If you are an employee working before 2014 and not aware if you are eligible to opt for a higher pension from the Employees’ Pension Scheme (EPS), then you can check the status on the EPFO website. A Supreme Court order clarified that if an individual was a member of the EPS on September 1, 2014, then he/she can opt for a higher pension under the EPS.
However, there may be many individuals who are not sure about EPS membership on September 1, 2014. In order to know the status, individuals can check their service history on the EPFO’s Member e-Sewa portal. But make sure that the details on the EPFO portal are correct and updated. It is because a Universal Account Number (UAN) was introduced in 2014.
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The 12-digit UAN continues to remain the same even if employees have moved jobs, unlike the provident fund account numbers that are allotted to individuals every time they join an organisation. There are chances that an individual might have left an organisation before the UAN was introduced; in which case the EPFO records would not be updated with the years of service and the UAN.
Know how to check the service history and date of joining (DOJ) on the EPFO portal
Step 1: First, visit the member e-Sewa portal https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/
Step 2: Then you need to log in by entering the Universal Account Number (UAN), password, and captcha.
Step 3: Then click on the “View” option and select the “Service history” option. The ‘Service history’ option will show a list of the organisations where the individual has worked. Check the DOJ or date of joining an organisation.
If the portal displays the DOJ as before September 1, 2014, then the individual is eligible to apply for the higher pension.
Also, in case you have moved to another organisation after this date, then also you will be eligible to opt for the higher pension till pension account was maintained with the EPFO.
However, if the date of joining is on or after September 1, 2014, you will not be eligible to apply for the higher pension under EPS except in the case of a prior service history not being updated on the portal. You may have to obtain the proof of your prior service history and contribution from employer and submit it to EPFO to update your service history.
The other necessary condition for eligibility for higher pension is that member and employer should have contributed a higher EPF amount on wages above the prevailing wage ceiling of Rs 5000 prior to May 31, 2001 or 6500 prior to September 1 2014.
Also note that as long as the individual had an unsettled EPS account (with some balance) on September 1, 2014, and proof of prior higher contribution towards EPF than the prevailing wage ceiling he/she is eligible to opt for the higher pension under EPS.
The EPFO issued circulars giving instructions on how eligible employees and pensioners can submit their applications for the higher pension.
The EPFO has already provided an online facility for eligible pensioners to submit their documents and submit applications. For other eligible employees who were members of the EPS on September 1, 2014, the EPFO issued the guidelines on February 20, 2023. The last date to submit the application for the higher pension under the EPS is March 3, 2023.