EPS: The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has once again extended the deadline to apply for a higher pension from the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) to June 26, 2023, from May 3, 2023. The extension was announced on Tuesday, offering eligible employees additional time to evaluate and apply for a higher pension from EPS.
This marks the second time that the EPFO has extended the deadline for applying for a higher EPS pension. The Supreme Court had initially set a four-month deadline from the date of judgment, November 4, 2022, which was March 3, 2023. However, the EPFO was unable to implement the Supreme Court’s order due to the delayed release of a circular providing details about how existing employees could apply for a higher pension. This circular was released on February 20, 2023, which did not give enough time for the employees to apply for a higher pension.
Eligible employees who are facing difficulties in applying for a higher pension have been granted additional time to apply. It was a common practice for employees to make higher contributions to their EPF account without prior approval from the EPFO. As a result, many employees did not have the necessary documents proving that they had obtained permission from the EPFO to deposit contributions to their EPF account if their wages exceeded the notified limit.
When submitting the form for a higher pension, employees are required to ensure that all their EPF accounts are merged into one Universal Account Number (UAN) and that their service records match with the EPFO data. It is crucial for employees to follow these guidelines as they are necessary for the processing of their higher EPS pension request.
According to the Supreme Court’s order dated November 4, 2023, employees are eligible for a higher EPS pension if they were making higher contributions to their EPF account before retirement and their higher EPS pension request were rejected by the EPFO. Additionally, an employee who was a member of EPS or EPF on September 1, 2014, and continued to remain the same after, is also eligible for a higher pension.
The EPFO has provided an online link where eligible employees can submit the joint application form for a higher pension. This form must be approved by the employer before being submitted to the EPFO. This extension will benefit a significant number of employees who were unable to apply for a higher pension within the initial deadline. With this additional time, eligible employees can submit their applications and ensure that their higher pension request is processed.