EPS 95 Higher Pension Scheme – Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility Criteria for higher pension under EPS 95 Scheme

Based on their date of joining as an EPFO member and their current status of employment, employees have been divided in various categories.

Category 1 – Joined on/after 1st September 2014

Employees who have joined EPFO membership after 2014 are not eligible for higher pension. As a matter of fact, employees whose salary is greater than ₹15000 are not eligible to participate in the Employee Pension Scheme.

Eligible for higher pensionNO
Eligibility for Category 1

Category 2 – Retired before 1st September 2014 without exercising first Joint option

As per the Para(v) of the Supreme Court Judgement, employees who retired before 1st September 2014 and did not exercise the first joint option (introduced via GSR on 16-March-1996) are not eligible for the higher pension option.

Eligible for higher pensionNO
Eligibility for Category 2
Supreme Court verdict on eligibility for Category 2
GSR 16 March 1996

Category 3 – Retired before 1st September 2014 and exercised the first Joint option successfully

As per the para 44(vi) of the Supreme Court judgement, employees who retired before 1st September 2014 and opted for the first joint option in successful and timely manner are eligible for higher pension. In fact they should already be getting the higher pension amount and may not have been a party of this whole debate about who is eligible for higher pension amounts.

Eligible for higher pensionYES
Eligibility for Category 3
Supreme Court verdict on eligibility for Category 3

Category 4 – Retired before 1st September 2014 and exercised the first Joint option but rejected by EPFO.

These was another section of employees who while retired before 1st September 2014 and tried to exercise the first joint option but their case was rejected by EPFO. These are the group of people who really kicked off the whole debate about eligibility of higher pension amounts. As per the para 44(iv) and 44(ix) of Supreme Court judgement, these individuals are eligible for higher pension subject to the fulfilment of certain conditions.

They can currently go to the EPFO website and opt for higher pension amount.

Eligible for higher pensionYES
(IF ALL BELOW CONDITIONS ARE FULFILLED)
Contributions under 26(6) of EPF Scheme on salary
exceeding wage ceiling of ₹5000/- or ₹6500/-
AND
Exercised Joint option under
11(3) of EPS 95 (pre-amendment)
AND
Exercise of option was declined by PF authorities.
Eligibility for Category 4
Supreme Court verdict on eligibility for Category 4
Have to pay difference of Amount (EPF vs EPS)YES
Have to pay Interest on above AmountMOST PROBABLY
Will get Higher Pension from retrospective (Arrears)YES
Will get Interest of ArrearsNOT YET KNOWN
What will happen in case of widow/child pensionNO CLARITY

[mailpoet_form id=”4″]

Category 5 – Joined before 1st September 2014 and Retired/In Service after 1st September 2014 and exercised the first Joint option but did not exercise the second Joint Option.

As per the para(iii) of Supreme Court Judgement, such employees are not eligible for higher pension since they did not exercise the second Joint Option as was noted in the amended EPFO guidelines effective 1st September 2014. They were to opt “again” for higher pension within six month period from 1st Sep 2014 and in case they did not exercise the option, their membership to opt for higher pension was deemed cancel.

Eligible for higher PensionNO
Eligibility for Category 5
Supreme Court verdict on eligibility for Category 5
EPF Scheme on eligibility for Category 5

Category 6 – Joined before 1st September 2014 and Retired/In Service after 1st September 2014 and exercised the first Joint option and also exercised the second Joint Option.

If you follow everything as per process and on time, you won’t ever face any issue. This is the category of people who always did what was right (and may be lucky as well). They are thus eligible to receive the higher pension from EPS when they retire (in case they haven’t already).

Its for this reason, the Supreme Court judgement doesn’t address this category of people.

Eligible for higher pensionYES
Eligibility for Category 6

Category 7 – Joined before 1st September 2014 and Retired/In Service after 1st September 2014 and did not exercise the first Joint option and also did not exercise the second Joint Option

This is the “blessings in disguise” group of people who got benefited from the judgement. As per the para 44(iv) of Supreme Court Judgement and subsequent circular issued by EPFO, they are eligible for Higher Pension subject to certain conditions.

Eligible for higher PensionYES (CONDITIONAL)
Contributions under 26(6) of EPF Scheme on salary
exceeding wage ceiling of ₹5000/- or ₹6500/-
YES
Did not exercised Joint option
under 11(3) of EPS 95 (pre-amendment)
YES
were members prior to 01.09.2014 and
continued to be a member on or after 01.09.2014
YES
Eligibility for Category 7
Supreme Court verdict on eligibility for Category 7
EPFO circular for eligibility of Category 7

While the EPFO circular has listed who all are eligible for the higher pension, there is no mention (yet) on how would they apply for the same. Also, there are some other questions to be answered in terms of return of excess amount, calculation of interest, payments of arrears and so on. Hope the same is clarified soon in coming days.

For Employees who have already retired:

Have to pay difference of Amount (EPF vs EPS)YES
Have to pay Interest on above AmountMOST PROBABLY
Will get Higher Pension from retrospective (Arrears)YES
Will get Interest of ArrearsNOT YET KNOWN
What will happen in case of widow/child pensionNO CLARITY
FOR RETIRED

For Employees who are currently in Service:

Have to transfer difference of Amount (EPF vs EPS)YES
Have to transfer Interest on above AmountYES
What will be the amount to be transferredNOT YET KNOWN
What will be Pension AmountUse the Formula
What will happen in case of widow/child pensionNO CLARITY
FOR IN-SERVICE

Category 8 – Retired and did not exercise any Joint option but getting Higher Pension.

Lastly, there is also a category of employees, who did not exercise any join option, but subsequent to various court judgements, they started getting the higher pension amount. EPFO has now issued a circular that such cases will be revisited and their higher pension amount may be stopped. Further details on this is also yet to come.

EPFO circular for eligibility of Category 8
  • FD Premature Withdrawal Penalty and Renewal EXCEL Calculator (2 CALCULATOR COMBO)
    Product on sale
    1,999.00
  • FD Premature Withdrawal Penalty and Renewal EXCEL Calculator for Non-Cumulative Deposits (Quarterly and Monthly Payouts)
    Product on sale
    1,499.00
  • FD Premature Withdrawal Penalty and Renewal EXCEL Calculator for Cumulative Deposits (Payout at Maturity)
    Product on sale
    1,499.00

Next Steps

Basis above, if you are eligible for Higher Pension, make sure you have checked whether or not Higher Pension Scheme is beneficial for you. Post that you need to go online on EPFO’s website and complete the EPF Joint Option Application form online.

YouTube Video

A detailed video on YouTube has also been created to explain this in Hindi.

SUMMARY

Below is the summary of all cases but in case you are eligible for the higher pension, do make sure to calculate whether it will be beneficial for you or not before opting for a higher pension amount.

After Subscribing, come back to this page and click Download to get the file.







REFERENCES

GSR 16 March 1996Reference

Old 11(3) – Reference

Change from 5000 to 6500Reference

Gazette NotificationReference

New 11(3) and 11(4)Reference

Section 26(6) of EPF ActReference

EPFO circular for cases of pension on Higher Waves who retired before 1st Sep 2014 and did not exercise any option.Reference

1 thought on “EPS 95 Higher Pension Scheme – Eligibility Criteria”

  1. Is first joint option is the option that EPFO gave 6 months time after 2014 amendment or is it the GSR 16 March 1996 ?

    Reply

Leave a comment