8,000 applications for higher pension made till now: Centre

In the category of those who retired before Sept. 2014, 91,258 applications have been received

Published - March 04, 2023 10:21 pm IST - New Delhi

Employees can submit the joint option with the employers on the EPFO website soon. File Photo

Employees can submit the joint option with the employers on the EPFO website soon. File Photo

As pensioners and trade unions complain of the difficulties in opting for the higher Provident Fund pension contribution, the Union Labour Ministry said in a statement here on Saturday that the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is making all efforts to publicise the process of application. The last date for submitting the joint option is May 3, 2023. The Ministry said more than 8,000 members have applied online so far.

The Ministry said the circular of the EPFO, issued on February 20, adhered to provisions of the Employees Pension Scheme and complied with Supreme Court orders on the matter. “Since, the contributions of both the employee and employer on higher wages are involved, the EPF and EPS-95 schemes require the joint request when they contribute on higher salary. This is not a new requirement and predates the EPS-95 and the position has been affirmed by the Supreme Court in the R.C. Gupta case stating that it is a necessary pre-cursor for exercising joint option on higher salary under EPS,” the Ministry said.

The assessment of contributions and their deposit and diversion to Pension Fund, the past services rendered and the remittances made are necessary for the calculation of the benefits and valuation of the Pension Fund, the Ministry said. The EPFO had closed the option for the EPS members who retired prior to September 1, 2014 on Saturday. “It has received 91,258 online applications from this category of employees as on March 4,” the Centre said.

Meanwhile, CITU general secretary Tapan Sen said in his third letter on the pension issue to Central Provident Fund Commissioner Neelam Shami Rao said that the EPFO should delete unnecessary disclaimers and undertakings from the link created for uploading the higher pension application as they may be a deterrent to applicants. He said such disclaimers were brought in to deter the employees from availing the higher pension under EPS-95. He urged Ms. Rao to proactively engage the eligible concerned employees with true spirit of implementing the top court’s verdict.

He said the EPFO has unnecessarily invoked the para 26(6) of EPS and asked the employees and pensioners to attach “permission” document from EPFO supposed to be granted under para 26(6). “Not a single employee or retiree is in possession of any such document of deduction of PF on their actual wage from the date of his employment. But factually 12% or 10%, as the case may be, of the actual wage were deducted with matching contribution from the employer as a practice in many of the establishments, particularly in all the PSUs,” Mr. Sen said.

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