The EPFO has extended the date till when eligible individuals can choose to have a combined application with their employer for an increased pension, from March 3rd to May 3rd. The initial date issued by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) was faced with some dissatisfaction, which lead to the postponement.
The Updated Deadline for Higher Pension
On 4th November, last year, the Supreme Court ordered the EPFO to let all eligible members have 4 months’ time to sign up for higher pension. According to this apex court order, the mandated duration would have concluded on March 3, 2023.
However, as a result of the misgivings surrounding the early deadline, on the EPFO unified members’ portal, the URL was just updated and shows the new date of May 3, 2023, as the deadline to access the higher pension.
The EPFO also introduced a new method that lets eligible members and their employers jointly opt for the raised pension under the EPS (Employees’ Pension Scheme).
The Employees’ Pension (Amendment) Scheme 2014 was approved by the Supreme Court in November 2022. The pensionable salary cap was increased to Ruppees 15,000 per month from Ruppees 6,500 by the EPS amendment of August 22, 2014. Workers and their employers were permitted to contribute 8.33 per cent of their incomes, if crossing the cap, to EPS.
New Updates on the Scheme
The EPFO also announced 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”.
They added that every new application would be registered and stored digitally, and given to the applicant with a receipt number. Additionally, they specified that the authorities dealing with the relevant regional provident fund office would review each of the joint options on higher income and notify the applicant of their decision via email, post and subsequently SMS.
Additionally, it stipulated that the applicant might file any complaint on the grievance portal EPFiGMS after submitting their joint option form and making any necessary overdue payments.
According to the order, these instructions were provided in accordance with the Supreme Court’s directive from November 4, 2022. In compliance with the Supreme Court’s directive, EPFO has asked its field offices to provide qualified subscribers with the choice of a larger pension.
The EPFO circular that was issued towards the end of 2022 has given all EPS members six months to sign up for the modified scheme. The apex court also decided in its order to extend the duration for eligible applicants to choose a higher pension under EPS-95 by 4 months.
These are some of the important points to keep in mind when opting for a higher pension.