Finally, EPF services have come entirely in your hand. You, yourself can link Aadhaar with UAN without the employer. You may know that when we link Aadhaar with UAN, we come out from the clutches of the Employer. You become a free man. Whether it is EPF withdrawal or EPF transfer, you can do all these tasks without the approval of the employer. It happens when your Aadhaar is linked with the UAN.
UAN or universal account number is a unique identification number of the EPF scheme. As you know the EPF scheme is a retirement saving scheme for the employee. The Aadhaar makes the management of this scheme very easy.
Thanks to the e-KYC, you don’t need an employer to approve your Aadhaar number. Till now, your employer or a CSC can approve the Aadhaar number of the employee, but now an OTP would do the job. As we know that OTP stands for the ‘one-time password’ which is sent to your registered mobile number. The OTP method of verification is used for digital payments.
Link Aadhaar and UAN without the Employer
The EPFO wants to have a direct relationship with the employee. In fact, it wanted to bypass employer to speed up the EPF services and reduce the complaints. But it was not possible until the authenticity of the employee is verified.
Earlier it was the employer who used to verify an employee. Because of this exclusive right, many employers used to blackmail employees. But, Aadhaar and UAN has changed the scenario.
The UAN is a universal account number which do not change even after the change of job. While Aadhaar is biometric based identity number which can’t be duplicated. Hence, on the basis of Aadhaar, EPFO can directly deal with the member (employee).
Still, EPFO needs a mechanism to authenticate that a given Aadhaar number belongs to the right person. Hence, an employer verifies the Aadhaar of the employee. But, the e-KYC, has ended the need of the employer.
What is e-KYC
The full form of the e-KYC is ‘electronic Know Your customer’. In fact ‘Know Your customer’ is a way to ascertain the identity and address of a person. In this method, you have to give a copy of your identity and address proof. Along with it, you have to give a photograph and sign the KYC application.
Till some years ago, the KYC was done physically. You fill a form, afix the photo and attach the signed copy of identity and address proof. But, Now it can be done electronically (paperless) through the Aadhaar database.
The Aadhaar database, contains the personal details, photograph, and mobile number of each person. So to ascertain the identity and address of a person, one can tally it with the Aadhaar database. If your given data matches with the Aadhaar, you are verified.
But, to fix the accountability, It also requires your sign. In an eKYC mechanism, sign is replaced with the OTP. When you submit the one time password, it is deemed that right person is applying. The one-time password is sent to the Aadhaar linked mobile number.
You may have used e-KYC for, mutual fund investment. The same method is used for Mobile number and Aadhaar linking. Banks also open new account using the e-KYC. As it is a paperless way to prove your identity, it has become very popular.
Requirements for Aadhaar-UAN self-linking
It has become very easy to link Aadhaar with UAN. You can do it within 5 minutes. But, you have to fulfill some conditions as well.
- You personal detail should match. The name, date of birth and gender should be the same in UAN database and Aadhaar database. Note, there should not be the difference even for a letter or space.
- The mobile number should be same in the UAN and Aadhaar database. If there is any discrepancy, make it same before applying for linking.
Steps to Link Aadhaar with UAN
The EPFO has made a separate page just to link your Aadhaar with the UAN. To link Aadhaar through this method even you don’t need to login EPF unified portal or activate the UAN. You can use this method of UAN and Aadhaar linking as a guest.
- Visit the EPFO website epfindia.gov.in. Go to the online services. Choose e-KYC portal. You woul reach to the dedicated page of e-KYC. You can also directly go to this page (https://iwu.epfindia.gov.in/eKYC/)
2. Now you have to enter your UAN. Once you enter the UAN, the system itself would detect the registered mobile number. Yo would see the last 4 digits of the mobile number. If it is right, you should generate OTP to verify the mobile number.
3. After the OTP confirmation, you have to enter the Aadhaar number. Now, you have to also verify your Aadhaar linked mobile number. Thus, you would also receive the OTP on your Aadhaar linked mobile number. This Aadhaar number verification is performed through the CSC platform. You can see the CSC logo on the page.
4. Once, you validate the OTP, your UAN and Aadhaar would be linked.
However, in my case, it did not happen because my date of birth did not match with the Aadhaar record. You may face a similar situation if there is a discrepancy on Aadhaar data. As I have told, your name, date of birth and gender should be same in Aadhaar and UAN database. To rectify name or date of birth details, you have to go through the employer.
This linking of Aadhaar and UAN would make you eligible for all Aadhaar based facilities of the EPFO. This linking of UAN and Aadhaar would be as good as the linking through the employer.
Benefits of UAN-Aadhaar Linking
The Aadhaar and UAN linking would give you following benefits.
- You can Apply for EPF withdrawal directly to the EPFO. The employer would not have any role.
- There would be automatic EPF transfer. You don’t even need to apply.
- You can apply for EPF pension withdrawal from UAN member portal itself.
- There would not be any discrepancy on personal detail.
- The employer can’t delay the approval of Aadhaar.
As you have seen that to link Aadhaar and UAN, your mobile number should be same in both the database, hence now you should think twice before changing the mobile number. It is always better to use mobile number portability instead of adopting a new mobile number.