UAN (Universal Account Number) is a unique identification number allotted by EPFO to its members. An employee’s EPF account numbers (member IDs) are linked to 12 digits UAN ID. The idea is to link multiple Member Identification Numbers (EPF Accounts) allotted to a single PF member under single Universal Account Number.
Should an Employee have two UAN numbers? – Answer is NO. Ideally an Employee who is a EPF member can have only one UAN but can have multiple member-IDs linked to it.
Can an Employee have multiple or duplicate UANs? – Answer is POSSIBLE. There are many instances where two UAN numbers have been allotted by EPFO through two different employers/establishments.
How is this possible? Yes, this can happen in two scenarios;
- If you are joining a new company (employer), you are supposed to inform your new employer about your existing UAN number (if any). Your new employer will then open new EPF account (member-ID) and links this to your previous UAN. If you do not provide your existing UAN, a new UAN can be generated by your new employer which results in duplicate UAN numbers being allotted to the same EPF member.
- Another scenario can be – When you leave your company, your employer has to furnish ‘the date of exit’ details in the ECR (Electronic Challan cum Return). If they do not provide this information in-time and meanwhile you join a new establishment, this can result in two UAN numbers being allotted to you for both the employments.
If you have two UANs then transfer of monies from your old EPF a/c to your new EPF account which is linked to new UAN cannot happen, as an employee can have only one unique UAN ID.
How to get two UAN numbers (multiple or duplicate UANs) merged?
In the last few months, I have received multiple queries on two UANs being allotted, below are few of them..
So, what is the solution in case if two UANs are allotted by EPFO? How to get the old UAN deactivated?
The EPFO in its FAQs list has suggested the below solution:
“In case two UAN are allotted to you, this could be because of not filing of Date of Exit by your previous employer in ECR filing and/or you have applied for transfer of service in your current establishment.
In such a case, you are suggested to immediately report the matter either to your employer and through email to firstname.lastname@example.org by mentioning, both – your current UAN and your previous UAN(s). After due verification, the previous UAN(s) allotted to you will be blocked and the current UAN will be kept active. Later you will be required to submit a Claim to get transfer of service and fund to the current UAN.”
The above procedure is a time-consuming one and the resolutions haven’t been happening as expected. Hence, the EPFO has come up with a new automated process to merge two UAN numbers or two duplicate UANs issued to the same EPF member.
In case of duplicate UANs issued to one EPF member as mentioned above, the following solutions are detailed below;
(The below new procedure is as per the EPFO’s latest notification which has been issued on 21st September, 2016.)
- You (EPF member) are advised to apply for EPF transfer from previous EPF account to the new EPF account.
- The EPFO’s system would then automatically identify such cases (on periodic basis) where the PF transfer has been effected from one EPF account to another, and have two different UANs attached to these EPF accounts of the same EPF member (employee).
- All such identified UANs (old UANs), from which PF transfer has been effected to PF account having different UANs (new UANs), would be deactivated. So, the old UAN numbers will cease to exist and are blocked for further use. (This procedure of merging duplicate UANs will be carried out by EPFO on periodic basis and can also be performed even when no requests have been received from its members.)
- Your previous member ID (old EPF account) would henceforth be linked to your new UAN.
- You will be informed of the deactivated status of your previous UAN by SMS to the registered mobile number. You would be requested to activate the new UAN (if not done) to get the updated status of your EPF account.
- Sometimes, there are chances that you may have to receive some PF arrears from your employer, in such cases, since the system knows the new UAN against the deactivated UAN, the system would automatically populate the new UAN in the ECR (on punching of previous UAN or member ID by the employer) and the statutory contribution by the employer against the arrears can be remitted against new UAN only.
(Read : In case if you have one UAN number but have multiple EPF accounts, how to consolidate multiple old EPF accounts?)
(Image courtesy of ratch0013 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net) (Post published on : 22-September-2016)