The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced an extension to the deadline for members to apply for a higher pension through the EPFO unified member portal. The new deadline is May 3, 2023, and the announcement was made on the EPFO’s Member e-SEWA portal.
However, those who wish to apply for the higher pension scheme will need to upload the option they have chosen under paragraph 26.6 of the EPF scheme. The system will not allow the uploading of subsequent details until the option has been uploaded.
Furthermore, suppose an employee who is still in service has withdrawn their provident fund through a loan. In that case, they may face difficulties in remitting the additional contribution required for the higher pension scheme, especially if the loan was taken for reasons such as house construction or medical expenses.
Employees who were members of the (EPS) Employees’ Pension Scheme on September 1, 2014, and remained members of the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) on or after that date, are eligible to apply for a higher pension. This option is only available to the people who missed the previous deadline.
Documents Needed for the Application
The EPFO issued an internal circular on December 29, 2022, requesting pensioners to submit specific documents when applying for a higher pension. These documents include the following:
- Proof of joint option under Paragraph 26(6) of the EPF scheme, verified by the employer.
- Proof of joint option under the provision to erstwhile Paragraph 11(3), verified by the employer.
- Proof of remittance to the Provident Fund for wages exceeding the prevailing wage ceiling of Rs. 5,000/Rs. 6,500/-.
- Proof of remittance to the Pension Fund for wages exceeding the prevailing wage ceiling of Rs. 5,000/Rs. 6,500/-, if applicable.
- A written rejection from the Additional Provident Fund Commissioner (APFC) or from any other higher authority of the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) in the event of any requests or remittances.
Steps to apply for a higher pension on the EPFO portal:
- Go to the EPFO Unified Member portal.
- Choose “Pension on higher salary: Exercise of joint option on or before May 3, 2023” from the available options.
- Navigate to the “application form for joint options” section.
- Enter your Universal Account Number (UAN), name, Date of Birth, Aadhaar number, Aadhaar-linked mobile number, and captcha code.
- Click on “Get OTP”. An OTP will be sent to the Aadhaar-linked mobile number. Enter the OTP.
- Click on “Submit“.
After the application form gets submitted, you will receive an acknowledgement number.
Notes on EPFO
The requested documents may not be readily available to employees. For those who are currently employed and still members of the Provident Fund Scheme, they may be able to obtain these documents from their employers and submit them as required. However, retired employees who are eligible to claim the higher pension as per the Supreme Court’s judgment may face several difficulties in obtaining these documents and information.
Employees who have worked with multiple employers may face more challenges in obtaining these documents than those who have worked with the same establishment throughout their service.