Good news: Deadline extended for EPFO members looking for higher pension benefits can now opt-in by this date

Employers and employees can apply together for an increased pension under EPS.

EPFO members looking for higher pension benefits

If you are eligible, you can jointly apply through EPFOs unified members' portal till May 3. March 3 was the previous deadline to opt for higher pensions. The latest URL on the portal shows the last date as May 3. The Supreme Court ordered on November 4, 2022, that all eligible members will have 4 months under the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) to opt for higher pensions. 

Read: Are you eligible for a higher pension? Check here. 

The Order 

EPFO developed a procedure enabling employers and subscribers to apply for higher pensions under EPS. The apex court upheld the amended EPS in 2014. The amendment said the pension salary cap would increase from Rs. 6,500/month to Rs. 15,000/month. It also allowed members and employers to contribute 8.33% of their salaries towards EPS if the cap was exceeded.

The order mentioned a Joint Option Form which would have a URL would shortly be announced. Upon receiving, the regional commissioner will provide adequate notice by putting it on the notice board and banners to inform the wider public.

An office order stated that all applications would be digitally logged and registered, and the applicant would be provided with a receipt number. It also said that the regional provident fund officer in charge would examine all cases of the joint options and inform the applicant of the decision through email or post and then an SMS. EPFiGMS is the grievance portal. 

Eligible Subscribers and Higher Pensions

The court struck out the 2014 amendment requirement of a 1.16% salary employee contribution mandate over Rs. 15,000/month. It led to helping the subscribers to put in more to the scheme and receive more benefits. The circular from the EPFO also provided for increased pensions for eligible subscribers contributing on actual wages over Rs. 5 or 6 thousand/month. 

Read: 10 things to know about the EPS.

The members who will be eligible for higher pensions will have to join their employers, and they will receive enhanced benefits. The commissioner will prescribe the application form and the other required documents, such as the joint declaration. 

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