A circular has come from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to all regional offices along with instructions on how to implement the Supreme Court judgement on higher provident fund (PF) pension.
On 4 November, 2022, the apex court had outlined the process, including documents required for existing employees and also those who retired after 1 September, 2014 to claim higher pension basis actual salary beyond the limit stated in the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS) of 1995.
The members’ section of the EPFO website will soon offer an option via which employees will be able to submit the joint option along with their employers.
However, the Supreme Court had set 3 March 2023 as the last date for submission of joint options. Since the circular has come only now, trade unions feel there is a time crunch, which will cause a lot of inconvenience to pensioners.
As per the circular, employees who hadn’t exercised the joint option as per paragraph 11(3) of the EPS, will be “entitled to exercise joint option”. The employees and pensioners who had been contributing to the EPS and had failed to exercise joint option for higher pension on actual salary before 1 September, 2014 now have the option to opt for higher pension. A consent has to be submitted jointly by the employees / pensioners and the employer to the EPFO to facilitate change from provident fund to pension fund and re-deposit to the fund.
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