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Friday, March 17, 2023

Do you have to go for Increased Pension below EPS?

The Authorities (EPFO) has supplied a alternative to pick out eligible EPF/EPS subscribers to go for larger pension below EPS (Workers’ pension scheme).

An choice to earn a better pension throughout retirement.

Who would say “No” to such a suggestion?

Effectively, there isn’t any free lunch on this world. Whereas there may be an choice to earn larger pension, it comes at a value.

The query: Do you have to go for larger pension below EPS?

On this put up, let’s have a look at the next points intimately.

  1. How a lot pension do you get below EPS? When does the pension begin and the way lengthy do you get it?
  2. How do you contribute to EPF and EPS?
  3. What’s this whole difficulty about larger pension? And why does this come up?
  4. Who’s eligible?
  5. What do you get should you go for larger pension? What do you lose?
  6. In case you go for larger pension, what portion of your EPF corpus will probably be moved to EPS?
  7. What are the issues/drawbacks of EPS? These drawbacks may affect your resolution.
  8. Do you have to go for larger pension below EPS? Or must you follow the established order?

Mentioned this subject in a Twitter thread too.

How a lot pension do you get below EPS?

Month-to-month Pension = (Pensionable wage X Pensionable service)/70

Pensionable wage = Common of final 60 months of base wage (earlier it was final 12 months wage). The pensionable wage is now capped at Rs 15,000. Nevertheless, there’s a manner for previous workers (who joined workforce earlier than September 1, 2014) to get round this cover and earn pension on precise base wage. And that is the supply of all the dispute that we are going to focus on on this put up.

Pensionable service = No. of years of contribution to EPS

I’ve learn in lots of locations that the pensionable service is capped at 35 years for the aim of pension calculation. Nevertheless, I couldn’t discover the supporting clause within the EPS Act. If such a cap is certainly there, it could stream from one other algorithm/laws.

The pension begins on the age of 58. In case you exit EPS on the age of 58 and have rendered greater than 20 years of pensionable service, 2 years will probably be added to the pensionable service for calculation of pension.

You’ve an choice to start out pension early (however not earlier than the age of fifty). The pension will probably be diminished by 4% for yearly of early exit. May also defer however not past the age of 60.

Let’s perceive this with the assistance of an illustration.

Your final 60 months’ common base wage is Rs 1 lac. And also you had been contributing as per precise wage (not as per wage cap of Rs 15,000)

You’ve rendered 33 years of pensionable service. Since you might have labored for over 20 years and are exiting on the age of 58, your pensionable service will probably be 35 years.

Month-to-month pension = Rs 1 lac X 35/70 = Rs 50,000

  1. You’ll earn this pension of Rs 50,000 for all times.
  2. After you, your partner will earn 25,000 (50%) till he/she is alive.
  3. After your partner, your kids (most 2) will earn 25% pension every (Rs 12,500 every) till they flip 25.
  4. There are just a few different provisions caring for nook instances. You’ll have to verify the EPS Act to see how pension provisions will apply in such instances.

Notice: In case you had been contributing with a wage ceiling, you’re going to get pension of solely Rs 15,000 X 35/70 = Rs 7,500.

Whenever you see such a formulation for calculating pension in an outlined profit scheme, you’ll be able to sense this may be gamed. Such a formulation could have had some relevance within the years passed by however not now. Good that the Authorities has plugged the loophole, at the least for the brand new members.

By the way in which, how is the pension from EPS funded? It really works by way of your (your employer’s) contribution to EPS.

How does contribution to EPS and EPF work?

You contribute 12% of your base wage (Fundamental + DA) to EPF each month.

Your employer makes an identical contribution of 12%. Nevertheless, this 12% is invested in a distinct method.

Of this 8.33% goes in direction of EPF (Worker pension scheme). And the rest (3.67%) goes to EPF.

Nevertheless, the wage on which EPS is calculated is capped at Rs 15,000 per 30 days.

Allow us to take into account an instance. Allow us to say your base wage is Rs 50,000.

Your contribution to EPF = 12% * 50000 = Rs 6,000.

You don’t contribute to EPS.

Your employer additionally contributes Rs 6,000 to your EPS+EPF.

What’s the breakup?

Employer contribution to EPS = 8.33% X Rs 15,000 = Rs 1,250 (because the ceiling wage of Rs 15,000 will get triggered).

Employer contribution to EPF = Rs 6,000 – Rs 1,250 = Rs 4,750

The Authorities additionally contributes 1.16% of your base wage to EPS topic to a wage cap of Rs 15,000 per 30 days.

This sounds all proper. The place is the issue?

The place is the issue?

The wage ceiling has saved altering. Earlier than the modification within the EPS scheme in 2014, the ceiling was Rs 6,500.

Effectively, that’s additionally fantastic. I don’t see any drawback there.

Had the above wage ceilings concrete, all the pieces would have been fantastic.

Nevertheless, the EPS guidelines allowed workers to contribute over and above the wage ceiling cap. (Btw, the modification in EPS scheme in 2014 plugged this loophole and the workers becoming a member of the workforce after September 1, 2014 can’t contribute above the ceiling cap of Rs 15,000).

However this doesn’t forestall workers who had been member of EPS scheme earlier than September 1, 2014 (and nonetheless are OR retired after September 1, 2014) from contributing above the wage ceiling (Rs 5,000/Rs 6,500/ Rs 15,000). And earn a HIGHER PENSION.

And this has led to all of the confusion.

Notice that EPS is an outlined profit scheme (not like NPS which is an outlined contribution)

How does this result in confusion?

There are a number of pathways.

Case 1

In some instances, your employer caps contribution to EPF to wage ceiling of Rs 15,000 (wage ceiling has saved altering. It was Rs 5,000 earlier. Then to Rs 6,500 and now to Rs 15,000).

Therefore, even when your fundamental wage is Rs 50,000, you’ll contribute solely Rs 1,800 (12% of Rs 15,000). Your employer will contribute 1,250 (8.33% of Rs 15,000) to EPS. And Rs 550 to EPF.

In case you belong right here, you aren’t eligible for HIGHER PENSION. Why? As a result of you might have been contributing solely as per the wage cap.

Case 2

Your employer doesn’t cap contribution. You contribute on precise wage (and never primarily based on wage cap). Precise base wage of Rs 50,000.

Your contribution to EPF = 12% X Rs 50,000 = Rs 6,000.

Your contribution to EPS is NIL.

Employer contribution to EPS = 8.33% X 50,000 = Rs 4,165

Employer contribution to EPF = 3.67% X 50,000 = Rs 1,835

You might be eligible for larger pension.

Nevertheless, there was a technical rule right here the place the worker and employer needed to convey this resolution to EPFO inside sure timelines. Provision to Para 11(3) of the scheme earlier than modification in 2014.  I reproduce the availability beneath.

higher pension under EPS

Therefore, there have been cases the place folks had contributed extra to EPS with out explicitly stating this alternative.

Once they reached out to EPFO for larger pension, EPFO rejected their declare for larger pension (and gave pension as per the ceiling cap) since these workers didn’t specify this feature explicitly with said timelines. And refunded extra contribution within the EPS to the EPF accounts of the workers with curiosity.

Such workers challenged EPFO within the courts and received. The Supreme Courtroom discovered these timelines arbitrary and dominated in favour of such workers. Eligible for larger pension. You may examine this case about Mr. Praveen Kohli right here.

Case 3

Your employer doesn’t cap contribution. You contribute on precise wage (and never primarily based on wage cap). Precise base wage of Rs 50,000.

Your contribution to EPF = 12% X Rs 50,000 = Rs 6,000.

Your contribution to EPS is NIL.

Employer contribution to EPS = 8.33% X 15,000 = Rs 1,250 (whereas the employer doesn’t cap contribution to EPF, it caps the EPS contribution)

Employer contribution to EPF = 6,000 – Rs 1,250 = Rs 4,750

Because the EPS contribution has been made as per the wage cap of Rs 15,000, you’d get pension solely as per the wage cap. Not larger pension.

In case you belong right here, this latest EPFO round dated Feb 20, 2023 will curiosity you.


As a result of you might have an choice to refill a type and make sure that you really want a better pension now. Since there may be free lunch, EPFO will switch a portion of cash (deficit contribution to EPS together with curiosity from EPF to EPS). In your future contributions additionally, you (your employer) must contribute extra to EPS.

So, larger pension however a decrease EPF corpus. Within the latter a part of the put up, we are going to see how you can consider these decisions.

Who’s eligible for larger pension below EPS?

I reproduce an extract from EPFO round dated February 20, 2023.

higher pension under EPS

The round refers to eligibility for exercising this new choice for larger pension by filling up a type.

  1. You have to have been a member of EPS as on September 1, 2014.  Due to this fact, should you began working after September 1, 2014, you might be NOT eligible. OR should you retired earlier than September 1, 2014, you might be NOT eligible for larger pension.
  2. Your (and your employer’s) contribution to EPF (as on September 1, 2014) was on the wage that exceeded the wage ceiling cap of Rs 5,000 or Rs 6,500. Let’s say your base wage was 25,000 and also you had been contributing on the precise wage of Rs 25,000 (and never as per wage cap of Rs 15,000). You might be ELIGIBLE even when your EPS contribution was capped however your EPF contribution was on precise wage.

apply for Increased Pension below EPS?

The EPFO round lays down the tactic.

You have to make a joint software alongside along with your employer to EPF. As issues stand at this time, you have to apply earlier than March 3, 2023 (4 months from the Supreme court docket judgement).

Given the confusion surrounding this matter, I hope the deadline is prolonged.

Recommend you attain out to the accounts staff of your employer for the operational particulars.

Do you have to go for Increased pension below EPS?

In case you go for Increased pension, you’re going to get larger pension. Threat-free. Assured for all times. And that’s the largest benefit.

How excessive a pension will you get?

Effectively, that depends upon your common base wage within the ultimate 5 years of your work life (and years of pensionable service).

Now, you can’t reply this query precisely, particularly if you’re within the personal sector the place salaries can fluctuate drastically. If you’re working with a PSU and are nearer to retirement, you’ll have a firmer grip on the reply.

Nonetheless, take educated guesses. How a lot increment you might have been receiving the previous couple of years? And with these assumptions, you’ll be able to arrive on the ultimate pension quantity.

And also you examine that in opposition to the options? Don’t you?

Firstly, the upper pension comes at a value. Your EPF corpus will go down as a good portion of your EPF corpus will probably be shifted to EPS scheme. Your future contribution to EPF will even fall since you’ll now contribute extra to EPF.

After retirement, you’d get this corpus and you may make investments this cash in financial institution fastened deposits, Authorities Bonds, SCSS, PMVVY and even annuity plans to generate common retirement revenue.

So, you have to see, how a lot EPF corpus are you foregoing? And the way straightforward or tough it’s so that you can generate an identical stage of revenue utilizing this corpus? If you are able to do that simply, then preserve the established order. In case you can not (the speed of return will probably be fairly excessive), then go for a better pension.

In case you go for Increased pension, what portion of EPF will probably be shifted to EPS?

Within the aforementioned EPFO round dated Feb 20, 2023, EPFO has talked about, “The tactic of deposit and that of computation of pension will observe by way of subsequent round”.

Deposit means deposit from EPF to EPS. To be sincere, it’s unfair to count on workers to select till EPF comes out with these calculations. Keep in mind, the Supreme court docket handed its judgement on November 3, 2022, and gave 4 months (till March 3, 2023) to members (workers) to make their alternative. And EPFO says on Feb 20, 2023, that they’ll difficulty a subsequent round for calculations.

Let’s do some crude calculations and see how a lot will probably be moved out of your EPS corpus.

Let’s say you began working within the yr 2001.

Your base wage in the beginning was Rs 20,000 and grew at 5% each year. I’ve assumed that EPF returned 8.5% p.a. all through the tenure.

The wage cap was Rs 6,500 till September 2014 and Rs 15,000 thereafter.

Whilst you had been contributing to EPF on precise wage, the contribution to EPS was solely as per cap.

Within the first yr, Base wage =20,000

Worker EPF contribution = 20,000 * 12% = Rs 2,400

Employer EPS contribution = 8.33% * 6,500 = Rs 542 (if this had been on precise wage, employer would have invested Rs 1,667)

Employer EPF contribution = Rs 2,400 – Rs 542 = Rs 1,858 (if EPS contribution had been on precise wage, this may have been Rs 2,400 – Rs 1,667 = Rs 733

The deficit contribution to EPS = Rs 1,667 – Rs 542 = Rs 1,125

Now, this deficit contribution to EPS (that went to EPF) must be shifted again to the EPS scheme. And the curiosity on this deficit contribution too. And this have to be performed to your total previous service.       

How a lot will this quantity be?

It will depend upon the trajectory of your wage progress. The upper your wage, the upper the deficit contribution. And the extra (in share phrases) you’ll have to switch from EPF to EPS.

Proportion of switch= Complete deficit contribution to EPS/Complete Contribution to EPF

On this instance, complete contribution to EPF (consists of each employer and worker) = Rs 21.63 lacs

Complete deficit contribution to EPS = Rs 6.06 lacs

Proportion of EPF to be transferred to EPS = Rs 6.06/21.63 lacs = 28%

You can even examine the EPF corpus. Present vs the EPF corpus you’d have with out EPS contribution being capped. You’ll get the identical reply.

I did very crude EPF calculations (not precise). Present corpus = ~51.66 lacs

EPF corpus after eradicating EPS cap = Rs 37.14 lacs. A distinction of 28%.

Notice this distinction could be larger for a better base wage.

On this instance, if we alter the beginning base wage from Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000, the switch share rises to 32%.

If beginning base wage drops to Rs 10,000, the switch share falls to 19.8%.

And that’s not it

In case you go for larger pension, your employer’s future contribution to EPS will rise and to EPF will fall. That will even decelerate the expansion of EPF corpus.

Extending the instance to pending 10 years of service, should you go for larger pension, you’d finish with Rs 1.04 crores of EPF corpus after 10 years.

Had you caught with decrease pension, you’d have Rs 1.46 crores.

What would be the pension?

Common base wage within the final 5 years = Rs 86,645

Month-to-month pension = 86,645 X 35/70 = Rs 45,798

Even should you caught with decrease pension choice (establishment), you’d get pension of Rs 7,500 (Rs 15,000 X 35/70).

Distinction of Rs 41.68 lacs in EPF corpus.

Distinction in EPS pension = Rs 45,798 – Rs 7,500 = Rs 38,298

Now, for this Rs 41.68 lacs to generate revenue of Rs 38,298 per 30 days, it must generate a return of 11% p.a. That’s not straightforward.

Taking a look at such an evaluation, choosing larger pension seems like a better option.

However EPS has its personal set of issues.

What are the issues with pension below EPS?

Firstly, you get the complete pension till you might be alive. After you (the first pensioner passes away) your partner will get the pension however solely 50% of the unique quantity. And after the partner passes away, a most of two children will get 25% every till they’re 25.

I’m imagining a morbid state of affairs, however the household doesn’t get as a lot should you (the first pensioner) move away too quickly after retirement.

Had you caught with a decrease pension, you’d have gotten a a lot greater EPF corpus at retirement. Now, this EPF corpus belongs to you. And after you, it belongs to your loved ones. So, this extra EPF corpus could not be capable of generate as excessive revenue as EPS however this EPF corpus belongs to you and your loved ones.

Secondly, the pension depends upon the final 5 years (60 months) of base wage. So, should you determine to take a step off the accelerator when you cross 50 and choose up a job that pays much less, your common revenue in the course of the ultimate 5 years of your working life could fall. And therefore the pension will probably be decrease.

As an example, allow us to assume your common base wage between the age of 48 and 53 was Rs 2 lacs. And the typical base wage between 53 and 58 years was 1 lac. The pension could be calculated  for the typical wage within the final 5 years i.e. Rs 1 lac. That you’re incomes extra earlier than that doesn’t matter.

Thirdly, if you wish to retire early, then your pensionable years of service will probably be much less, and the pension will accordingly be decrease. Plus, the pension quantity doesn’t begin earlier than the age of fifty. Allow us to take into account an instance. You began working on the age of 25 and labored till the age of 45. 20 years of service. Let’s additional assume that your common wage within the final 5 years was Rs 1 lac. Therefore, your month-to-month pension could be Rs 1 lac X 20/ 35 = Rs 57,142.

Nevertheless, in order for you this full pension, you’ll have to wait till the age of 58. However you retired on the age of 45. There may be an choice to start out drawing earlier however not earlier than you flip 50. The early withdrawal comes at a value. You get 4% much less for annually of early withdrawal. So, should you begin at 50, you’re going to get 8 X 4% = 32% much less. Rs 38,857 as a substitute of Rs 57,142.

Lastly (and I’m not certain about this), the choice for a better pension is a joint choice exercised by you and your employer. You might be in a non-public job and have opted for a better pension (and your current employer is pleased with this). You turn your job after just a few years and the brand new employer has a distinct coverage about contributions. Caps the contribution as per wage ceiling. You may ask them to make an exception for you, however it is a headache. This risk would make me extraordinarily uncomfortable.

Notice: The newest EPS guidelines additionally present for workers to contribute 1.16% of Fundamental wage (for the portion exceeding Rs 15,000) to EPF in the event that they wish to obtain a better pension.

opt for higher pension under EPS

In the meanwhile, the Supreme Courtroom has put this on maintain. For extra on this, discuss with web page 7 of this doc. Since this pertains to funding of EPS pool, you’ll be able to count on this to return to you in some type or the opposite later.

What’s the ultimate verdict?

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all resolution.

Going by numbers (and as we have now seen above), choosing the upper pension will certainly provide you with a really excessive pension. It could be tough to duplicate the identical stage of risk-free revenue out of your EPF corpus.

Nevertheless, the upper pension comes with many ifs and buts. Many caveats. You lose flexibility.

You have to weigh the upper pension in opposition to these issues in EPS.

I get extraordinarily uncomfortable should you take away flexibility from my investments. Therefore, please respect my biases in my ultimate feedback.

If you’re nearer to retirement and are pleased with all of the caveats (as talked about within the earlier part), you’ll doubtless be higher off by signing up for Increased pension. However verify the calculations earlier than taking a ultimate name.

If you’re youthful (35-40), connect higher weight to issues/caveats/lack of flexibility in EPS.

Disclaimer: Whereas I’ve tried my greatest to know and clarify the subject intimately, there could also be shortcomings in my evaluation or my understanding of the EPS scheme and the EPFO round.

Supply/Extra Hyperlinks

Newest Workers’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995

EPFO round dated February 20, 2023

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