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EPFO extends deadline to opt for higher pension

New Delhi, Mar 14, 2023

All eligible pensioners under the Employees' Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS 95), who retired before September 2014, now have until May 3, 2023, to apply for a higher pension, as per a labour ministry statement on Monday.

This extension was made on the request of employees' and employers' associations after the original deadline ended on March 3, 2023.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled that those who retired before September 1, 2014, and exercised the option under paragraph 11 (3) prior to their retirement were eligible for a pension on higher wages.

Field offices were issued instructions on this matter in circulars on December 29, 2022, and January 5, 2023.

The online facility for submitting applications for validation of joint options was available on the EPFO website until March 3, 2023, for pensioners who retired before September 1, 2014, and exercised joint options before retirement.

However, the deadline for all other categories of subscribers of the scheme is May 3, 2023. In November 2022, the Supreme Court had ordered the EPFO to give four months' time for a different category of subscribers of the EPS-95 to opt for a higher pension.

This option allows subscribers to contribute to their actual basic wages, which are higher than the pensionable salary of Rs 15,000 per month, leading to higher pensions eventually. The EPFO issued instructions on February 20, 2023, for online joint options to be filed by employees who were in service prior to September 1, 2014, and continued to be in service on or after that date but could not exercise joint option under the previous proviso to paragraph 11 (3) of the EPS 1995. Joint options for this category of employees can be filed until May 3, 2023.

[The Times of India]

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