Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Great News - Universal Account Number for PF Accounts - A Reality!!!

If you are a salaried employee and have gone through (or seen a friend do so) the process of actually transferring your PF Account from one employer to another, then I am pretty confident that you understand how painful this process is and the high probability of delays and problems. This system has been in-force for many decades and it was high time the authorities did something about it. 

Thankfully, the EPF Organization has finally decided to help out the PF Account holders. The purpose of this article is to share with you this great news and help you understand more about it...

So, what is this Great News?

Very Soon, you will be able to switch jobs and get your PF money transferred - Without any Hassle. Isnt this Great News?

Yes, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) expects to operationlise permanent or universal account numbers (UAN) to its over 4 crore subscribers by October 15 this year.

What is this Universal Account Number?

You must be aware of what a PF Account Number is - isnt it? When we usually switch jobs, our old PF Account is closed and a new PF Account is opened in our name. Moving forward, what is proposed is that, you will get one PF account number and you can take it with you wherever you go (employment wise) and continue to use the same PF account until you retire. Hence the name - Universal Account Number. 

How would the UAN work?

The universal account numbers will be portable throughout the working career of employees, something similar to how core banking services work. After getting your UAN, all you need to do is, to provide the same on joining a new establishment to enable the employer to in turn link the new allotted member identification number to UAN. This will help in smoothening out the process of filing of PF transfer claims on changing jobs.

Yes, you read it right. All you need is your UAN and your new employer will be able to start crediting your PF contribution right away into your PF Account. 

Will I be able to track my PF Account online?

Yes. All Account holders (Employees) would be also be given a personalised log-in though which they can see carry out different tasks like: 
  • Download UAN card
  • View updated PF account balance
  • Download PF Account statement
  • File and view transfer/withdrawal claims and 
  • Update KYC information

When Will I Get my UAN?

According to a recent Government Circular, all PF Account holders will get their UAN before October 15th. (Even if this gets delayed somehow, you will definitely get your UAN in the next few months)

Is there Anything I Need to Do?

Actually No. As of now, the EPFO has asked Employers to share its employee details (KYC Info) and the deadline for that is September 15th of 2014. Once that info is shared by employers, EPFO will go ahead and issue UAN's to PF Account holders...

My Thoughts:

This is real great news in many levels. Firstly, the hassle of transferring our PF Account was the main reason why people withdrew their corpus while switching jobs. If this is eliminated, the real purpose of the PF Account (To help accumulate a retirement corpus) will be achieved. Secondly, a huge burden is lifted off the employers part. They no longer have to worry about submitting requests for transfer or withdrawal and other PF Account related activities. If you join them, they just get your UAN and start contributing PF. If you resign, they just stop PF contributions and you will take your UAN with you. Isnt this amazing?

Personally, I am extremely glad our EPFO finally did something beneficial for its account holders. As this is the first time we are doing something like this, there are bound to be unexpected delays and hiccups. However, I am pretty sure that over the course of the next year all things will be smoothed out and we will have a world class retirement benefit system...


  1. Nice info Anand. I have one question..If any employee moving out of the current organization now i.e he was alloted UAN number but he don't know it. If he goes to new organization what is the procedure

    1. Anonymous - this is a tricky situation. Anyways, if the UAN request is submitted, ask your employer to share the application details, date or anything you can use to track your UAN request. You can also ask them to pass on the UAN details once they receive it.

      Alternately, you can tell your new employer that a UAN request was placed on your behalf by your ex employer and since UAN is liked to your PAN, Date of Birth, Aadhar card etc, it should be pretty straight forward for them to track it. Keep your old PF Acc number for back-up just in case.

      As this is a totally new situation, am not able to help much. Talk to your present employer's HR Department and ask them for advise. They may be able to suggest better options. And, dont forget to share the update with the blog so that others in your situation can learn from this.


  2. EPFO is nothing but a burden to employers in all these years.In order to reduce their work , they now devised a new strategy to harass employers by this implementation of UAN.UAN will put more workload and lots of issues on employers.

    1. Definitely NOT. Being an employer is a huge responsibility and in a country like India where we dont have proper social security, schemes like EPF Are a blessing for the common man who is a salaried employee. If someone is unable to handle the responsibility of managing a little money on behalf of their employees who have been working for many years, that someone doesnt deserve to be in business. They should shut-down shop and go home to take rest.

      The aim of the government is not to harass employers instead it is to help employees.

  3. Hi Anand,

    I was working in company A for 7.5 yrs and moved to company B just 2 months back. I have shared my UAN with the new company and have asked for a PF transfer. but now I am quitting this job due to personal reasons by this month end. I will continue to look for job after few months.
    1. Can I hold the PF account as it is or should I close it and withdraw the amount, as I am not certain of my next job.
    2. Company B hasnt provided me the new PF account number yet, is there any other way to check whether the PF is created with the help of UAN?

    1. If you are not sure about your new job and when you will take it up, its better to close the PF Account and get the money.

      You can check with your current employer and ask them to process the withdrawal claim which they will do as soon as the transfer is complete. Ideally the benefit of UAN is that your new employer doesnt have to create a new PF Account and hence the transfer should have happened quickly. Check with them.


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