees' Pension (Amendment) Scheme 2014. The EPS amendment of August 22, 2014 had raised the pensionable salary cap to 15,000 a month from 6,500 a month, and allowed members along with their employers to contribute 8.33 per cent of their actual salaries (if it exceeded the cap) towards EPS.

In an office order, EPFO had provided for dealing with the ''Joint Option Form'' by field offices of the body. EPFO stated that "a facility will be provided for which URL (unique resource location) will be informed shortly. Once received, the regional PF commissioner shall put adequate notice on the notice board and banners for wider public information".

It provided that each application will be registered, digitally logged and the receipt number will be provided to the applicant. It further stated that the office in-charge of the regional provident fund office concerned shall examine each case of joint option on higher salary and intimate the decision to the applicant through e-mail/post and later through SMS also.

It also provided that any grievance by the applicant can be registered on EPFiGMS (grievance portal) after submission of his/her joint option form and payment of due contributions,if any.

The order stated that these directions are being issued in compliance with the order of Supreme Court on November 4, 2022. EPFO has asked its field offices to provide an option for higher pension to eligible subscribers in accordance with the Supreme Court order.

According to the EPFO circular on December 29, 2022, the central government has directed to implement the directions in the order. The apex court had given all EPS members, as on September 1, 2014, six months to opt for the amended scheme.

The EPFO circular had also provided for the higher pension option for those eligible subscribers who either contributed on actual wages higher than 5,000 or 6,500 per month prevalent threshold pensionable salary or exercised their option for higher pension or their request for higher pension was declined by EPFO authorities before the amendment to EPS-95 in 2014.

The eligible subscribers would have to apply jointly with their employer for the enhanced benefit in the application form prescribed by the commissioner and all other required documents like joint declaration etc.

*With agency inputs

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Published: 02 May 2023, 09:35 PM IST
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