According to the press release issued by the retirement fund body, “The Supreme Court had held that the employees who have retired before 1st September 2014 and had exercised the 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. 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. 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.”
Also read: Documents you will need to submit when applying for higher pension under EPS
The EPFO had extended the deadline for submission of applications for the higher pension under EPS for employees who were working on September 1, 2014, and continued to work after that date but missed the opportunity to apply for the higher pension. The last date to apply for the higher pension for such employees is May 3, 2023.
Thus, going by the latest release from the EPFO, the last date to apply for the higher pension for all eligible employees is now May 3, 2023.
The Supreme Court had in its judgment dated November 4, 2022, allowed eligible employees to opt for the higher pension within four months from the date of the verdict. This had made the last date for application March 3, 2023.
There was a need to extend the deadline to submit the applications for the higher pensions as the EPFO issued a circular for existing employees on February 20, 2023. This gave eligible employees less than 15 days to submit the application. Further, the circular said that another circular would be issued clarifying the method of pension computation.
Also read: How eligible employees can apply for higher pension under EPS on EPFO portal: A step-by-step guide
The latest extension has provided all the eligible employees a similar timeline to opt for higher pension.
The EPFO is yet to provide clarity on how an additional contribution of 1.16% will be taken from the employees. The Supreme Court, while upholding a 2014 notification, has struck down the provision of taking the additional 1.16% from employees whose basic salary exceeds Rs 15,000. However, this provision was kept in abeyance for 6 months to allow the retirement fund body to come up with alternative solutions.