On eve of Supreme Court hearing, EPFO’s higher pension form ‘missing’

NEW DELHI: Registration paperwork at the Employees` Provident Fund Organisation`s unified portal for subscribers to join pension on better salaries went lacking for as a minimum some hours on Tuesday.

The touchdown web page of the EPFO`s unified portal confirmed the `Pension on Higher Salary: Exercise of Joint Option below para 11(3) and para 11(four) of EPS-1995 on or earlier than third May 2023` as a brand new addition. However, registration paperwork for pre-September 2014 retirees became inaccessible until the time of going to press.

Though the adjustments integrated withinside the portal had been now no longer clean immediately, the tweaks come an afternoon earlier than the Supreme Court is scheduled to listen petitions tough the pre-situations laid down with the aid of using the pension fund supervisor for EPFO contributors to choose better pension. The state-run retirement fund business enterprise has confronted good sized grievance for enforcing procedural complexities that made it clearly not possible for all class of candidates to choose better pension.

The fundamental bone of competition has been a obligatory clause delivered with the aid of using EPFO that required personnel and employers, blanketed the ones protected below exempted trusts, to put up evidence that that they'd collectively sought the Organisation`s permission to make a contribution on their real fundamental salaries as opposed to the prescribed statutory restriction for provident fund below the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme, 1952.

Such permissions aren't not unusual and each alternate unions and specialists dubbed the EPFO`s mandate to add evidence of joint alternative as consistent with Para 26(6) of the EPF scheme, 1952 as a “draconian condition” that became imposed despite the fact that the Supreme Court had now no longer widespread this competition.

In its November four order, the apex courtroom docket had opened a four-month window (finishing March 3), for EPFO subscribers to join the better pension alternative. The EPFO, however, prolonged the cut-off date for software to May 3, after it activated its unified portal for receiving joint packages on February 27.

Experts and HR executives additionally mentioned that the pension fund had thru its personal round to nearby PF commissioners in January 2019, stated they should “desist from insisting” on compliance below Para 26(6) of EPF Scheme, 1952.

“...if an organisation and worker have contributed below the EPF Scheme, 1952 on wages better than the statutory salary restriction, with out joint alternative of worker and organisation, and the EPF Account of the worried worker has been up to date with the aid of using EPFO on the idea of such contribution received, then with the aid of using movement of worker, organisation and EPFO, it may he inferred that joint alternative of worker and organisation has been exercised and widespread with the aid of using EPFO,” the January 22, 2019, round stated.

Though the round became withdrawn on February 7, 2019, this became due to a contempt petition in Kerala HC that stated EPFO became insisting that personnel deposit extra contribution into the Pension Fund at 1.16% of the profits exceeding the statutory cap of Rs 15,000, despite the fact that the courtroom docket had declared such insistence illegal.

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