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Supreme Court ruling on HIGHER PENSION: Who can apply for it? Check eligibility and process to claim higher pension

The Supreme court in its order gave four more months to eligible subscribers to opt for higher pension under EPS-95. The court had also struck down the requirement in the 2014 amendments mandating employee contribution of 1.16 per cent of the salary exceeding Rs 15,000 per month. This will facilitate the subscribers to contribute higher to the scheme and get enhanced benefits accordingly.

Supreme Court ruling on HIGHER PENSION: Who can apply for it? Check eligibility and process to claim higher pension

New Delhi: In accordance with the Supreme Court order on November 4, 2022, retirement fund body Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has asked its field offices to provide an option for higher pension to eligible subscribers.

An EPFO circular on December 29, 2022 has directed to implement the directions in the Supreme Court order. In its circular, EPFO has told the field offices to implement "the directions contained in para 44 (ix) of the Supreme Court judgement on November 4, 2022" within stipulated timeline and to ensure adequate publicity of the decision taken by the EPFO to implement the said directions.

Earlier in November 2022, the Supreme Court had upheld Employees Pension (Amendment) Scheme 2014.

The EPS amendment of August 22, 2014 had raised the pensionable salary cap to Rs 15,000 a month from Rs 6,500 a month, and allowed members along with their employers to contribute 8.33 per cent on their actual salaries (if it exceeded the cap) towards the EPS. It gave all EPS members, as on September 1, 2014, six months to opt for the amended scheme.

The apex court in its order gave four more months to eligible subscribers to opt for higher pension under EPS-95. The court had also struck down the requirement in the 2014 amendments mandating employee contribution of 1.16 per cent of the salary exceeding Rs 15,000 per month. This will facilitate the subscribers to contribute higher to the scheme and get enhanced benefits accordingly.

The EPFO circular also provides for the higher pension option for these eligible subscribers:

1. The pensioners who as employees had contributed under paragraph 26(6) of EPF Scheme on salary exceeding the prevalent wage ceiling of Rs 5000 or 6500, and

2. exercised joint option under the provisio to para 11(3) of the pre-amendement scheme while being members of EPS,95; and

3. their exercise of such option was decline by PF authorities


How to apply for higher pension? Here is the step by step process

 

1. The request will be made in such form and manner as may be specified by the Commissioner

2. The application form for validation will contain the disclaimer as ordered in the aforesaid government notification

3. In case of share requiring adjustment from PF to Pension Fund and if any, re deposit to the fund, teh explicit consent of the pensioner will be given in the application form

4. In case of transfer of funds from exempted PF trust to pension fund of EPFO, an undertaking of the trustee shall be submitted. The undertaking shall be to the effect that due contribution along with the interest-upto the date of payment will be deposited within the specified period.

5. The method of deposit of such funds will follow through subsequent circulars