Gratuity Limit Increased by 25% to Rs 25 Lakh

Gratuity Limit Increased by 25% to Rs 25 Lakh

The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has announced an increase in the maximum limit for retirement and death gratuity for Central Government employees. As per the latest circular issued by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the maximum gratuity amount has been raised to Rs. 25 lakh, effective January 1, 2024.

Click here for the letter

This revision comes in line with the increase in Dearness Allowance (DA) payable to Central Government employees to 50% of the basic pay. The previous maximum gratuity limit was Rs. 20 lakh.

The circular, issued by the Additional Central PF Commissioner (HR), states that this enhancement is subject to other conditions mentioned in the Department of Pension and Pensioners’ Welfare (DoP&PW) Office Memorandum dated August 4, 2016.

The increase in the gratuity limit will provide additional financial security to Central Government employees upon retirement or in the event of their demise. Gratuity is a lump-sum payment made to employees as a benefit for their service, and it forms an important component of retirement planning.

GS AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL and Hon’ble Labour Minister seeking their urgent intervention in settling the EPFO Intimations Causing Confusion for those executives who opted pension for higher wages and EPF authorized signatories of BSNL :

GS AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL and Hon’ble Labour Minister seeking their urgent intervention in settling the EPFO Intimations Causing Confusion for those executives who opted pension for higher wages and EPF authorized signatories of BSNL.

AIGETOA highlights the important issue that has arisen after the approval of the Joint Option for pension on higher wages by the employer (authorized signatories of BSNL). It has come to our attention that EPFO Regional Offices are sending error intimations to numerous members who opted pension for higher wages, requesting clarification, error correction, and the submission of accurate and complete information along with additional proof or evidence within a one-month period. In the letter sent by the EPFO, identical reasons are provided without specifying the exact mistakes or errors in question.

Without clear indication of the errors, members and authorized signatories are left unable to accurately correct the issues or provide the necessary documents. This approach by EPFO has led to significant confusion among BSNL employees and EPF authorized signatories of BSNL. Accordingly, GS AIGETOA urges the intervention of Hon’ble CMD BSNL and Hon’ble Labour Minister in this matter to engage with EPFO HQ to issue unequivocal guidelines that can clarify the course of action required in these situations.

Click here for the letter

EPF HIGHER PENSION – AIGETOA Achieves it for all including other PSUs :

AIGETOA fought hard and won the EPF Higher Pension Scheme case for BSNL Executives as direct applicants and then ensured that the same is implemented without any hitch in BSNL. The requirement of furnishing proof for joint undertaking was a big show stopper which was resolved by AIGETOA and it’s team by getting directions from Hon’ble High Court. The efforts of AIGETOA was appreciated not only within BSNL but also by other PSUs, Mr Kohli (The crusader for higher pension option) and various Electronic and Print Media.

AIGETOA – Championing the cause of social security for all the BSNL Recruits. Only associations fighting for pensionary benefits to BSNL Recruits.

Only alternative to AIGETOA is an even more strong AIGETOA.

EPFO extends date for filing applications regarding pension on Higher Wages to 26th June 2023 :

In order to enable all eligible persons to file their applications, EPFO on Tuesday extended the date for filing applications to opt for a higher pension till June 26, 2023. Members of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) can apply jointly with their employers till the extended deadline, by choosing the option of higher pension (EPFO Higher Pension) on the Unified Members’ portal of the EPFO site.

Click here for News

Update on EPF meeting held held with PGM (Corporate Account) :

We the CHQ team of AIGETOA has met with PGM (CA) and discussed the problems facing by the executives of BSNL while filing the wage data by the authorised signatories under EPFO and also submitted the AIGETOA representation in this regard.

We also requested him to write a letter to EPFO for the extension of the date of filing of the higher pension option on the EPFO portal so that all interested employees can opt in website.

PGM CA assured us that we will take up the issues as discussed and try to resolve the issues in timebound manner.

AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL for intervention & interaction with respective EPFOs regarding Certification of Past data by various DDOs and final submission :

AIGETOA writes to CMD BSNL for intervention & interaction with respective EPFOs regarding Certification of Past data by various DDOs and final submission.

Click here for letter

The approval / certification process from employer side is being routed to the respective establishment code login which were being used at the time of contribution. In this regard, we have highlighted the following:

  • BSNL payroll system was not a centralised package before ERP and HRMS. Different packages were used in various circles for Pay roll.
  • Thousands of employees were transferred across BAs/Circles and worked in various sections which are presently non-existent. Like Merged BAs/ QA, T&D, inspection, Civil, electrical, centralised mobile sections, etc.
  • Even the EPFO also was not maintaining centralised EPF accounts before the introduction of UAN. Thus, thousands of BSNL employee’s data approval with the employer got struck despite submission of the online options by the employees on EPF portal.
  • As per ground reports, negligible Application have been approved owing to the non-availability of data and confusion over the responsibility of DDOs in the absence of service books at the officers where the verification of the past accounts have been routed. Many applications have been rejected from the login itself.
  • Wage data is being asked from the employees and the staff working in field have little or no knowledge of the process and neither they are getting any support on this process.
  • The internal directions and circular issued by EPFO are making confusion among the concerned accounts wing team too. When the service Book of each employee are with the latest establishment code in BSNL (respective Circles) where the employees is presently posted. The certification for each employee is also being done by the present Circle level DDO. EPFO needs to be informed about this as previous accounts are being sent to the earlier DDOs.
  • An Employee cannot be held responsible for non-keeping of centralised payroll by Employer and Centralised PF account system by EPFO in the past. Neither did the employee has been informed about the EPF contributions in the past which was a mandatory exercise by employer.
  • A major issue at Employer part (in the login of AO-Cash) is validation of data while uploading Wage data of employee in TXT file. Several checks are being done at this level, which are not disclosed to employer resulting error(s) in uploading the file.
  • The requirement of applying exclusively online, is discriminatory and prevents large sections of employees who are not familiar with the procedures from exercising their option. This was pointed out by CBT Members several times. Besides, the online system of the EPFO suffers from major connectivity, issues and the sites are not responsive maximum of the times.

Urgent & Kind attention to All employees who desires to give EPF Higher Pension Option :

All employees who desires to give EPF higher Pension Option are requested to submit the 26(6) option form filled up with Name, UAN, Date of joining and duly signed immediately to BA HQ so as to reach the same to Circle Office DDO within Two days . The filled up forms will have to taken to Circle office by person by hand/ early courier and the same after signing by Employer (Circle DDO) need to be submitted to EPF Office and One copy back to employee to submit it in the online link.

Click here for the Joint Declaration under para 26(6)

Employees are also requested to write their mobile number and email id at the back side of each form so that the signed and scanned copy by the employer can be sent to each employee which will help to minimise the delay.

Being the recognized association Team AIGETOA is doing the Co-ordination work. For any clarification please contact concerned District/ Circle team.

Advisory details for filling up the online link of higher pension – Kind Attention :

Kind Attention/advisory details for filling up the online link of Higher Pension,

Documents required / To be made ready for EPF Higher Pension Option

  • EPF Passbook PDF copy <250 kb (atleast first and last page) showing Name, UAN, EPF Account and PF Account Balance. The balance shown at Employee EPF and Employer EPF ( without present EPS portion) need to be summed up for total PF Balance.

If any one have more than One EPF account linked with UAN and where the balance is not transferred, both the EPF balance can be summed and can be entered by alongwith merged passbook pages.

  • Download the 26(6) compliance certificate from ESS portal and merge it with the scanned copy of 26(6) request signed by employee and employer.
  • Scanned PDF copy of signed undertaking by employee for accepting differential contribution.

Alongwith, the following information may be made ready while going to fill up the online link.

  • UAN
  • Aadhar Number
  • Aadhar linked mobile number
  • EPF linked bank A/c Number
  • IFSC code of bank
  • Service history details

Kindly note down the acknowledgement number after successful submission.

EPF Undertaking to deposit the contribution along with the Interest due till the last day of payment through last employer (when PF Account has no/insufficient balance) :

AIGETOA Team has prepared a performa to be submitted by all willing to opt for pension option on full wages for those having insufficient balance in their EPF account. All are requested to go through and prepare the same on similar lines.

Click here for the Performa

Further instructions with regard to the Joint undertaking performa for 26(6) by employee and employer is also under process and instructions in this regard shall be issued by BSNL CO for urgent action by all the circles.

Copy of this joint declaration along with the declaration by BSNL available at ESS portal shall be submitted by employee at EPF Portal.

Further there is a confusion with regard to submission of formalities by employer side like uploading the month wise details on the portal from employee. BSNL CO is deliberating on the methodology to be adopted which shall be circulated to field units once finalised.

AIGETOA Team is also preparing a step by step procedure and the same shall be circulated once BSNL CO issues instructions with regard to the Joint undertaking 26(6). We request all to wait till tomorrow for uploading their options on the portal.

Updates on EPF Higher Pension Option:

Shri Veerabhadra Rao AIP AIGETOA, Shri Ravi Shil Verma AIC AIGETOA met PGM (CA), BSNL CO in the morning hour itself and apprised him about the latest developments on the EPF Higher pension issue. We apprised him about the latest circular of EPFO which mandates receipt of joint undertaking Form 26(6) from employee and employer. We requested him to issue the directions to circle in this regard and also instruct them to furnish a copy to the employee who can further submit the same at EPFO Portal. PGM CA appreciated the concern and immediately directed his team to issue the instructions by today itself.