Workers across the board have welcomed the introduction of portability through Universal Account Number (UAN) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Employee Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) officials said that all 4.16 crore PF contributors' accounts have been brought into this system, though users will have to log in and activate their UAN numbers.
Launching the UAN on Thursday, Modi put the amount of funds lying unclaimed in PF accounts since 1952 till now at Rs. 27,000 crores.
Under the new system, PF beneficiaries can download UAN cards, access e-passbooks and access information on contributions every month online. With portability, PF contributions will be transferred seamlessly after users changed employment.
“Now employers have to download the lists and give it to employees and also provide Know Your Customer (KYC) details. Employees simply have to log in and activate UAN, they can then receive SMS alerts, and access updated passbooks,” said an EPFO official.
EPFO senior officials said efforts to do this were first started in 2001. “Then, we had called it the Social Security Number (SSN). The required levels of digitization could not be achieved then and it was dropped. Then, 2009-10 onwards, we started digitizing all our data, and that enabled us to make a shift to UAN in a matter of a few months this year as this was complete in all 120 offices,” said an official.
Between January and June, all members were identified only leaving those whom employers had certified as having left their jobs. “As of now, all users are in the new system once they log in and activate it. New persons joining an organization will be added to the same system,” said an official. “Aadhaar is part of KYC. We are in discussions with UID officials to learn how to shift to the same ecosystem over time,” he said.