Universal Account Number (UAN)

(Last Updated On: October 3, 2019)

Universal Account Number or UAN is a 12 digit unique number provided by Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) to all its members. Although it is issued by the Ministry of Employment and Labour which operates under the Government of India.  For every Provident fund account at EPFO, a universal number is generated. With the help of this number, you can manage your Provident Funds (PF) accounts. Since it is related to the Employees Provident Fund account, it is unique in nature and the same UAN cannot be issued to two different individuals. Even if you have changed the job or are considering to change your job, don’t worry, your UAN number will remain the same irrespective of your workplace.

UAN came into existence because it got very difficult to keep a tab on all the activities. The PF balance couldn’t be calculated properly and it would get even more difficult with payout issues. Since every new employee would be provided with a new PF account number. This complicated things when the employee had to change job or firm. UAN was initiated as a solution to all the problems mentioned above. With UAN, you can assemble all your PF accounts associated with different IDs’ of different organizations under one number. You can now easily transfer or withdraw funds by using UAN.

Advantages of UAN for Employees:

  • No need for fund transfers: if you are changing jobs, all you need to provide your employer with is your UAN details and KYC. Once this information is verified, your old PF will be transferred to your new PF.
  • Less involvement in withdrawals of PF by the employer: with the advent of UAN, old PF can be transferred to the new PF post the employee verification and this has drastically reduced the employer’s  involvement.
  • SMS alerts: employees can easily manage and check contributions made to their PF by the employers via SMS after registering at the UAN portal.
  • Easy withdrawals: employees can facilitate full or partial PF withdrawal online with the help of this number.
  • No more employer verification: if you are changing jobs, your new employer might not undertake the process of verification if your UAN is already Aadhaar and KYC verified.


Documents needed to open Universal Account Number (UAN):

If you have just started working or this is your first registered company, then you need the following documents to acquire your Universal Account Number:

  • Bank account Details

Your bank account information like your account number, branch name and the IFSC code are required to get UAN.

  • Photo ID proof

Any ID proof with your photo affixed. It could be your aadhaar card, driving license, passport, voter ID, and any other national identity.

  • Address proof:

You can use any of the identities mentioned above if your current address is printed on them. If not, you can also use ration card, or any recent utility bill or rent/lease agreement

  • PAN card

PAN card is necessary as it needs to be linked to your UAN.

  • Aadhaar Card

Aadhaar is also mandatory since it is linked to your mobile number and your bank account

  • Lastly, your Employee’s State Insurance Card (ESIC)

How Withdrawal/Transfer of funds made easy by UAN

Before the launch of UAN, people didn’t utilise their PF’s because whenever an employee changed his company, the process became very tedious. But after the service was rolled out, it made the process easier in many ways which are mentioned below:

  • PF account linked to UAN will invite less employer’s intervention
  • You can manage your account online after giving your UAN details to your employer and after he/she is done with the KYC verification
  • All PF accounts can be integrated and linked together to your UAN
  • Withdrawals tend to get reduced once UAN makes the linking of all PF’s easy
  • You can register for monthly updates on your mobile for the deposits made by your employer to your PF account


How to activate your UAN

To avail the facilities related to UAN, you need to register for UAN first. This can be done either via the UAN member portal or by SMS. Once the activation of UAN is successful, you will be able to benefit from the services offered by EPFO. Even if you change your job, with the help of UAN, you will be able to transfer your Employees Provident Fund money easily. If you don’t know about your UAN, you can ask your employer or HR department for the same.

Activate UAN via UAN member portal:

You will see a screen similar to this:

  • Once the screen appears, in the right panel, under ‘Important links’, you can see, ‘Activate   UAN’
  • Click on the option ‘Activate UAN’ and the window will then show a form which needs to be filled. All the fields marked with an asterisk (*) are to be filled mandatorily. Fill in your name, date of birth, mobile number and captcha compulsorily. Refer the image below to see if you are taken to the correct window.
UAN Member Portal
  • After you have filled in the necessary details, click on ‘Get Authorization Pin’. Post this, you will receive a PIN on the mobile number registered. Enter the PIN and you will be asked to select a password for yourself. After selecting the process, the registration process will be complete.
  • It will ask you to log in once the process is complete. Log in using your UAN number and password.

UAN activation through SMS:

  • This is only possible if your mobile number is registered with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization. With this, you will also need your Provident Fund number. Follow the format mentioned below and send it to ‘7738299899’. The format is:

EPFOHO ACT, enter your 12 digit UAN number, and 22 digit member ID

Once the SMS is sent, EPFO will activate your Universal Account Number. However, this method has a drawback. If you are activating your UAN by this mode, then you will not be able to log in to EPF member portal and avail the services the portal has to offer you.

Services offered on UAN member portal:

The services offered by the member portal can be availed post-logging in the UAN member portal. Services offered are:

  • From your account, you can download your member pass-book
  • You can also download your UAN card in a pdf format
  • Your Know Your Customer (KYC) details can be updated
  • You can withdraw your Employees Provident Fund through this facility
  • You can also apply for a monthly SMS update about the contributions made
  • This facility can also be used to update your personal information like email address or mobile number

Important information regarding UAN:

  • All employees independent of employers are provided with UAN
  • UAN can also be used by the employer to check his employee if the KYC documents are authenticated
  • The employer will not be able to hold back or deduct his employee’s PF as UAN provides online services
  • By registering on the EPF member portal using UAN, employees can check their PF deposit made by the employer every month
  • Employees can access their EPF passbook by sending an SMS through their registered mobile number in the format mentioned below:

           EPFOHO UAN ENG to 7738299899

Different ways to know your UAN:

Via Employer:

  • You can easily ask your employer for your Universal Account Number allotted to you by the Employees Provident Fund Organization. You might wanna check your salary slips too  Some employers tend to print the UAN number on them.

Via UAN online portal either using member ID or PF number:

In any case, if your employer refuses to give you your UAN, you can check for your number from the UAN portal. Follow the steps mentioned below to retrieve your UAN number from the portal.

A screen similar to the one mentioned under ‘Activate UAN via UAN member portal’ will appear

  • On the right section of the screen, under ‘Important links’, you will see ‘Know your UAN status’. Select that option to proceed further. A screen similar to the one attached below should appear on your computer screens as well:
Via UAN Portal
  • Fill in all the details mentioned in the form starting from ‘Enter member ID’. Under this, select your state and your EPFO office. Along with this, enter your other details like member ID, name, date of birth, mobile number, and email address. If you don’t know your member ID or PF number, you can refer to your salary slips for the same. All the fields marked with an asterisk (*) needs to be filled mandatorily
  • After completing the form, click on ‘Get authorization pin’. The authorization pin will be sent on your registered mobile number
  • Enter the PIN against the designated space and select ‘Validate OTP and UAN’ option
  • You will receive your Universal Account Number on your registered mobile number


Know how to link Aadhar to UAN and PF

Linking of aadhaar with UAN or PF account is not mandatory but it is still advisable to do the same. The linking can be done either through the online or offline mode.Read More

Common FAQ’s:

Do we get new UAN every time we change our jobs?

No, UAN remains the same throughout your lifetime. If EPFO has already allotted the UAN number to you, all you need to do is provide your new employer with the UAN. The employer will issue you a new identity which later will be linked to your UAN.

What information does a UAN card consists?

On the front side of the UAN card, a photograph is affixed along with your KYC details if it has been verified by your employer. On the back side, you will find your five latest member Ids along with EPF helpdesk contact details.

How to transfer your old PF accounts and connect them with your UAN?

After you have linked your new EPF account with your UAN, you can transfer your old PF accounts via online means and can also track the status of your transfer.

What steps you should undertake if you have been allotted two UAN’s?

If due to any confusion, you have been allotted two UAN’s, you need to contact EPF helpdesk and provide them with both UAN numbers and other supporting information. EPF will conduct a thorough verification and will deactivate the previous UAN and will keep current UAN active.

What steps should be taken if any wrong information has been printed on the EPF card?

If any information needs to be updated or corrected on your EPF card, you can either go to your organization with the supporting documents or you can contact the EPF helpdesk to understand the process for updating personal information on the card.

What all facilities EPFO members can avail?

EPFO members are entitled to a list of facilities. They are:

  • Previous job ids can be tracked and checked
  • Passbook for PF account can be downloaded
  • KYC details can be submitted
  • Personal details can be updated

How to create a strong password for UAN?

It is always advisable to create a strong password for your UAN account. You can do so during the ‘UAN activation process’. Try creating a password between 8-25 characters, should include special characters and use alphanumeric combinations.

Whom to contact if you have any queries related to UAN portal?

If you have any queries or concerns regarding the UAN portal, you can either call or email the helpdesk. Drop an email at [email protected] and you can call on 18001-18005.

How long does EPF take to update personal information?

EPF might take up to a month to update the personal information once you have submitted all the information along with supporting documents.

Why ‘member-activation’ is an important process for auto transfers?

To stay updated on the status of transactions via the registered mobile number is the main reason behind member activation and EPFO facilities.

CA Abhishek Soni

Abhishek Soni is a Chartered Accountant by profession & entrepreneur by passion. He is the co-founder & CEO of Tax2Win.in. Tax2win is amongst the top 25 emerging startups of Asia and authorized ERI by the Income Tax Department. In the past, he worked in EY and comes with wide industry experience from telecom, retail to manufacturing to entertainment where he has handled various national and international assignments.