Joint Option Application - Adherence to Timelines for Scrutiny: EPFO
The EPF is well known for being a guardian when it comes to future retirement planning and financial security. Being Indian employees, the EPFO (Employees' Provident Fund Organisation) takes center stage.
Generally, government employees were entitled to a sum called a pension after retirement. For that, the contribution i.e. 12% was made from his/ her own salary in their service period. Of which, 8.33% was taken into consideration by the pension scheme. The remaining 3.67% falls under the EPF Act,1995 (EPS -95). Whereas 8.33% only counts approximately 5,000 rs to 6,500 rs. Despite the salary of an individual. Earlier government employees were offered to choose a high EPF amount under different conditions. But the amendment made in 2014 ceased such an option.
Joint Option Application for higher pension:
However, recently a joint option application was put in place to facilitate such higher pensions. Also extended the date of submission to June 26th, 2023 to claim for the EPF higher pension through an online portal https://EPFO Unified Member portal.
Pension calculation Formula :
As a central government employee, it is important to be aware of pension rules. These rules vary depending on the scheme you are enrolled in, but the key points to keep in mind are as follows: - Victims of sexual assault are not exempt from contributing to social security schemes such as pensions, even if they do not report the crime to authorities at the time it occurred! - The pension calculation formula is based on the employee's years of service with the government, average salary and age at retirement. - Employers must 'penalize' employees for early retirement to ensure they contribute their fair share towards pensions. - Employees who retire before their 55th birthday can receive a lesser pension than those who retire after their 55th birthday or earlier.
For instance, let us try to understand the higher pension scheme with an example
Mr. 'Y' became a member of the Employee Provident Fund in 2005. He hasn't undergone the joint option earlier. Meanwhile, his salary was raised to Rs.35,000 in 2018. The contribution made by his employer of around Rs.4,200 towards the Employee Provident Fund (EPF). Also, Rs.875 goes towards EPS as a statutory wage cap. Then remaining Rs.3,325 (i.e. Rs.4,200 - Rs.875) will come under EPF. After that, he decided to opt for the joint option by 15/07/2023, as per the Supreme Court judgment. After the submission under the joint option, the employer will contribute Rs.2,915 towards EPF. i.e. 8.33% of Rs.35,000 from his actual salary and Rs.1,285 by difference i.e. Rs.4,200 - Rs.2,915.
The monthly calculation will be done by EPFO. And the EPS amount from the actual salary i.e. 8.33% along with the difference amount from the EPF to the EPS.
Procedure for Joint Option Application EPFO Pension Scheme :
To apply for the higher pension one must file a form under the joint option application. So here’s how you can also claim it in a few steps as follows
Step 1 - Go to the website https://EPFO Unified Member portal.
Step 2 - Select the pension on the higher salary option at the right end of the dashboard. It is an application form to validate your joint option.
Step 3 - Then it will direct you to the below page and then fill in the mandatory fields as mentioned.
Step 4 - After submitting your details, click on Get OTP. It is to authorize your pin.
Step 5 - And then it leads to the next page to validate the user followed by a submit application option.
Step 6 - At the last step, you will be provided with an acknowledgment number known receipt number.
Step 7 - For verifying, you are required to process further by providing a digital signature.
The officials will verify the digital registration form submitted by the employers. If any mismatch is found then the time period of one month will be provided to rectify the incorrect data. Which will be informed to the respective employer. Or else if the application form is rejected then the employer was provided with another chance to submit any valid proof of document.
Calculation of higher pension under Joint Option Application EPFO
Here’s a simple method to calculate the amount that falls under EPFO.
Pension amount (Monthly) = Pensionable salary amount X Pension service / 70
In this formula, the pensionable salary refers to the average of the prior 60 months salary amount. And the pension service refers to the total contribution made to EPS under the service period.
Let us try to inculcate the above formula with a practical situation.
Mr. A has opted for the joint option under EPFO to obtain a higher pension. Let us consider his average salary is 40,000 up to 5 years. He dedicated 25 years of service to his work. And then retired at the age of 58, reaching superannuation.
As per the formula, = 40,000 X 27(25+2)/70 = Rs. 15,428.57 Here in the calculation, added 2 years of service period (25+2). This is because it comes into consideration if a government employee attains superannuation i.e. at the age of 58.
Guidelines for Joint Option Application EPFO
- One must apply for the joint option and register under https://EPFO Unified Member portal.
- Proof of documents required that denotes 26(6) & 11(3) clauses of the EPS scheme.
- Joint option form which is verified by the employer under the above clauses mentioned.
- Documentary proof of remittance that notifies the contribution made from the actual wage.
- Be notified and updated on timely policies by the EPF & EPS https://EPFO Unified Member portal.
- If any grievance took place while filing the joint option application, one can file a suit under https://EPFO Unified Member portal.
Eligibility for Joint Option Application EPFO
- Before heading to submit the application, make sure you are the right fit to file a joint option application. Check the level of probability of getting rejected and being under the eligible criteria.
- The government employee must be retired on the date of 01-09-2014.
- Being an active member of EPS-95, the employee did not opt for the joint option application in the service.
- The contribution made should surpass the amount of Rs.5000 to Rs.6500.
- One should register the digital format under EPF along with the valid service number provided.
Frequently asked questions under EPF higher pension
Here we found some frequently asked questions by government employees regarding higher pensions and EPFO. So go through the below questions for a quick look at your queries.
How to opt for EPFO higher pension?
If you are an active member of EPS-95 then you can opt for claiming the higher pension scheme. You can directly register in just a few steps through an online portal. For that check the EPFO website https://EPFO Unified Member portal and check out the steps of procedure as mentioned above.
How to check the status under EPFO higher pension?
Go through the EPFO online portal and then click the online services option. Then select the office and then enter your provided office ID and PPO number. It will redirect you to the status of your application.
What are the eligibility criteria for claiming a higher pension in EPF?
If a government employee who retired before or on working till 01-09-2014 can claim for the higher pension in EPFO. But make sure that you are a complete fit under the guidelines of EPF.
What is the calculation method for higher pension amounts in EPF?
To calculate the higher pension under EPF: Monthly pension = Pensionable salary*pensionable service/70 For a better understanding just have a look at the above procedure to calculate the sum amount.