UAN stands for Universal Account Number to be allotted by EPFO. The UAN will serve as a hub for the various Member IDs that have been assigned to a person by various organisations. The goal is to combine all of a member's Member Identification Numbers (Member IDs) under a single Universal Account Number. The member will be able to examine information about each Member Identification Number (Member Id) associated with it thanks to this. If a member already has a Universal Account Number (UAN), they must supply it when they join a new organisation so that the employer can link their newly assigned Member Identification Number (Member Id) to their existing Universal Account Number (UAN).
What is a UAN number?
A 12-digit unique number that the employer provides to every contributing employee to the Employee Provident Fund (EPF), known as the Universal Account Number or the UAN number. Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO, the retirement fund body) generates and allocates the UAN while the Ministry of Labor and Employment of India verifies it.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi bought the UAN mandate on 1st October 2014, intending to create one unique identification of all your PF accounts. The vision was to create ease and convenience to account holders in accessing the PF accounts. EPFO made it mandatory for all employers covered under the Employees Provident Funds, and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1952 in June 2015.
Employee and employer contribute almost equally towards the provident fund in the same PF account. Hence, two separate UANs are assigned to the employee and employer. But an employee's Unique Account Number is portable and remains the same throughout their life, regardless of how many times they change jobs.
Whenever an employee changes jobs, EPFO assigns a new Member Identification Number or EPF Account (ID) linked to their UAN. Employees can apply for a unique Member ID by submitting a UAN to their new employer. When a Member ID is created, it is associated with the employee's UAN. Thus, UAN acts as an umbrella for multiple member identities assigned to employees by all eligible employers in their careers.
According to the government rules, it is mandatory to link Aadhaar with UAN. You can do so online or offline. It is also crucial to link your UAN number to your multiple EPF accounts, as its sole purpose is to bring all EPFs under one unique number.
How to generate and check UAN?
Typically, your first PF-contributing employer generates the UAN for you, for which they will ask a few documents. It is a one-time process, and once the number is created, it remains unchanged throughout the lifetime. It is noteworthy that not all employers need to contribute to the provident fund, and hence even if they are the first employer, they might not generate a UAN for you. Organisations with 20 or more permanent employees need to generate UAN for their employees. To generate a new UAN for the employee, the employer must follow these steps:
● Collect the PAN, Aadhaar, bank account, and other required details from the new employee who does not have a UAN yet
● Login to the EPF Employer Portal using the establishment ID and password
● In the “Members” section, tap on the “Register Individual” tab
● Enter the details obtained from the employee
● Approve all the details in the “Approval” section
● The EPFO creates a new UAN, and the employer can link the PF account with the employee’s UAN.
Once the employer generates the UAN number, an employee can check the UAN in the following ways.
1. Ask your employer: Since your employer generates the UAN, it is evident that they will have your information, and you can get it from them. Typically, you are required to ask the human resource personnel in your company to provide you with the UAN. You will most likely find your UAN number on the payslip or salary slip.
2. Checking the UAN website: If your employer fails to provide you with the UAN information, you can check it using your PF number or member ID. You can find your PF number or member ID from your salary slip. Follow the below steps to get to your UAN number.
● Visit the UAN portal
● Tap on the “Know your UAN” tab
● Follow the instructions and provide the required information, such as PF number/member ID, name, date of birth, etc. Enter the tab “Get Authorization Pin.”
● You will receive an OTP on your registered mobile number. Enter the PIN and click on the “Validate OTP and get UAN “ button
● You will receive your UAN number on your registered mobile number.
How to Activate UAN?
Before using the EPFO portal to access EPF-related online services, you must register or activate your Universal Account Number. Without activation, you cannot use the online features provided by EPFO. To enable UAN, follow these steps.
● Visit the EPFO portal.
● Under the “Services” section, click on the “For Employees” tab
● You will be directed to the UAN portal after clicking on the “Member UAN/Online services.”
● Enter the required details
● Click on the “Get Authorization PIN” option and get the OTP on your registered mobile number.
● Click on the “I Agree” checkbox and enter the OTP. After that, click on “Validate OTP and Activate UAN.”
● Access the UAN account with the password received on the registered mobile number
You must also gather the following documents to provide at the time of UAN activation. Usually, the employer takes them from the employee while first creating the UAN.
● Aadhar Card
● PAN Card
● Bank Account details and KYC
● Other identity or address proof, if required
Step-by-Step Process to Transfer Accounts Using the UAN
Typically, you need to transfer the accounts using the UAN while changing your jobs. Often, you move your PF account from one company to another when you switch jobs. Transferring your PF account instead of withdrawing the amount allows you to consider it a long-term investment and take the benefits it provides.
Before you start the transferring process, check your PF eligibility and have all the required details with you. After which, you can take the following steps to transfer accounts.
Step 1: Register on the EPFO portal.
Step 2: After the registration, go to online services and click on “one member-one EPF Account”.
Step 3: Fill out all the required details in various sections.
Step 4: Click on “Get Details” to get the account information of the previous employment; enter the details to get the information.
Step 5: Once the last employment detail is displayed and verified, click “Get OTP”, which will be sent to the registered mobile number.
Step 6: Enter the OTP in the box and click on “Submit”.
Step 7: Fill up the online Form 13.
Step 8: A tracking ID will be generated through which you can keep track of the process.
Step 9: Sign the form and submit it to the employer.
Step 10: Verification is required from both new and ex-employers before the fund is transferred.
Step 11: After the verification from both ends, the fund will be transferred.
Importance of Universal Account Number
A Universal Account Number includes all your member IDs under one roof. As a salaried professional, if your company deducts and contributes towards an employee provident fund, you will be given a UAN that will continue to add member IDs from different employers. With UAN, employees can check their PF-related activities. UAN becomes essential due to the following reasons.
● UAN acts as an umbrella in which all PF accounts of its members reside. It used to be difficult for an employee to track her EPF account; but with UAN, it's easier.
● Employees will have only one unique UAN in their whole professional career
● UAN number is essential to check the credits and debits in the PF account
● The online UAN number processing helps to access the account anytime, anywhere
UAN Benefits for the Employee
The introduction of UAN has made the life of both employees and employers easier. Before the UAN implementation, employees had to withdraw from the employee pension scheme while switching jobs which would affect the amount at retirement. However, with UAN, employee pension plans and employer provident fund balances are automatically transferred to the new account, increasing the amount when you retire.
In addition to easier access and more efficient processes through the UAN Portal, UAN offers the following benefits:
● You can check your PF balance at any time.
● UAN authenticated by KYC and linked to Aadhaar is secure and can be used to check PF balance by sending a simple SMS via smartphone.
● A UAN number is your identification number, regardless of your employer.
● Only you can access your account based on your KYC details.
● Track your PF account to see if your employer is crediting your account each month based on your deductions.
● Employer involvement reduces drastically while transferring a PF account from one employer to another.
● Manual fund sharing is not required with UAN while shifting jobs. You simply need to provide your UAN details and KYC to the new employer, and the old PF gets transferred to the new PF account almost instantly after the verification.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After its introduction in October 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has the authority to allot the Universal Account Number or UAN as it acts as an umbrella for the member IDs of the provident fund accounts from different employers.
While you can have two or more EPF accounts, depending on your number of employers, having two UANs is against the rules. A member can have only one UAN with all the EPF accounts. If you somehow create two UANs, you need to transfer your PF accounts into one and deactivate the other.
Yes. The member's bank account and IFSC code must be linked with an active UAN for any claims.
It is mandatory to link all your financial investments to your PAN card, including the EPF and UAN.