One year after Supreme Court verdict, EPFO releases FAQs for implementing higher pension

The EPFO FAQs broadly answer nine questions on dealing with requests for the higher pension

December 13, 2023 09:59 pm | Updated March 15, 2024 05:38 pm IST - New Delhi

 The pensionable salary of an applicant will be calculated based on the average monthly pay drawn during the contributory period of service in the span of 60 months preceding the date of exit from the membership of the pension fund, according to the FAQs relerased by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation. File

 The pensionable salary of an applicant will be calculated based on the average monthly pay drawn during the contributory period of service in the span of 60 months preceding the date of exit from the membership of the pension fund, according to the FAQs relerased by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), more than a year after the Supreme Court’s verdict on higher Provident Fund pension, has sent to all its units a set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on implementing the verdict. Trade unions and employers’ representatives have been seeking clarity from the EPFO on the matter, especially on accessing the records of an employee while validating the joint options seeking higher pension based on higher wages.

The FAQ document, prepared by the Regional PF Commissioner (Pensions) Aparajita Jaggi, answers nine questions on the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict delivered on November 4, 2022.

The EPFO says that the FAQ document is an updated version, but members of the EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees (CBT) said they had been demanding a set of FAQs for many months.

Explained | A breakdown of the higher pension scheme

Thanking Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav for issuing the FAQs, K.E. Raghunathan, CBT member representing the employers, said the note throws light to resolve the confusion felt by pensioners. “If this was issued a few months back, it would have saved the confusion among the pensioners and also the EPFO officers,” Mr. Yadav said.

The workers’ representative in the CBT, A.K. Padmanabhan, also welcomed the FAQs. “Finally, the EPFO has released the FAQ. But the real question — from which date will applicants start getting the higher pension — is yet to be answered by the EPFO,” Mr. Padmanabhan said.

On documentary evidence that must be attached along with the joint option, the EPFO has clarified the following should be there — details of the employer’s share of PF contribution remitted with employee’s pay exceeding the prevalent statutory wage ceiling of ₹5,000/₹6,500/₹15,000 per month; the certificate that the administrative charges payable by employer have been remitted; and proof that the PF account of the employee has been updated with interest in accordance with the employees’ pension scheme on the basis of their contribution received. The FAQs also maintain that it will be the duty of the concerned officers to collect all the relevant certificates from the employers.

The FAQs say that the date of commencement of pension will determine the applicable formula for calculation of pensionable service, pensionable salary, and pension. The pensionable salary of an applicant will be calculated based on the average monthly pay drawn during the contributory period of service in the span of 60 months preceding the date of exit from the membership of the pension fund.

The FAQs are, however, silent about sharing the details of the previous payment records of the subscribers. Organisations of both employees and employers had sought clarity on this matter.

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