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Pension on Higher wages – Joint Option form approval by the employer

Further to our alert shared on 3rd March, 2023, with respect to the draft employee communication on pension on higher wages which also included the below:

  1. Navigation document to apply for joint option on the EPFO portal
  2. Illustration
  3. Undertaking form in case the employee has insufficient fund for transfer of balances from employer contribution to employee pension fund account
  4. FAQs

Now, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization has issued a web circular dated, 23rd April 2023, which provides guidelines to employer for validation of joint options applied by the members. This has to be read along with the process and documents available in the employer login for approving / rejecting on the PF portal. Copy of the web circulation is attached for your reference. Please refer Annexure A

Process steps to be followed by the employer:

  1. The provision for employers to approve is till 3rd May 2023
  2. There is an higher wage help file provided by the department which details:
  1. Steps for employer action, refer Annexure B. Also, refer Annexure C, navigation document for employer on the portal.
  1. Employer can approve or reject joint option form using DSC / E-sign
  2. For approval, the employer will have to upload month-wise wage details in the prescribed format for the employment period in your organization basis the service details entered by the member in the joint option form. For the format, refer Annexure D. Also, refer Annexure E for higher wage file structure 
  • The text file contains the below data with the mentioned length of field:
  • PF number  – 22
  • Wage month – 7
  • PF wage – 8,2
  • EPS on actual PF wage – 8,2
  • Additional pension contribution at 1.16% – 8,2
  • Pension contribution actually paid – 8,2
  • Pension contribution to be paid with interest – 8,2
  • Yearly PF interest rate – 1,2

The above file has to be filled, member-wise, month-wise for the tenure of employment in your establishment. The member can be an existing member of your establishment or an exited member. The pension contribution to be paid along with interest would involve:

  • Recasting of company contribution and interest on month-on-month basis for the tenure of employment
  • Interest for a respective year would be added  to the principal closing balance of the respective year to arrive at the next year opening balance
  • Interest to be applied would be the Government prescribed rate for the respective years

If the text file does not meet the required format, then an error message can be seen on the screen, this would help to rectify the file for re-uploading.

If the file is in valid format, then the employer can approve using DSC / E-sign post which PDF will be generated as a proof.

In case of rejection, employer will have to choose the reason for rejection. In such scenario wage file is not required to be uploaded. 

If the joint option form is rejected by the employer, there would be a month’s period for rectification and re-producing the document by the employee.

Post the employer approval, the field officer at the department would verify the details. If found correct, the same would be passed on to the APFC/ RC II/ RC I for further approval. While verification from the field office, if there is any discrepancy, such missing information would be sent to the employer under intimation to the member to produce the data within a month’s time, failing which such claims would be considered on merit basis.

Please find Annexures below:

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