The Universal Account Number (UAN) was just recently introduced by the Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) as an online service to those maintaining a Provident Fund (PF) account. It allows the entire EPF process to be carried out via the internet, accessible from any corner of the world. It has made things much easier as withdrawal of PF, PF loan application, and checking the EPF balance can now be done without the employer’s involvement. A simple registration will open doors to easier EPF accessibility. But, before registering, it’s crucial to know what UAN is all about.
What is UAN?
UAN is an EPFO allotted 12-digit number which is provided to every EPF contributing employer to assign to his/her employee. UAN of an employee remains the same and portable throughout the life of the employee, whether or not s/he changes jobs or how many. However, with every job switch, a new member identification number (ID) is provided by the EPFO which is linked to the employee’s UAN. When switching jobs, the employee can request for a new ID by providing his/her UAN to the new employer. This ID will as usual be linked to the employee’s UAN which will further ease all EPF processes like withdrawals and transfers.
Registering for UAN
UAN is provided by the employer to his/her employees. So, if you are employed as a fresher in a registered company, then it won’t be your headache to open your UAN. The employers themselves approach their employees in most cases. In case, your employer doesn’t approach you, then you may take the first step. Allotting you a UAN will be the employer’s responsibility if the company is registered. All you will need to provide are the following documents:
- Bank Account Information: The Company will need your account number, IFSC code, and the bank’s branch name. This is usually fulfilled through a cancelled cheque.
- Identity Proof: Any ID registered with the government like your Aadhaar card, Passport, Driving License, etc. may fulfil this requirement.
- Address Proof: Proof of your current address is required which may be fulfilled with any ID registered with the government with your address on it, or through recent utility bills in your name, rental/lease agreement, etc.
- PAN Card: This is required for tax fulfilment procedures. Your PAN number will be linked to your UAN.
- Aadhaar Card: It is mandatory to provide your Aadhaar Card as it is linked to your mobile number and bank account.
- Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Card in your name may be required at the time of registering for UAN.
Finding out your UAN
Having a UAN and knowing your UAN are two different things. Once you are allotted a UAN, make it a point to know what it is so as to avail the services. There are two major ways to know your UAN: through your employer, and through the UAN web portal.
- Through Employer: Employees can easily avail their UAN by asking their employers for it. Many employers even print it on the salary slips of their employees.
- Through the UAN web portal: The EPFO website for the UAN is easily accessible through any device with an internet connection. Employees can easily find out their UAN through the portal following these basic steps:
- Go to its website: https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/
- Go to ‘Know your UAN Status’.
- From the dropdown menu select your details like state and EPFO office. Enter your PF number or member ID and fill in other personal details asked for. You can get these from your salary slip.
- Once you have filled in and checked the relevant details, click on ‘Get Authorization Pin’.
- This will send an authorization or OTP on your mobile number which you had provided.
- Enter the OTP and select ‘Validate OTP and get UAN’.
- As soon as you click on it, the portal will process the information and send your UAN to your mobile number.
Once you get to know your UAN, it is time to activate it. Activating UAN is possible only through the EPFO website. You will need your UAN and PF member ID for the activation of your account. It is only after activating it that you will be able to access your EPF. Just follow these steps and it will log you onto your account.
- Visit the EPFO homepage: https://epfindia.gov.in/site_en/
- On the dashboard you will find a dropdown for ‘Our Services’. Click on ‘For Employees’.
- This will lead you to a page with a ‘Services’ section. Click on ‘Member UAN/Online services’ under this section. This will redirect you to the UAN portal.
- Here, you will be asked to fill your UAN, member ID, and mobile number. After filling everything, click on ‘Get Authorization PIN’.
- This will send an OTP PIN to your registered phone number.
- Under ‘Disclaimer’ check the ‘I Agree’ box and enter the OTP PIN.
- By clicking on ‘Validate OTP and Activate UAN’ you will receive a password on your mobile. This will activate your UAN and enable access to your account.
You can later change your password in settings by logging in to the UAN portal by entering your UAN as username and the password sent to your registered mobile number.
Advantages of UAN
Before the introduction of UAN, EPF accounts were not very accessible and employees with EPF accounts had to contact the employer to withdraw or transfer funds to their accounts.
- With the introduction of UAN, it has not just centralized employee data in the country, but also made it accessible from any corner of the country at all times.
- Earlier, there used to be untimely EPF withdrawal made by the employees, usually made early. With the introduction of UAN this practice has reduced to a great extent.
- Mainly, UAN has brought down the weight of the employee verification process from the shoulders of employers. New employers won’t have to validate the employees profile if the UAN is already Aadhaar and KYC verified by the EPFO.
- The EPFO can now easily extract all details in one place including the bank account details of the member and complete his/her KYC without involving employers.
- Also, it has become much easier for EPFO to track the job switches made by employees. Thus, the need for UAN becomes evident for employers and the EPFO.
Benefits of UAN to Employees
UAN has not only been advantageous to the EPFO and employers, it has flaunted its benefits to the employees as well.
- Without UAN, employees had to take help from employers to touch their accounts and obviously the time was constrained.
- UAN has allowed a unification of information for every employee throughout his/her life.
- All new IDs generated through changing jobs will come under one umbrella of UAN.
- Full or partial transfer and withdrawal of the EPF from old to new ID has become much more liquid as everything is now possible through the internet, irrespective of the place and time.
- The involvement of the employer also has been greatly reduced, which has made the employee an independent user of his/her account.
- A PF statement can be downloaded instantly through the portal or through a text message.
- Employees won’t be able to access the PF funds of the employees or withhold it.
- UAN has made it easier for employees to ensure that their employer deposits the EPF on a regular basis. This keeps employees completely informed and aware.
The EPF processes used to demand a lot of time and energy before the introduction of UAN. It kept privacy at bay as many employers used to tamper with the EPF provision and account activity of their employers. With the introduction of UAN, several such issues have been sorted and it has proven to be beneficial to both the employers and the employees. The EPFO too has been enjoying ease of access and verification ever since UAN. Thus, in a digitalized generation, UAN has been an investment to say the least. Breaking the stereotype, UAN has shown technology to be much more of a boon than a bane.