EPFO allows beneficiaries to submit joint options for higher pension two weeks before deadline

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New Delhi: After making the beneficiaries of the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation who are eligible for a higher pension as per the recent Supreme Court verdict wait for weeks to enroll for the updated scheme, the organisation finally issued an order to comply with the SC verdict.

"...persons, who are eligible for pension on higher wages, are required to exercise their option under Para 11(3) or 11(4) of the EPS-1995 through the link provided at Unified Member Portal Interface of EPFO website- with the url- https://unifiedportal- mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterfacePohw/ immediately for further necessary action," read the order dated February 17.

The online facility will enable those employees, who have continued in service on or after September 1, 2014, to submit joint options online with EPFO to claim higher pensions. The last date for employees for submitting a fresh option will expire on March 4, 2023, as per the SC order.

The delay by EPFO in complying with the judgment dated November 4, 2022, of the Supreme Court had irked the beneficiaries.

Earlier, CPM MP Dr John Brittas, in a letter to union labour minister Bhupendra Yadav, said that there are 75,33,166 pensioners under EPS as of date and 6,79,78,581 contributing members during the last year.

"A majority of these EPF pensioners get a minimum pension of Rs. 1000/-. Out of the total 75.33 lakh pensioners in the country, around 40 lakhs are getting less than Rs.1,500 p.m. It is at a time when around 4,000 crores are lying in inoperative accounts. The quantum of corpus available with EPFO as of 31.03.2022 was Rs. 18,64,136 crore, of which the share of EPS was Rs. 6,89,210.72 crore," the letter read.

"To add to the woes of these hapless pensioners, EPFO had adopted an all-out strategy of challenging the pensioner-friendly verdicts of various high courts to disburse higher pension commensurate to the employers' contribution paid on the actual salary, which culminated in the promulgation of the latest Supreme Court Judgment. Through years of agonising legal battle brought on some solace by virtue of this judgment, the EPFO is out to snatch even this higher pension facility which would be a boon to around 10 lakh old aged pensioners for whom employers contributed on actual salary," he added.

With inputs from agencies

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