Remember the good old days of transferring your EPF money? It was not unusual to see governments fall before your hard-earned money moved from one account to the other. However, things have changed for the better now. You will be able to check your employee provident fund balance, receive monthly credit updates/alerts and even transfer funds from old accounts to existing account. All this has been made possible thanks to the universal account number (UAN) allotted by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) to its members.
The UAN is a 12-digit 'portable' number allotted to each member which gives them control of their EPF account and minimises the role of employer in matters related to a member's account. Universal number is a big step towards shifting the EPF services to online platform and making it more user-friendly. We give you a lowdown on how you would receive your universal EPF number and how it will make handling your account easier.
HOW UAN IS BEING ALLOTTED
The EPFO will allot employers the universal numbers of their employees. The employer would then allot the number to its employees, who need to provide their KYC (know-your-customer) details to the former. The KYC details of employees would then be updated online on the EPFO website by the employer. You can also upload the scanned copy of the KYC document through the EPFO website once you are done with the UAN-based registration. However, your employer has to digitally verify your KYC details. Even after the UAN is allotted, member IDs will exist but you can link each member ID with the UAN.
Once you have received the universal account number, you have to log on to the official websitehttp://uanmembers.epfoservices.in. Click on 'Activate UAN Based Registration' and enter your UAN, mobile number and member ID. You will receive an authorisation PIN on your phone.
After submitting the PIN, you need to submit details such as father/husband's name, date of birth and create a password. After the completion of the process, the registration is complete. Remember your UAN would be the user ID. Once you have registered with the UAN member portal, you can check you EPF balance, upload KYC documents, list your previous member ID, etc. Once you get your UAN, you can tag your member IDs with the UAN by providing your UAN to the new employer along with the same KYC details given at the time of registering for UAN.
HOW UAN HELPS YOU
No need for fund transfer: Earlier, transferring your EPF money from one employer account to another was a tedious process. But the UAN will do away with the need to transfer your funds at all. All you have to do is furnish your UAN and KYC details to new employer. Once the new employer verifies these details, the money from the older account will get transferred to the new account. But for old accounts (opened before the allotment of UAN), you still need to apply for funds transfer either in digital or physical form.
No employee involvement in withdrawals: At present any request for EPF withdrawal has to be signed by your previous employer and then sent to the EPFO. However, the UAN will change this. "UAN would negate the role of an employer in case of withdrawal. There would be no need for transfer requests as money lying at your previous account would automatically get transferred to your new account once your present employer verifies your KYC details," says KK Jalan, the Central Provident Fund Commissioner.
Receiving monthly SMS alerts: Every month when you and your employer contribute to your EPF account, you will receive an SMS alert from the EPFO. This will be similar to the SMS alerts you receive every time your bank account is credited or debited. You can even check your total balance by downloading the EPF passbook. However, this facility is not available to employees of exempted establishments at present.
Better utility of employee pension scheme: Due to the tedious process of transfer of fund from one account to another, members preferred to withdraw (which is an easier process) their EPF money. When you withdraw your PF money you also withdraw the fund contributed to Employee Pension Scheme. This affects the pension that you ultimately receive after retirement.
With UAN, your EPF money along with that under EPS is automatically transferred. Transferring the money instead of withdrawing will result in better pension money when you require it most.