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How to Resolve a Stuck Higher EPS Pension Application?

The Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has made it easier for people who want a better pension through the Employees' Pension Scheme (EPS). You can now check the status of your application on the EPFO's Member Sewa portal. This is a helpful way to see how your application is progressing.

EPS Pension Application

Is every employer required to approve application for higher EPS?

Now, if you've worked for different employers in the past, you might be wondering if each of them needs to agree to your pension upgrade. Radhika Viswanathan, a Partner at Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, explains that your application for a better pension is sent to all your employers, both current and previous ones. They need to give their approval before the EPFO can start working on your request.

In simple terms, if you're trying to get a higher pension, all your employers need to say it's okay before the EPFO can help you. You can check how this process is going on the EPFO's website.

According to Vaibhav Bhardwaj, a Partner at the law firm INDUSLAW, it's essential for both your current and past employers to approve your application if you want a higher pension through the EPS. Here's how it works: When you submit an application for a better pension, it shows up in your employer's account on the EPFO website. Your employer then has to check all the information you provided. Based on that, they can decide whether to say yes or no to your request. The EPFO has made it clear that your employer's digital signature or e-signature is crucial for the application to move forward.

EPS Pension Application

EPFO mandated timeline to approve higher EPS pension applications

As for the timing of all this, Radhika Viswanathan shares that in a press release dated June 26, 2023, the EPFO stated that employers have until September 30 to finish this process. This date seems to be a set deadline for employers to review and approve these applications, according to her. However, Vaibhav Bhardwaj thinks differently. He believes that while the EPFO has tried to speed up the application process on its end, the circulars issued by the EPFO don't specify how quickly employers must review and approve applications.

What an employee can do?

When you're trying to get a higher pension through the EPS, there are a couple of things that might happen. First, a previous employer might say no to your request even if all your papers are perfect. Second, a past employer might not have looked at your request yet. Both of these situations can slow down the process or even lead to your request being turned down. So, what can you do if you're in this situation?

Vaibhav Bhardwaj has some insights. He says the EPFO (that's the organization in charge) has some rules to protect you. If an employer says no to your higher pension request, they have to explain why. You'll get a message telling you about the rejection.

Now, if your pension request gets turned down, don't worry too much. You'll have a chance to fix things. Depending on why they said no, you can either make changes to your request or add more documents. You can find out what to do by checking the EPFO's Member Sewa portal. This is where they keep you updated on how your request is going.

Radhika Viswanathan explains that according to an EPFO circular dated April 23, 2023, if your employer hasn't given the thumbs up to your pension request, the EPFO has your back. They'll give you a chance to show more proof or fix any mistakes – whether they were made by you or even your employer. You'll have about a month from the time they tell you it's a "no" to make these changes. But if your employer got it wrong and rejected your request by mistake, you might need to talk to the right office to sort it out.

In addition to that, if you're an employee or pensioner and you're dealing with issues related to a higher pension, Vaibhav Bhardwaj mentions a handy portal called EPFiGMS. Here, you can bring up any problems you have. This portal is all about helping you with concerns regarding higher pension from EPS and your EPF account.

According to an EPFO press release from June 26, 2023, it says that if you're having trouble because of issues with your KYC (that's short for "Know Your Customer") information and you can't submit your request online for an updated option or joint option, you can report the issue on EPFiGMS for help. Just make sure you choose "Higher Pensionary benefits on higher wages" as the type of issue you're facing, so they can keep track of it and work on a solution.


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