The introduction of the UAN in the EPF has made all processes related to the EPF easier and simplified. The UAN is a 12 digit unique number given to EPF members. Using the UAN, an employee can link all his/her PF accounts under their UAN account. Now, an employee doesn’t have to keep track of all his/her PF accounts with past and present organisations. Just by using his/her UAN, one can keep a close track of all his PF accounts. Not just that, using the UAN, an employee can facilitate the transfer of funds from one PF account to another, make withdrawals and check PF balance. By linking one’s Aadhaar card to the UAN, an employee now doesn’t even need the signature of his/her employee to initiate a transfer, or make a withdrawal. In short, the introduction of the UAN to the EPF has benefited employees in numerous ways.
Reasons for employees having two UAN’s
In certain cases, it is possible that an employee has two separate UANs. Going with the rules of the EPF, this is not allowed. That said, an employee could have two UAN’s in certain cases, they are:
- If the employee refused to share his/her UAN with his/her new company. This has happened in many cases as employees prefer to shield their past issues with their employers and have chosen to get a new UAN rather than submit the details of their UAN with their previous company.
- If the previous company has not mentioned the exit date on an employee's previous PF account and UAN. The employer has to state the last working day on an employee's UAN, if they haven’t, the new company begins the procedure of getting the employee a UAN.
Ways to Merge two UAN’s
The first method is to immediately report the case with one’s current employer or write to the EPFO regarding the issue. The employee can mail the issue to the following ID - email@example.com. While doing so, an employee has to state both - his/her previous and current UAN. Once the EPFO verifies both accounts, it will block the previous UAN and keep the current one active. Once the UAN is blocked, the employee has to raise a claim to the EPFO to transfer the PF funds from the previous account to the active UAN.
For the second method to merge the UAN accounts, follow the steps mentioned below:
- The first step the employee has to do is to raise a transfer claim from the previous EPF account to the present EPF account. This can be done on the OTCP portal on the EPFO’s member portal.
- The EPFO will then verify the transfer claim and make a note of both the UANs linked to the EPF account.
- Once the transfer has been made, the EPFO will block the previous UAN. The deactivated UAN will be of no use from then on.
- The process of merging the UAN accounts is usually done automatically - even without a request from the employee.
- Once the EPFO verifies the new UAN, they will link the UAN to the employee’s EPF account.
- The EPFO will contact the employee via SMS, and alert him/her that the old UAN has been deactivated and request the employee to activate the new UAN if he/she hasn’t done it yet.
- If an employee has faced any difficulties with the previous account, where the employer has failed to make contributions and so on, once a claim has been raised by the employee, the money will be remitted to the employee’s new UAN. Activating a new UAN doesn’t mean that all past arrears will be forgotten as the EPFO can link both UAN accounts and facilitate transfers and contributions, if need be.
Comparing both methods, the second method is the simplest as most of the procedure is automatic. All that the employee has to do is to raise a claim with the EPFO for the transfer of funds and the rest is done automatically on the portal. For the first method, though the employee has mailed the EPFO, there are chances that the issue might not meet an end. Hence, opting for the second method is a safer choice.