Kerala High Court issues notice to Centre, PF Commissioner on plea against proof for higher contribution :

Kerala High Court issues notice to Centre, PF Commissioner on plea against proof for higher contribution :

The Kerala High Court has issued a notice to the Union government and the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner (Pension) on a writ petition challenging the requirement to furnish proof of having paid higher provident fund contribution under para 26 (6) of the Employees Provident Fund Scheme by the employees for getting higher pension.

In a writ petition, Sh Saheer S and other 19 employees of the BSNL in Kerala contended that the High Court had held in the Sasikumar case that employees were entitled to exercise option stipulated by para 26 (6) of the EPF Scheme without being restricted by a date.

The EPFO could not exceed what has been directed by the Supreme Court and therefore the link released with regard to the option under para 26 (6) should be disabled or corrected as otherwise none of the employees/employers would be able to exercise the option under para 11 (4) of the pension scheme.

AIGETOA Online & Live Interactive Session on EPF Higher Pension on 03.02.2023 at 7.00pm

AIGETOA CTD is going to arrange an online and live interactive session on EPF Higher Pension on 03.02.2023 at 7.00 pm onwards through its YouTube channel.

The event will be conducted by Shri Manish Sood, SDE/EB CTD and Shri Saikat Das, AGM/Legal CTD.

Viewers can place their queries by putting comments in the comment box, and the same will be addressed in that session.

You are earnestly requested to inform all the BSNL employees who are EPF subscribers, irrespective of association/union affiliation.

The link in this regard is as follows,

Please SUBSCRIBE THE CHANNEL for smooth functioning. The live streaming link will be shared tomorrow in due course of time.

Instructions & Guidelines for exercising the EPF Higher Pension option

BSNL CO issued the instructions & guidelines for exercising the EPF higher pension option. As the Hon’ble Supreme Court has given timeline of 4 months for submitting the option form and in anticipation of further affirmative guidelines from EPFO, the following instructions are hereby issued :

A] For employees who have retired before 01.09.2014

1] An indicative list of BSNL recruited employees(from SAP/ERP) who have retired before 01.09.2014 is attached. The eligible employees have to visit the EPFO portal for necessary validation https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.govin/memberinterface/.

2] The eligible employees have to give explicit consent in the application form for adjustment from Provident Fund to Pension Fund and if any, to re deposit the amount to the pension fund.

3] The following documents are to be provided for processing of the case:

(a) Proof of Joint option under Para 26(6) of the EPF scheme duly verified by the employer; and

(b) Proof of Joint Option under the proviso to erstwhile Para 11(3) duly verified by the employer; and

(c) Proof of remittance in Provident Fund on higher wages exceeding the prevalent wage ceiling of Rs. 5000/Rs.6500; and

(d) Proof of remittance in Pension Fund on higher wages exceeding the prevalent wage ceiling of Rs. 5000/Rs.. 6500, if any; and

(e) Written refusal of APFC or any other higher authority of EPFO to such requests/remittance.

B] As regards employees who have retired after 01.09.2014 or are still working

1] In anticipation of affirmative guidelines in a manner similar to the employees retired before 01.09.2014 and in keeping with Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgment in CA nos. 8658-8659, all eligible serving employees/Retired employees are requested to submit the option for higher pension scheme in the form annexed to this letter.

2] The following points are to be noted by the employees :

(a) The option form in triplicate duly signed in original (hard copies) shall be submitted to the Payroll DDOs of the Concerned BAs.

(b) The joint option form shall be subject to acceptance by EPFO, as per rules.

(c) Every employee/ex-employee who had joined BSNL from any other organization in which he/she was member of EPS’ 1995 should provide complete details for each previous organization. These employees who had joined BSNL from any other organization in which he/she was member of EPS’ 1995 should add their service, in previous organization in current EPS number by filling Form 13.

(d) The option once accepted by EPFO is irrevocable at later date and no change of option will be entertained under any circumstances.

(e) The joint option form duly filled in every manner should be submitted by concerned employee/ex-employees latest by 10th February, 2023.

(f) These instructions are subject to directions/instructions of EPFO and/or decision of any court of law issued from time to time in this regard.

(g) The necessary Employer Declaration will follow.

(h) The Employees shall submit the joint option forms at the earliest without waiting for its availability in ESS. The same will be notified.

Click here for Joint Option Form along with the instructions/guidelines

BSNL CO issues instructions for collection of Higher Pension Options for eligible EPF account holders

As per discussions of AIGETOA Team and BSNL representative with Central PF authorities and thereafter subsequent discussions with PGM (CA) BSNL CO with AIGETOA Team, the letter for collection of Options for Higher Pension EPF options has been issued today. The CHQ Team of AIGETOA as per the decision taken in the meeting, collected all the data of other PSUs and submitted those to the CAA section based on which the letter has been issued.

Issuance of directions to the circles with regard to collection of Joint Option Forms was most crucial keeping in view the limited window extended by Honble Supreme Court.

It will be worth to mention that Kerala AIGETOA Team was a party in the Court case at Hon’ble Supreme Court after winning the case at Hon’ble Highcourt Ernakulam. The AIGETOA CHQ team has been consistently following up the matter with EPFO, arranged a tri party meeting with BSNL, EPFO and AIGETOA, did an interactive session on the matter for the knowledge of all the EPF Account holders so that they can take an informed decision.

Team AIGETOA is consistently monitoring the progress to ensure that all the willing persons submit their options well in time and the joint options gets processed at BSNL and submitted to EPFO well within the limited time window.

Click here for the letter

Team AIGETOA meets authorities at EPFO New Delhi for update on higher pension option:

Today Team AIGETOA consisting of AIC shri Ravi Shil Verma, FS Shri Badri Kumar Mehta and AGS Shri Vivek Kumar Singh went to meet EPF authorities at the EPFO office. BSNL representative was also present along with us. Team had an elaborate discussion with the EPFO officers including the head of the pension department. It is understood that EPFO is shortly going to issue instructions with regard to the higher pension options calling from all those EPF subscribers who have been appointed before 2014 and whose EPF subscription has been deducted on Full Basic and DA. The process is likely to be captured through UAN portal.

However since the option window will be a smaller one, BSNL needs to remain in a state of preparedness to process the options in shortest possible time. Accordingly the Team AIGETOA consisting of AIC, FS, CS Delhi and CS Haryana met Sr GM (CA), BSNL CO and informed about the discussions with EPF authorities. Sr GM (CA) appreciated our concern and told that since clarity is now that EPFO are issuing the orders, all efforts shall be taken to ensure that there is no delay on the part of BSNL in processing all such option cases. He told that he will direct his team to discuss with AIGETOA team and finalize the plan of action in line with what other CPSUs have done. He told us to share the inputs with regard to action taken by other CPSUs. He assured us that the necessary instructions shall be issued without any delay and told is to work in close coordination with his team and finalize the action program. Our team shall be sitting with CA team next week to finalize the action plan in this regard and all the associated FAQs