Universal Account Number or UANOne of the recent additions to the maintenance of the provident fund (PF) account is the concept of Universal Account Number (UAN). It has almost become central to provident fund management just as PAN is to tax related issues. With most matters pertaining to employee provident funds (EPF) now initiated and managed online, UAN has become central to the process. With the help of the UAN number, you can access a number of PF account services like withdrawal, EPF balance checking and PF loan application without the help from your HR department. Apart from the concept of UAN, you also need to understand the process of UAN registration and UAN activation before you can actually start using the UAN.
How to get your UAN number?
UAN (Universal Account Number) is a 12-digit number that is allocated by the EPFO to every employee in a recognized organization who contributes to PF. The beauty of the UAN is that it remains the same even if you change jobs over a period of time.
When an employee changes job, EPFO allots a new member identification number (ID), which will be linked to the UAN. You can put in a request for this new member ID by submitting the UAN to the new employer. Once the member ID is created, it gets linked to the UAN of the employee.
Since the UAN remains same it is portable throughout the life of an employee. Effectively, the employee will have different member ID generated at the time of changing the job but all member IDs will be only mapped to that 12-digit UAN. It is very simple to find out your UAN.
Through UAN Portal using PF number/member ID
You can either get the EPFO-allotted UAN from your current employer or you can also access it from the UAN portal using your PF number / member ID. Once you visit the UAN portal, you just need to click on the “Know your UAN status” link and the rest of the process is largely menu driven from that point. You can also get your UAN details sent across to your registered mobile phone subject to authentication using a PIN and an OTP code. That is how you go about UAN registration. Once the UAN registration number is received, there is one more step; and that is UAN activation. Here is how.
How to Aactivate UAN activation using the EPFO websiteOnce you get your UAN, you need to activate the UAN by logging into the EPFO website and identifying yourself with your Universal Account Number and PF member id. Here are the key steps in UAN activation.
- Go to EPFO homepage and click on ‘For Employees’ under ‘Our Services’ on the dashboard.
- Click on “Member UAN/Online services” in the services section. This will take you to the UAN portal.
- Enter UAN, mobile number and member ID. Now, click on ‘Get authorization PIN’ button to receive the PIN on your registered mobile number.
- As the next step, you must agree to the terms and conditions and enter the OTP sent to your mobile.
- Once you click on ‘Validate OTP and Activate UAN’, you will receive a password on your registered mobile number to access your account. Password can be changed at a later date. UAN activation is completed at this point.
Benefits of the UAN to the employer and the employee
Interestingly, the UAN is beneficial to the employer, the EPFO and the employee in a number of ways. Let us look at some key merits.
How UAN benefits employers and EPFO?
- UAN helps centralize employee data in the country
- Brings down the burden of employee verification substantially
- EPFO can extract the bank account details and KYC of the member directly
- Helps the EPFO to track multiple job switches of employee.
- Helps to reduce early withdrawals from the EPF
- A single UAN identifies an employee irrespective of job change
- UAN can be used to simplify process of withdrawal of EPF online
- Even transfer of PF balance from old to new can be done online with UAN
- Facilitates urgent download of PF for visa, loan security, etc.
- Above all, UAN ensures that employers cannot withhold PF money of employees.