A Universal Account Number (UAN) for Provident Fund (PF) accounts, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday, will help over four crore PF account holders to better manage their PF savings.
Irrespective of the number of jobs a person switches, the number will remain unchanged. Those who have multiple PF accounts because of job switches can now link them to the unique number by logging into the new UAN-based portal.
While launching the facility, PM Modi said that through this measure he wanted to give Rs. 27,000 crore to the poor who had not been able to claim their money. “This money belongs to poor workers of India. They have not been able to collect it because of the complicated process for filing claims,” he said.
From now on, when switching jobs, a person will not need to apply to transfer the money to a new PF account, but will only need to provide the UAN to the new employer.
This will reduce the paperwork and the workload of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) which had to generate a new number every time a person joined an office.
That not all. In the coming days, the new portal will enable people to withdraw money from their PF accounts after online submission of the required documents. A person can withdraw some part of the PF savings for needs such as buying a new home, marriage or a medical emergency. The money withdrawn will be electronically transferred to the applicant’s bank account.
The UAN will be created by EPFO and passed on to employers. EPFO officials said that about 2 crore PF account holders will be able to avail the facility immediately, while the UAN for the others will be operationalised soon.
(HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times New Delhi, October 17, 2014)