Government extends date to opt for higher EPF pension to June 26

This is the second time that the Centre has extended the date for submissions. Earlier, the date was March 3 and it was extended to May 3.

May 02, 2023 09:25 pm | Updated May 03, 2023 08:30 am IST - New Delhi

The EPFO said more than 12 lakh applications have been received to claim higher pension. File

The EPFO said more than 12 lakh applications have been received to claim higher pension. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Centre has extended the time to submit joint options to claim higher provident fund pension till June 26. The deadline to submit the applications was on May 3.

The process was initiated to implement a Supreme Court verdict on November 4 on higher PF pension. This is the second time that the Centre extended the date for submissions. Earlier, the date was March 3 and it was extended to May 3. The decision is based on the representations received from various Central Trade Unions and pensioners’ organisations demanding extension of date.

The EPFO said more than 12 lakh applications have been received till date. “The online facility was to remain available only till May 3, 2023. In the meantime, many representations have been received from various quarters seeking extension of time. The issue has been considered and it has been decided that in order to provide a larger window of opportunity and in order to enable all eligible persons to file their applications, the timeline for filing applications would now be till June 26, 2023,” the EPFO said in a release.

It added that the timeline is being extended to facilitate and provide ample opportunity to the pensioners and members so as to to ease out any difficulty being faced by them. “This has been decided after sympathetically considering the various demands received from employees, employers and their associations,” it said.

Ten Central Trade Unions had recently written a letter to Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav complaining that the requirement of applying exclusively online, is discriminatory and prevents large sections of employees who are not familiar with online procedures from exercising their option. “This was pointed out by Central Board of Trustees Members several times. Besides, the online system of the EPFO suffers from major connectivity issues and the EPFO itself has been planning to upgrade its IT System. The EPF Staff complain of spending hours on end in front of the screens, before the system becomes responsive,” the CTUs said.

They had also said that the requirement for the proof of higher contribution to be provided by the employee in the online application is meaningless as the PF contribution of both the employee and employer is available with the EPFO. They said such a requirement, while submitting the joint options for higher pension, is designed to discourage and disqualify applications for higher pensions. “We request that such a requirement should be scrapped,” they said.

They added that the calculation of the actual quantum of money to be recovered from the provident fund of the employee towards the pension fund for higher pension is proving to be a challenging task. “The employers are unable to meet this challenge and to calculate even an approximation of the amount that will be recovered from the employee who opts for higher pension. In the absence of an approximate value of the recovery amount, employees are left in a quandary whether to opt for the higher pension or otherwise. Only if there is an option to apply for higher pension with the details of exact amount to be recovered along with the approximate pension that can be enjoyed by the employee post-retirement, can any employee make a rational choice of opting for the higher pension,” they had said in the letter.

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