In a press release dated March 13, 2023, the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) announced the extension of the deadline for submitting applications for higher pensions under the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) to May 3. For employees who retired before September 1, 2014, exercised their choice to get the higher pension, but had their claims denied by the provident fund authorities, the deadline has been extended. Originally, the deadline for such employees was March 3, 2023.
The press release issued by the retirement fund body also stated , “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.”
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 EPFO had extended the deadline for filing of applications for the higher pension under EPS. The deadline to submit an application for these employees increased pension is May 3, 2023.
According to the EPFO's most recent statement, May 3, 2023, has been set as the deadline for all eligible employees to submit an application for the higher pension.
In its ruling from November 4, 2022, the Supreme Court had given eligible employees four months from the date of the ruling to choose the higher pension. The application deadline was thus extended to March 3, 2023.
The EPFO issued a circular for current employees on February 20, 2023, therefore there was a need to extend the deadline for submitting applications for the higher pensions as who eligible had less than 15 days to submit their application after the announcement. Additionally the circular also stated that a second circular would be released to clarify the how pension calculations are made.
The latest extension offered all eligible workers a comparable window of opportunity to choose a higher pension. The EPFO has not yet clarified how the employees' additional 1.16% contribution will be collected. While upholding a 2014 notification, the Supreme Court has invalidated the clause requiring employees whose basic salaries exceed Rs15,000 to pay an extra 1.16%. This clause was postponed for six months to give the retirement fund body time to come up with alternative solutions.