How to Apply for Higher EPS Pension: Deadline Approaching in Five Days.

Rajesh
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The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the labor ministry have announced an extension to the deadline for applying for a higher pension until July 11. This opportunity allows employees to increase their pension income by contributing on their actual basic salary instead of the statutory limit of Rs 15,000. However, with only five days remaining, it's crucial to understand the process and eligibility criteria. In this article, we will guide you through the application procedure and address common concerns.

How to Apply for Higher EPS Pension

Who is Eligible to Apply?

There are two categories of individuals who can apply for a higher pension:

1. Pre-September 1, 2014 Retirees:

If you retired before September 1, 2014, and exercised the option to claim a higher pension based on your actual salary, you need to apply for validation of your application. However, if you retired before this date and did not choose the higher pension option, you are not eligible to apply now.

2. Active Employees:

If you were a member of the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS) before September 1, 2014, and continue to be in service, you can jointly apply for a higher pension.


Application Process:

To apply for a higher EPS pension, follow these steps:

1. Visit the EPFO's member portal.

2. Provide your UAN (universal account number) or pension payment order (PPO) number.

3. Enter your Aadhaar-linked mobile number and past salary records, among other required details.

4. Once you submit your information, your employer needs to validate it.

5. An acknowledgement number will be generated for your reference.

6. EPFO's field officers will verify your application and facilitate pension payments accordingly.


Calculation of Past Dues:

If you have not previously contributed on your higher salary, you need to make up for the shortfall retrospectively. The EPFO provides an online calculator on its member portal, but the process can be challenging. Many employers and employees may not have access to complete salary records, making it difficult to calculate accurate past dues. The EPFO's decision on the amount to be transferred will be final.

Important Considerations:

1. Lack of Clarity: The EPFO's online calculator provides only an estimate of past dues. The final calculation by the EPFO's Regional Office will be considered authentic. Unfortunately, members must proceed with their application without a complete understanding of the amount they will have to transfer to EPS.

2. Preservation of Records: Accessing past salary records can be challenging, as many individuals may not have preserved these documents. It would have been helpful if the EPFO had shared the necessary data in advance to assist members in making an informed decision.

3. Future Pension Changes: Experts suggest that future changes in the definition of pensionable salary may impact the pension amount. This introduces another layer of uncertainty to the application process.

4. Withdrawal and Re-filing: EPFO has not explicitly stated whether members can withdraw their applications after the EPFO quotes the amount due. Therefore, applicants must be prepared to commit to the process once their employers validate their applications.

Conclusion:

With only five days remaining, employees seeking a higher EPS pension must act quickly. By following the application process outlined above, you can take advantage of this opportunity to secure a higher pension based on your actual salary. Although there may be uncertainties and challenges, it is crucial to consider the potential benefits and make an informed decision. Don't miss the deadline and ensure you complete the process as soon as possible.

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