The purpose of a provident fund is mainly providing financial security as well as stability to retired or elderly people. In most cases, people start contributing in these funds when they begin their life as an employee. The contributions are made in regular intervals, which in most cases is on a monthly basis. The main function of such a saving tool is to aid employees to be able to save an amount of their salary each. This amount may be used in certain cases such as the employee is temporarily or permanently unfit to work or even at retirement. The investments that are made by a group of people or employees are pooled in and invested by a trust.
In the year 1952, the Government of India set up the Employees Provident Fund Organisation to help citizens recognise the need to save for their retirement or accumulate a corpus for their future. For those new to the scheme, the EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) is controlled by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India, and in 2013 the EPFO launched its own portal enabling subscribers to carry out all processes such as - checking the status of their PF account, making PF withdrawals or even taking a loan against their PF corpus. Subscribers no longer need to visit the regional PF office to carry out any EPF process as everything can be done online or on their mobile phone. If a subscriber desperately wants to check EPF balance and has no access to internet connection, he/she also has the option of checking their balance through the EPFO’s SMS facility.
Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is administered and run by the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) of India. A company, organization or establishment with 20 and more employees or workers who are working in any of the 180 industries, enlisted by the EPFO are eligible for EPF and hence should register themselves for the same. As a general trend, 12% of the Basic salary, Daily Allowance, as well as the cash value of food allowances is generally contributed to their respective EPF account. EPFO is also a statutory body working as a part of the Indian Government under the Labour and Employment Ministry. It is also said to be one of the largest social security organisations globally when it comes to the number of members as well as the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
Benefits of EPF SMS Services
SMS is generally a one-to-one communication medium which is less time consuming compared to other means of instant information delivery. In other words, it delivers the message straight into the hands of the intended user. SMS is a widely used tool for B2C communications, and at the same time it is also one of the most preferred channels of attending user requests by various organizations such as financial institutions and governmental bodies. The SMS service launched by EPFO exemplifies the same.
Due to the advancement in technology, numerous applications have been launched in the mobile market. Even then, Short Messaging Service (SMS) deserves a special place among all solutions available in the digital space. With the proliferation of mobile devices, SMS has become an integral tool for establishing quicker communications. Going in line with digital progression, EPFO offers short code SMS service to access information related to PF accounts.
SMS Service of EPFO
To enhance the convenience of their subscribers, the EPFO has rolled out the SMS facility to carry out few basic EPF processes. Once such process that can be carried out through the SMS facility is checking their PF balance in one’s account. All that the employee needs to do is use his/her UAN registered mobile number and SMS their details in the following format - EPFOHO UAN ENG - to 7738299899. ENG stands for English. Since employees can use the SMS facility in 10 different languages - English, Hindi, Telugu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Bengali. Listed below are the language codes that the customer is required to use in the SMS format when carrying out the request for PF balance.
Once the details have be messaged using the above mentioned codes to 7738299899, the subscriber will receive the following details in the following format:
- Name of the PF account holder
- Date of birth
- Last contribution made by both employer and employee
- Total balance in the PF account
Other Ways to Enquire PF Balance Instantly
Apart from the PF balance SMS service, subscribers of the EPF scheme can check their PF balance via the missed call facility, online on the EPFO member portal, through the UAN app, via the EPF mobile app, or through the UMANG (Unified Mobile Application for New-Age Governance) app. Subscribers can follow the steps mentioned for each of the following ways to check their PF balance.
Enquire EPF Balance by Missed Call:
- The subscribers has to ensure that his/her KYC details are integrated with their UAN to carry out this process.
- Using the UAN registered mobile number, the subscriber has to give a missed call to 011-22901406.
- As soon as the subscriber has done that, he/she will receive a message of the PF balance in the account.
Checking EPF Balance through the UMANG app:
Since the UMANG app is a recent introduction of the Government of India, subscribers will have to first download and install the app to carry out the process of checking the PF balance in their account. To download and set up UMANG app, follow the steps mentioned below:
- Visit the EPFO website and click on the UMANG app download link - https://web.umang.gov.in
- To proceed, enable your location, calls data and SMS service.
- Click on “download app”.
- Enter the OTP you receive on your registered mobile number.
- Answer two security questions.
- Next, link your Aadhaar card.
- Once you link your Aadhaar card, your KYC details will automatically integrate into the app.
- You can now, carry out several EPF processes through the UMANG app including checking your PF balance.
Steps to Check PF Balance through the UMANG App:
- Click on the “EPFO option on the UMANG app homepage.
- Choose the ‘Employee Centric Services’ option.
- Enter your UAN.
- Enter the OTP sent to your registered mobile number.
- Click on “view passbook” on the EPFO section.
- As soon as that is done, the UMANG app will display the PF account in your balance.
Word of caution: Make sure that you don’t use any of the third party applications available on play store for EPF balance check. You are more likely to give away critical information pertaining to your EPF account by using such apps.
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