Starting this month, your employer will be able to make provident fund remittances only if your PF UAN (universal account number) is linked to your Aadhaar. The linkage has become mandatory since section 142 of the Code of Social Security 2020 comes into force, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has said, in a notification, effective June 1, to employers.
“This includes monthly employer as well as employee PF contributions. The employer will not be able to upload electronic challan-cum-return (ECR), which contains employee’s PF details, for such employees if their UANs are not linked to Aadhaar,” explains Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India. While many employers do ask for Aadhaar details at the time induction of employees, it was not mandatory for registration as an EPF member.
“Under the current legal framework with respect to EPF and ESI (employees’ state insurance), Aadhaar is not required for registration as member but is required for making withdrawals from the provident fund and availing benefits from ESIC. Under the social security code, Aadhaar linking is a pre-requisite for registration as member and being a beneficiary as well,” says Pooja Ramchandani, Partner with law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas. Therefore, it is best to ensure that you complete the seeding process as soon as possible this month.
You can do this by logging into to www.epfindia.gov.in with your username and password. “The circular is effective June 1, 2021, which means that remittances due on June 15, too, could be affected. Employers have started reaching out to their employees to complete the Aadhaar-UAN linking process,” says Kasturirangan. It’s not only the remittances to your account that will be affected. Your access to EPF benefits will be suspended until the process is completed.
“Employees will not be able to make withdrawals, take loans or avail any other benefits under the EPF Act until their Aadhaar is seeded into their UAN,” says Archit Gupta, Founder and CEO, Cleartax. This includes taking COVID-19 advances announced last year during the first wave of the pandemic and extended again last month.