EPFO extends deadline for higher pension: How to apply
Members of the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) who have not opted for higher pensions till now should not worry. The EPFO has extended the deadline to do so till May 3. A Supreme Court order from 2022 had set the last date to do so on March 3. Let us take a look at how eligible members can apply for higher pensions.
Why does this story matter?
- The EPFO's decision to extend the deadline for application for higher pension will help subscribers who have been confused by the procedure.
- There were apprehensions that the last date would be March 3, in accordance with the Supreme Court order. Therefore, the extension will give members more time.
- However, the organization still has to provide more clarity about the procedure for every category.
What did the Supreme Court rule in 2022?
The Supreme Court in November last year upheld the amendments to the Employees' Pension (Amendment) Scheme, 2014. The ruling paved the way for certain employees to apply for higher pensions. Although the amendment was upheld, the court quashed the Rs. 15,000 cap on pensionable salary. It also read down the provision that required a further 1.16% contribution for a salary exceeding Rs. 15,000.
Three categories are eligible for higher pensions
Three categories are eligible to apply for higher pensions. First, pensioners, as employees who had contributed under the EPS on a salary exceeding the prevalent wage ceiling of Rs. 5,000 or Rs. 6,500. Second, those who did not exercise the joint option while being members of the EPS. Third, those whose applications were rejected by the EPFO.
EPFO came out with a new procedure last week
EPFO came out with a circular last week about the procedure to enable members and their employers to apply jointly for higher pensions under EPS. Now, the EPFO has extended the deadline for those who were in service prior to September 1, 2014, and continued to be in service on or after September 1, 2014, but could not exercise the joint option.
How to jointly apply for higher pension?
To jointly apply for higher pension, you have to first visit https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/. Click on "Pension on higher salary - online application of joint option." There will be two options: "application form for validation of joint options," and "application form for joint options." Tap the first and then the second options. Follow the instructions. The links are not functional at the moment.
RPFC will deal with online applications
Once the joint application is submitted, the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) will deal with them. Each application will be registered and digitally logged. Then, a receipt number will be provided. The employer will be provided with separate login credentials. Employees' applications will reach the employer. After digital verification by the employer, pension authorities will examine the application and inform their decision.