NEW DELHI, March 4 (PTI): Deadline for opting for higher pension for members of Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) who retired before September 1, 2014, ended on Saturday.
However, other members of the EPS can apply for higher pensions till May 3, 2023, a labour ministry statement said.
“The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) closed the options on 4th of March 2023 for the retired EPS members (prior to 01.09.2014 and whose options were not considered earlier). It has received 91,258 online applications from this category of employees as on March 4, 2023.”
The EPFO has been making all-out efforts to publicize the process of joint option which can be submitted online till 3rd May, 2023, it stated.
In respect of persons who were EPF members as on September 1, 2014, the online applications are being preferred by the employees since 27th February 2023 and already 8,897 members have applied to their employers, it stated.
The circular dated 20th February 2023 adheres to the provisions of the Scheme and complies with the Supreme Court orders, it stated.
The correct assessment of contributions and their deposit and diversion to the Pension Fund, the past services rendered and the remittances made are necessary for the correct calculation of the benefits and valuation of the Pension Fund, it stated.
The online joint (employee and employer) option form with the necessary documents has been hosted by EPFO in the unified portal for contributing on higher salaries to the EPS-95.
The form paves the way for giving effect to the SC order of November 4, 2022, while adhering to the basic scheme provisions.
More than 8,000 members have already applied online as on date though the submission deadline is 3rd May 2023, it stated.
Since the contributions of both the employee and employer on higher wages are involved, the EPF and EPS-95 schemes require a joint request when they contribute on a higher salary, it explained.
This is not a new requirement and predates the EPS-95 and the position has been affirmed by Supreme Court in the RC Gupta case stating that it is a necessary pre-cursor for exercising joint option on higher salary under EPS, it points out.