Friday, June 14, 2024

Do you have to go for Greater Pension underneath EPS?

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

An choice to earn the next pension throughout retirement.

Who would say “No” to such a proposal?

Nicely, there isn’t a free lunch on this world. Whereas there’s an choice to earn larger pension, it comes at a value.

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

On this submit, let’s take a look at the next features intimately.

  1. How a lot pension do you get underneath 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 complete challenge about larger pension? And why does this come up?
  4. Who’s eligible?
  5. What do you get in case you go for larger pension? What do you lose?
  6. When you go for larger pension, what portion of your EPF corpus might be moved to EPS?
  7. What are the issues/drawbacks of EPS? These drawbacks would possibly impression your choice.
  8. Do you have to go for larger pension underneath EPS? Or must you keep on with the established order?

Mentioned this matter in a Twitter thread too.

How a lot pension do you get underneath EPS?

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

Pensionable wage = Common of final 60 months of base wage (earlier it was once final 12 months wage). The pensionable wage is now capped at Rs 15,000. Nevertheless, there’s a approach for outdated staff (who joined workforce earlier than September 1, 2014) to get round this cover and earn pension on precise base wage.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’ll talk about on this submit.

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 circulation from one other algorithm/laws.

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

You could have an choice to start out pension early (however not earlier than the age of fifty). The pension might be lowered by 4% for yearly of early exit. Also can 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 have been contributing as per precise wage (not as per wage cap of Rs 15,000)

You could have rendered 33 years of pensionable service. Since you’ve got labored for over 20 years and are exiting on the age of 58, your pensionable service might 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 per 30 days for all times.
  2. Demise of pensioner with Surviving partner: After you, your partner will earn 25,000 (50%) till he/she is alive (or will get remarried). As well as, your youngsters will get 6,250 (12.5%) per 30 days till they flip 25. Max 2 youngsters. That makes it a most of 75% (50% to partner+ 12.5% every to 2 children) pension to the household.
  3. Subsequent demise of partner (pensioner had handed away earlier): If the partner passes away subsequently, the pension to the kids (most 2) will improve to 37.5% every. Till the age of 25. That’s once more a most of 75%.
  4. Demise of pensioner with out surviving partner: If there isn’t a surviving partner, the kids (most 2) get orphan pension (37.5% every) till the age of 25. Most of 75% of member’s pension to the household.
  5. There are just a few different provisions taking good care of nook circumstances. You’ll have to verify the EPS Act to see how pension provisions will apply in such circumstances.

Observe: When you have been contributing with a wage ceiling, you’ll get pension of solely Rs 15,000 X 35/70 = Rs 7,500.

Whenever you see such a components for calculating pension in an outlined profit scheme, you may sense this may be gamed. Such a components might have had some relevance within the years passed by however not now. Good that the Authorities has plugged the loophole, a minimum of for the brand new members.

By the way in which, how is the pension from EPS funded? It really works via 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 special method.

Of this 8.33% goes in direction of EPS (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 think about 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 stored altering. Earlier than the modification within the EPS scheme in 2014, the ceiling was Rs 6,500.

Nicely, that’s additionally fantastic. I don’t see any downside there.

Had the above wage ceilings concrete, the whole lot would have been fantastic.

Nevertheless, the EPS guidelines allowed staff to contribute over and above the wage ceiling cap. (Btw, the modification in EPS scheme in 2014 plugged this loophole and the staff 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 staff who have 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.

Observe that EPS is an outlined profit scheme (in contrast to NPS which is an outlined contribution)

How does this result in confusion?

There are a number of pathways.

Case 1

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

Therefore, even when your primary 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.

When you belong right here, you aren’t eligible for HIGHER PENSION. Why? As a result of you’ve got been contributing solely as per the wage cap.

Case 2

Your employer doesn’t cap contribution. You contribute on precise wage (and never based mostly 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’re eligible for larger pension.

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

higher pension under EPS

Therefore, there have been situations 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 staff didn’t specify this selection explicitly with said timelines. And refunded extra contribution within the EPS to the EPF accounts of the staff with curiosity.

Such staff challenged EPFO within the courts and gained. The Supreme Court docket discovered these timelines arbitrary and dominated in favour of such staff. Eligible for larger pension. You possibly can examine this case about Mr. Praveen Kohli right here.

Case 3

Your employer doesn’t cap contribution. You contribute on precise wage (and never based mostly 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’ll get pension solely as per the wage cap. Not larger pension.

When you belong right here, this current EPFO round dated Feb 20, 2023 will curiosity you.


As a result of you’ve got an choice to replenish a kind and ensure that you really want the next pension now. Since there’s 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) should contribute extra to EPS.

So, larger pension however a decrease EPF corpus. Within the latter a part of the submit, we are going to see the way to consider these decisions.

Who’s eligible for larger pension underneath 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 kind.

  1. You could have been a member of EPS as on September 1, 2014.  Subsequently, in case you began working after September 1, 2014, you might be NOT eligible. OR in case 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 have been contributing on the precise wage of Rs 25,000 (and never as per wage cap of Rs 15,000). You’re ELIGIBLE even when your EPS contribution was capped however your EPF contribution was on precise wage.

How one can apply for Greater Pension underneath EPS?

The EPFO round lays down the strategy.

You could make a joint utility alongside along with your employer to EPF. As issues stand at the moment, you could 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.

Counsel you attain out to the accounts workforce of your employer for the operational particulars.

Do you have to go for Greater pension underneath EPS?

When you go for Greater pension, you’ll get larger pension. Danger-free. Assured for all times. And that’s the largest benefit.

How excessive a pension will you get?

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

Now, you can not reply this query precisely, particularly in case you are within the non-public sector the place salaries can fluctuate drastically. In case you are 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’ve got been receiving the previous few years? And with these assumptions, you may arrive on the last pension quantity.

And also you examine that towards the alternate 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 might be shifted to EPS scheme. Your future contribution to EPF can even fall since you’ll now contribute extra to EPF.

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

So, you could see, how a lot EPF corpus are you foregoing? And the way simple or troublesome it’s so that you can generate the same stage of revenue utilizing this corpus? If you are able to do that simply, then keep the established order. When you can’t (the speed of return might be fairly excessive), then go for the next pension.

When you go for Greater pension, what portion of EPF might 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 comply with via subsequent round”.

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

EPFO, in its round dated Could 11, 2023, got here out with the calculation methodology for a way a lot quantity shall be shifted from EPF to EPS When you select to use for larger pension.

For this, you’ve got calculate 2 quantities.

A = Quantity that ought to have gone to EPS (in case you had exercised larger pension choice on the very starting)

B = Precise Quantity that has gone to EPS

To calculate A

  1. We must always first calculate the EPS contribution for every month on precise wage (and never capped wage)
  2. As much as August 31, 2014: On the charge of 8.33% out of 12% employer contribution on larger pay (from November 16, 1995 or from the date the pay exceeds the wage ceiling, whichever is later).
  3. From September 1, 2014: 8.33% of the 12% employer contribution as much as primary pay of Rs 15,000. 9.49% of the 12% employer contribution exceeding Rs 15,000
  4. For every month, deduct the quantity that was initially transferred to the EPS in that month. That is the deficit quantity that must be transferred to EPS.
  5. Not simply the deficit quantity, the curiosity earned on such deficit quantities should even be transferred to EPS.

When you can work out this math, you’ve got the reply.

Let’s do some crude calculations and see how a lot might 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% every 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.

When you have 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 have 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 have been on precise wage, this could 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) should be shifted again to the EPS scheme. And the curiosity on this deficit contribution too. And this should be finished in your total previous service.       

How a lot will this quantity be?

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

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

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

Whole deficit contribution to EPS = Rs 6.06 lacs

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

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

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

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

Observe this distinction can be larger for the next base wage.

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

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

What is that this 8.33% and 9.49%?

We learn about employer contribution of 8.33% of your primary pay to EPS account. Nicely, that’s not sufficient to fund your EPS pension. The Authorities contributes an extra 1.16% to your EPS account to fund the pension.

The Authorities is ok with contributing 1.16% as much as the wage ceiling restrict of Rs 15,000. Past that, not a lot. That’s why within the EPS pension guidelines in 2014, EPFO has clearly talked about that in case you go for larger pension, this 1.16% has to come back from the subscriber (you).

The Honorable Supreme Court docket had put this on maintain. For extra on this, consult with web page 7 of this doc. Nevertheless, the Authorities of India clarified this via a Gazette notification dated Could 3, 2023.

Going ahead, you (your employer in your behalf) will contribute 8.33% on primary wage as much as 15,000 and 9.49% on the portion exceeding Rs. 15,000.

Your future EPF contributions will fall

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

As talked about within the earlier part, your employer will now contribute 8.33% of your primary wage to your EPS account. And for the portion of primary wage exceeding Rs 15,000, the employer contribution might be even larger at 9.49%. As extra money goes to EPS, much less cash goes to EPF.

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

Had you caught with decrease pension, you’ll 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 in case you caught with decrease pension choice (established order), you’ll 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 simple.

such an evaluation, choosing larger pension seems to be like a better option.

However EPS has its personal set of issues.

What are the issues with pension underneath 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 situation, however the household doesn’t get as a lot in case you (the first pensioner) cross away too quickly after retirement.

Had you caught with a decrease pension, you’ll 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 might 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, in case 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 through the last 5 years of your working life might fall. And therefore the pension might be decrease.

For example, allow us to assume your common base wage between the age of 48 and 53 was Rs 2 lacs. And the common base wage between 53 and 58 years was 1 lac. The pension can be calculated  for the common 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 might 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 think about 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 can be Rs 1 lac X 20/ 35 = Rs 57,142.

Nevertheless, if you need this full pension, you’ll have to wait till the age of 58. However you retired on the age of 45. There’s 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, in case you begin at 50, you’ll get 8 X 4% = 32% much less. Rs 38,857 as an alternative of Rs 57,142.

Lastly (and I’m not certain about this), the choice for the next pension is a joint choice exercised by you and your employer. You’re in a personal job and have opted for the next 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 special coverage about contributions. Caps the contribution as per wage ceiling. You possibly can ask them to make an exception for you, however this can be a headache. This chance would make me extraordinarily uncomfortable.

What’s the last verdict?

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

Going by numbers (and as we’ve seen above), choosing the upper pension will certainly offer you a really excessive pension. It could be troublesome 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 could weigh the upper pension towards these issues in EPS.

I get extraordinarily uncomfortable in case you take away flexibility from my investments. Therefore, please admire my biases in my last feedback.

In case you are 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 Greater pension. However verify the calculations earlier than taking a last name.

In case you are youthful (35-40), connect larger 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/Further Hyperlinks

Newest Workers’ Pension Scheme (EPS), 1995

EPFO round dated February 20, 2023

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