EPFO’s renewed deadline announced by Labour Ministry  

The decision to extend the deadline comes 10 days after the closing of the EPFO application window.

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The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has been taking various measures to improve the pension benefits received by its subscribers. It recently introduced a new system for online submission of digital life certificates, which is expected to make the process more convenient for pensioners. The EPFO has also been taking steps to ensure that pensioners receive their pension on time, and has been urging them to update their personal details to avoid any delays.

The EPFO has announced a renewed deadline of May 3 for employees who retired before September 1, 2014, and had exercised joint options with employers, but whose options were not considered earlier. This move comes ten days after the application window for higher pension closed for these employees, bringing the deadline to apply for higher pension at par with the other set of employees who were in service prior to and after September 1, 2014.

The EPFO had earlier given a one-time option to the affected employees to switch over to the higher pension scheme. However, many employees had not been able to exercise this option due to various reasons. The EPFO had then extended the deadline for such employees to March 31, 2021, and again to March 31, 2022.

In the press release on March 13, 2023, the Ministry of Labour and Employment stated that, “The Supreme Court had held that the employees who have retired before 1st September 2014 and had exercised option under paragraph 11(3) prior to their retirement shall be eligible for pension on higher wages. Instructions in this regard had been issued to field offices vide circular dated 29.12.2022 and 05.01.2023.” 

The press release further mentions that online facility for submitting applications for validation of joint options to the employees who retired before 01.09.2014 and had exercised joint options before their retirement had been provided on the EPFO Website till 03.03.2023.

Which is why “Now on demand of the employees’ / employers’ associations the Chairman, Central Board of Trustees has extended the time for submitting applications for validation of joint options from such employees till 3rd May 2023,” said the same press release. 

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