The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has extended the deadline for employees to choose a higher pension under the Employees‘ Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS) until May 3. The earlier deadline was March 31.
The EPS is a pension scheme for employees who are members of the EPFO. The scheme allows members to opt for a higher pension by contributing an additional amount to their pension fund. The scheme has two options for pension – a minimum pension of Rs. 1,000 per month or a pension based on the employee’s pensionable service and pensionable salary.
EPFO’s Decision to Extend Deadline
EPFO’s decision to extend the deadline was taken after a significant number of EPS subscribers requested an extension. According to the EPFO, subscribers who have not yet opted for a higher pension can now submit their options to the concerned Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (RPFC) by May 3, 2023. The extension will provide relief to the EPFO members who were facing difficulties in submitting their options.
EPFO has also issued a circular to all its field offices, stating that the extension is a one-time measure, and no further extension will be granted. The circular also advises members to exercise their options as soon as possible to avoid any last-minute rush.
How to Choose a Higher Pension
To choose a higher pension under the EPS, members must submit Form 10-D to their respective regional EPFO office. The form is available on the EPFO website and can be downloaded for free. Members need to fill in their personal details, employment details, and the option they want to exercise.
The form also requires members to submit a cancelled cheque or a bank passbook copy with the form to facilitate the payment of the pension amount. Members who have already opted for a lower pension can also submit Form 10-D to choose a higher pension.
Opting for a Higher Pension
Opting for a higher pension under the EPS can provide significant benefits to employees after retirement. The pension amount is based on the employee’s pensionable service and salary.
EPS subscribers have the option to increase their pension by contributing a higher amount towards their pension scheme, called the “EPS contribution on higher wages.” This option can be exercised by subscribers who have completed 10 years of service and are yet to attain 58 years of age.
The EPFO had previously announced the option to select a higher pension on September 1, 2014, but only a small number of subscribers opted for it. The organisation then launched a new option on January 1, 2020, giving another chance to opt for a higher pension. The last date for submitting the option was March 31, 2021.
The new extension of the deadline will provide an opportunity for the EPS subscribers to take advantage of the higher pension scheme. However, it is important to note that opting for a higher pension will also increase the EPS contribution. The EPFO has advised the subscribers to carefully calculate the increase in pension they will receive and the corresponding increase in their contribution using the online EPS calculator available on the EPFO website.