When you join a new organisation then you may, if you have never had one, be presented with a part of your salary that is cut as a contribution towards a Provident Fund. These contributions will be made on your behalf into an account and EPF balance can be withdrawn by you under specific circumstances. Just like every other account, this account too has an account number associated with it which can be used by the employees to check the EPF status, the balance, etc. This EPF account number is also the most important thing that you need when it comes time to apply for a withdrawal from the PF.
Parts of the PF Account Number
Before we start talking about the account number, let’s take one account number as an example.
Example 1: KN/KRP/12345/9876543
Example 2: KN/KRP/12345/000/9876543
The fields that form the PF account number are identifiers for the region, the employer and the employee. This means that in example 1:
- KN stands for Karnataka tell us that this account is held in the state of Karnataka.
- KRP stands for K R Puram which tells us that this account is under the K R Puram EPF office.
- 12345 is the employer, or establishment, code and
- 9876543 is the actual PF account number assigned to the employee.
Example 2 seems a little different in that it has an extra “000” in it. In most cases you will find this entry to be 000. This part of the account number also indicates information about the region where the PF is held.
It is important to remember that the reason you get a new PF number every time you change jobs is that each establishment you work for will have a unique code attached to it and when they create a new PF in your name, the EPF account number assigned to it is also new.
EPF and UAN
Off late there has been a lot of talk about something known as the UAN. The UAN stands for Universal Account Number and has been conceived to solve a very specific problem. Assume that you have, over the past 10 years, worked for 4 different establishment. Each of these establishments offered you a PF and you never withdrew or transferred it when you left the establishment. Now you have to join a new one and are going to have to keep tabs on 5 different numbers. What the UAN does here is to bring all the 5 PFs under one account number. This means that using your UAN you can actually check on the status of each of your EPF accounts.
If you don’t have a UAN, then you can always get in touch with your employer to get one generated for you. Once generated, you may need to activate it but once it is activated, you will be able to get a UAN card generated for you. The UAN will also allow you to operate the PF accounts as and when they become eligible for online transfers. You will also have access to passbooks to see the status of your various PF accounts.
EPF Account Number: How To Get and Fill It
When an employee starts contributing to the employee provident fund scheme, he receives the EPF account number. For every new employee, the employer allocates the EPF member ID and intimates the EPFO by contributing the first EPF. But in some cases, the employees are unaware of their EPF account number. This happens when they haven’t paid much attention to their contribution to the EPF scheme.
Every employee should be aware of his/her EPF account number, as this is a significant piece of information. Once the employee leaves his/her job, he/she may not be able to easily locate this number. Hence, it is important to get to know the EPF account number as soon as he/she joins the company.
Almost all employees in an organisation are part of the EPF scheme, as this plan is mandated for everyone who earns a monthly basic salary of Rs.15,000 or less. This scheme builds a corpus that can be utilised by the member during his/her retirement period. The member can also avail tax benefits from participation in the scheme.
How to Know EPF Account Number
The employer plays a significant role in the Employee Provident Fund scheme. The responsibility of the employer includes the registration of the new employee, allocation of the EPF account number, and depositing the contribution towards the EPF. The employer will also have to distribute the EPF number to its employees.
In case your employer has not communicated your EPF number to you, you can receive this information from the EPFO. If you are unable to do so, you can also get this number in the following ways:
- Refer to your salary slip, as most employers print this number on the payslips of their employees.
- Ask the HR department at your workplace, as they would have all the relevant information.
- If you know the UAN Registration Number, you can get the EPF account number by logging in to the UAN member portal.
- If all else fails, you can visit the regional PF office, and provide your personal details and ID proof to get this number.
Importance of EPF Account Number
Initially, the EPF account number was the only proof of membership in the EPF scheme. If the member was not aware of his/her EPF number, he/she would have found it very difficult to get the EPF transferred to the new employment or withdraw the savings. With the introduction of the UAN, this difficulty has eased, as members can identify their EPF number using this secondary identification number.
Roles of EPF Account Number
- Using the EPF number, it is possible to check the balance in the PF account.
- The EPF number is required to initially find the UAN number.
- The EPF number is useful in initiating the withdrawal of the PF balance.
- The member can also request for a transfer of the EPF, using this number.
Format of EPF Account Number
The EPF account number usually consists of both alphabets and numbers. This number holds the information about the EPF office that manages the member’s account. It also consists of the organisation code, and each block of information is separated by a ‘/’.
For instance, in the EPF number, DS/NHP/13025/000/2015, DS represents the state of Delhi. This implies that the employee’s company is registered in Delhi. The code NHP refers to the south office in Delhi. The third block represents the organisation, and would be the same value for all employees in a company. This numeric code cannot exceed 7 digits. The penultimate section refers to the extension, and this is not a mandatory block. The final block is specific to each employee of the organisation, and can have up to 7 digits.
How to Fill EPF Account Number at epfindia.gov.in
In order to fill the EPF account number, you can update each block sequentially.
a) Select the EPF Region
The first two alphabets of the PF account number refers to the region. This value can only be chosen from a drop-down list.
b) Choose the EPF Office
Once the region is selected, you will be able to view the names of all EPF offices that come under the selected EPF region. You need to click on the link of the required EPF office, in order to match the code of the office with your EPF account.
c) Enter Your Organisation Code
In the next page, you will be able to fill in the company code and account number. The company code can be updated in the third block of the EPF account number, and would be numerals.
d) Enter Extension (if relevant)
The next step is updating the extension. In case there is no extension in your account number, this section can be left blank.
e) Fill the Member ID
The member ID is filled in the last block.
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