Employment Provident Fund scheme was started in 1952 to provide employees the benefit of the provident fund. Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) monitors and administers the provident fund scheme in India.
The Employee Provident Fund Scheme is applicable throughout India, except in Jammu and Kashmir. All organizations which are mentioned under the section 1 of this Act are eligible for employee’s provident fund scheme.
In every organization, a part of the salary is contributed towards PF, where both the employer and employee contribute toward the employee’s provident fund.
For contributions made on PF, an employee needs to have a PF Account Number. Every employee has a different PF Account Number, just like every other account number. This PF account number can be used for checking the EPF status, EPF balance etc.
Structure of EPF Account Number in India
It will be easy to understand the EPF structure with the help of an example, so let’s take some examples:
EPF number contains both alphabets as well as numbers and every part of EPF number is separated by a slash (/).
As per Example-1:
- First two characters represent regional office code (for instance; TN stands for Tamil Nadu), which tells us that this account is held by an employee in the state of Tamil Nadu.
- Next three characters represent regional office/sub-regional office code. In this case, MAS stands for Chennai.
- The next seven digits represent the establishment or employee PF code. In this case, 0054055 is the establishment/employee PF code.
- The last seven digits represent the actual EPF account number of the employee.
As per Example-2:
This example is different from the first example. The second example has ‘000’, which represent any extension assigned to establishment or employer. Extensions are represented in three digits like 00A, 00B and 000 (applicable if there is any extension).
The Amount Contributed to Provident Fund from the Salary
When you start working you contribute 12% of your basic salary while your employer deposits another 12% towards the Provident Fund contribution.
There are different methods to check the EPF Account Balance. The process of checking EPF account balance has been made easier after the initiation of online checking system.
The Indian government has provided three ways for a PF account holder which can be used to determine the account balance:
1. Using Application:
EPF mobile application can be used to check the account balance as well as other details of your EPF account. This app is only available for Android phones but the government is working towards making it available for iOS, Windows and Blackberry phones as well. The app can be downloaded from official EPFO website.
To start using the application and its facilities follow the steps given below:
- Avail the UAN number from your employer and activate it.
- After downloading the EPF application select the option which is suitable for you.
- If you are currently working or in between jobs select the ‘member’ option.
- You will get two options again- activate UAN and view balance/passbook.
- Subsequently, you can access all your account details including account balance and monthly deposits made by you and your employer in the EPF account (as stated in passbook).
2. Missed Call Service:
This service is available on EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization) registered numbers:
- Give a call to 01122901406 from the number that is registered under the EPF Account.
- You will receive a message containing details like you PAN (Permanent Account Number), UAN (Universal Account Number), your name and birth date.
- To get the PF balance information you must link your UAN number with one of this Know-Your-Customer (KYC) details: bank account, Aadhar card or PAN number.
- EPFO will provide all the information regarding account balance and KYC.
3. SMS Service:
This service is available in 10 languages and can be used via the EPFO registered mobile numbers.
- To activate UAN via sms; Type EPFOHO ACT UAN number 22-digit PF number and send to 77382-99899.
- For receiving the account details in English; type EPFOHO UAN ENG. There will be no need to enter the UAN digits in this case.
Benefits of EPF account number
- With the help of EPF number, employees can check and withdraw their PF balance.
- EPF number can also be used to find the Universal Account Number (UAN) or transfer the employee’s EPF account from one organization to another.
- EPF invests in pension plans too.
- Having an EPF account also helps in a tax deduction since this investment is eligible under Section 80C.
What is Universal Account Number or UAN?
A unique number is generated for each of the PF contributing members by Employee’s Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). This unique number is called Universal Account Number (UAN). If an employee is already allotted Universal Account Number (UAN), then he/she is required to provide the same while joining a new organization in order to enable the new employer to mark the new allotted Member Identification Number (Member ID) to the already allotted universal identification.
Registering under EPFO for Provident Fund Account Number
To get the EPF account number, an employee must have to start contributing to employee provident fund scheme. For every new employee in the company, the employer allocates the EPF number ID and activates the EPFO by making the first contribution. Every employee working in a big organization with more people is part of Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme. The amount of PF keeps accumulating under the employee’s account, which can later be utilized at the time of retirement. An employee in an organization must know his/her EPF number to avail the benefits under the policy.
If an employee doesn’t know his/her PF account number then there are various ways of knowing it:
- EPF number is written on the salary slip of the employee.
- Through UAN registration number an employee can get hold of EPF account number by logging into UAN member portal.
- One can also visit the regional PF office and provide his/her personal and relevant details to get the EPF number.
Benefits of using UAN
UAN has a lot of advantages such as:
- It has made the procedure for transferring the PF account balance smoother. Now you can transfer your PF account balance, even if you change jobs. Your UAN number will be same for your entire working life.
- UAN is helpful for viewing, transferring and withdrawing PF balance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Which form is necessary for an employee who wants to transfer his/her Provident Fund deposit from one company to another?
The salaried employee must file for Form 13 to transfer his Provident Fund balance from his/her former company to a new company.
Q. What is the accounting year for an Employee’s Provident Fund account?
The accounting year is considered from March to February every year.