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EPFO Grants Extension to Apply for Enhanced Pension Benefit Until June 26th

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has issued a notification stating that the deadline to apply for an increased pension has been extended to June 26th by the retirement fund authority, EPFO. This decision was made after receiving requests for deadline extensions from various sources.

Yash Saxena
EPFO Grants Extension to Apply for Enhanced Pension Benefit Until June 26th
EPFO Grants Extension to Apply for Enhanced Pension Benefit Until June 26th

According to the notification, the matter was deliberated upon and a decision was made to extend the application deadline until June 26th, 2023. The reason behind this decision was to allow for a greater time frame and ensure that all eligible individuals have the opportunity to submit their applications.

After careful consideration of the demands from employees, employers, and their associations, we have decided to extend the timeline to provide ample opportunities for pensioners/members to alleviate any difficulties they may be experiencing, the later stated

The EPFO has developed procedures for collecting requests to validate option/joint options from pensioners/members, in accordance with the Hon'ble Supreme Court judgment on November 4, 2022. To facilitate this process, an online facility has been made available. As of now, over 1.2 million applications have been received through this online service, which was initially scheduled to remain operational until May 3, 2023.

In November 2022, the Supreme Court instructed the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to grant a four-month window to all qualified members to opt for a higher pension. This was in reference to the Employees' Pension (Amendment) Scheme 2014, which was upheld by the court. The amendment passed on August 22, 2014, raised the ceiling for the pensionable salary from $6,500 to $15,000 per month and allowed members and their employers to contribute 8.33% of their actual income (if it exceeded the limit) to EPS.

EPFO had issued an official notice stating that the "Joint Option Form" would be processed by the organization's field offices. EPFO also announced that a unique resource location (URL) would be made available shortly, providing the necessary facility. Once received, the regional PF commissioner would put up appropriate notices on the notice board and banners for the general public's benefit.

As per the notice, each application would be recorded and digitally logged, and the applicant would be given a receipt number. Additionally, the regional provident fund office in charge would examine every case of a joint option on increased income and notify the applicant through email, post, and later SMS.

The notice also mentioned that the applicant could file their grievances on EPFiGMS (the grievance portal) after submitting their joint option form and making any necessary contributions.

The instructions outlined in the notice are in accordance with November 4, 2022, Supreme Court ruling, as stated in the order. In line with the court's decision, EPFO has instructed its field offices to provide eligible members with the option of availing of a higher pension.

The EPFO circular of December 29, 2022, specifies that the government has directed the implementation of the instructions provided in the notice. As per the Supreme Court ruling, all EPS members had a six-month window, starting from September 1, 2014, to choose the revised system.

To avail of the increased benefit, qualified subscribers are required to apply jointly with their employer using the application form provided by the commissioner. Additionally, they must submit all necessary documents, including a joint declaration, etc.

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