On June 15, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation extended the deadline for seeding salaried individuals’ Aadhaar to their universal account numbers (UAN). Last month, the provident fund body had asked employers to get their staff to link their Aadhaar to UAN, failing which the monthly provident fund deposits would not be allowed. This was to be done to comply with section 142 of the Code of Social Security, 2020 that had come into effect from June 1. Now, this section’s provisions will come into effect from September 1. Employers upload electronic challan-cum-return (ECR), which contains an employee’s PF details, by the 15th of every month to deposit the previous month’s PF amount. Try to complete the task soon, despite the extended deadline.
Here’s how you must link your Aadhaar with the EPF.
Why do I need to link my Aadhaar to my EPF UAN?
It is compulsory to do so under section 142 of the social security code. Your employer will not be able to deposit monthly PF contributions into your EPF account until your seed your Aadhaar into your UAN. Moreover, you will not be able to able to take loans or make withdrawals from your EPF corpus until the linking is done.
How should I seed Aadhaar into my EPF UAN?
You have to do it through the EPFO member portal. Activate your UAN if you haven’t already and log into the account. Your profile will indicate whether or not your UAN is linked to Aadhaar. If it is not, go to ‘Manage’ in the menu bar, click on ‘KYC’ to seed Aadhaar.
There is slight name mismatch in my Aadhaar-UAN details. I need to correct information in my EPF database. What should I do next?
The most common hurdle that employees face during the process is mismatch between names or date of birth in the Aadhaar and EPF records. “For many, the middle name is not consistent across identity documents and this leads to discrepancies and rejection of Aadhaar seeding. Likewise, some people do not have their last names mentioned,” says Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, Cleartax.in.
However, rectifying errors or omissions in your EPF UAN records is relatively simpler. You need to go to ‘My profile’ in the main menu and make the changes so that it mirrors your Aadhaar details. “For the changes to be accepted, your employer will need to first approve the changes on the portal, followed by the regional EPFO office,” explains Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India.
The approvals could take time and rejection from EPFO could leave you in a lurch. You might have to physically visit regional EPFO offices in such cases.
What are the hurdles that employers and employees are likely to face?
If you have to rectify Aadhaar details but have not registered your mobile number, you will have to visit the Aadhaar permanent enrollment centres in your city. This could be difficult due to the COVID-19 pandemic fallout.
“Also, for Indian nationals employed in the country but deputed abroad, such physical visits will be a challenge. Likewise, foreign nationals – termed international workers – employed in India may not have Aadhaar. If they and their employers are contributing to EPF, will their deposits and access to withdrawals and other services be suspended? The EPFO is yet to clarify these issues,” says Kasturirangan.
The EPFO has issued letters to employers on seeding employees’ Aadhaar. But employers do not have the authority to insist on employees sharing Aadhaar details with them. “Only those providing direct benefits to individuals have access to Aadhaar data. Ideally, EPFO should put the onus of linking Aadhaar to UAN on employees. Loans, withdrawal or claim settlement can happen only after the linking process is complete,” says Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-founder and Executive vice-president, Teamlease Services.
The information in my Aadhaar is incorrect. How should I rectify my Aadhaar details?
If your Aadhaar data is erroneous, the procedure to rectify it could be slightly trickier, especially if your mobile number is not registered in the database. In such cases, you will have to visit the Aadhaar enrollment centres to submit the application and identity documents. This is why it is important to initiate the process right away without waiting until September.
However, if it is registered, you can make minor updations through the UIDAI portal. Changes in name, date of birth, gender, address and language can be done online. You can upload the identity documents such as passport, PAN and Voter’s ID through the portal. Once the data is rectified, you can go back to the EPFO portal to link the two.
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