1. Good news on Provident Fund, Aadhaar Card and UAN linking: See what big change is coming

Good news on Provident Fund, Aadhaar Card and UAN linking: See what big change is coming

Even before securing a job, a prospective employee can now have an Aadhaar-linked Universal Account Number (UAN), which is mandatory for depositing provident fund contributions and seeking withdrawal of deposits.

By: | New Delhi | Updated: November 27, 2017 6:47 AM
Provident Fund, Aadhaar Card, UAN linking,  UAN programme, Teamlease Services, employee pension scheme, EPFO related services, Aadhaar ecosystem Using UAN, one can avail himself/herself of all EPFO-related services including deposits, checking passbook, withdrawals, portability and SMS services on registered mobile numbers.

Even before securing a job, a prospective employee can now have an Aadhaar-linked Universal Account Number (UAN), which is mandatory for depositing provident fund contributions and seeking withdrawal of deposits. While the principal idea is to ease the burden of an employer to register a newly-appointed employee, it will also sensitise the youth to the benefits of long-term savings and old-age financial security early in their lives. In 2014, the retirement fund launched the UAN programme in order to merge multiple identification numbers that used to be allotted to a contributing member into a single 12-digit UAN. Using UAN, one can avail himself/herself of all EPFO-related services including deposits, checking passbook, withdrawals, portability and SMS services on registered mobile numbers. Under the present law, it is mandatory for units employing 20 or more persons and earning up to Rs 15,000 a month to provide EPF benefits to workers. While employees contribute 12% of the basic pay to EPF, the employer contributes 8.33% (of the pay subject to Rs 15,000 a month limit) towards the employee’s pension scheme and 3.67% of the pay to the EPF itself.

VP Joy, central provident fund commissioner, told FE that the system for generation of Aadhaar-linked UAN for those who are yet to enter the job world has already started. “We are trying to remove the burden of the employer to register an employee with the UAN. Suppose, if someone is still studying, he can have a UAN and then when he/she joins somewhere, the employer does not need to register him/her with the EPFO – she can straightaway start depositing funds with the EPFO,” Joy said. Giving UAN to people before they get a job will mean that from the very first job an employee is more likely to be covered in PF, especially given the EPFO drive to bring more and more establishments even from SME sector into the PF fold.

Teamlease Services’ vice-president Sonal Arora said instead of allocating one more number by way of a separate UAN number to everyone, the EPFO must explore using Aadhaar itself as a unique account number for the purpose of managing an employee’s PF account. “Already everyone has an Aadhaar and on top of that every formal sector employee would have a PAN number as well, so creating another parallel network is neither required nor efficient. The Aadhaar ecosystem is very robust and should be optimally used across all regulatory bodies,” she said. EPFO currently has around 4.7 crore active subscribers. It gets around Rs 1.5 lakh crore annual deposits from subscribers. The EPFO has also taken a series of subscriber-friendly steps to encourage subscribers with the aim of reducing the premature closure of the account, easy withdrawal of deposits and making the entire procedure online using even mobile phone so that subscribers can check their account on the go. It has also reduced the administrative charges to 0.65% from 0.85% earlier.

  1. R
    Reader
    Nov 27, 2017 at 7:18 am
    The biometrics-based Aadhaar program is inherently flawed. Biometrics can be easily lifted by external means, there is no need to hack the system. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can CLONE your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. That is why advanced countries like the US, UK, etc. did not implement such a self-destructive biometrics-based system. If the biometric details of a person are COMPROMISED ONCE, then even a new Aadhaar card will not help that person. This is NOT like blocking an ATM card and taking a new one.
    Reply
    1. R
      Reader
      Nov 27, 2017 at 7:18 am
      UK’s Biometric ID Database was dismantled. Why the United Kingdom's biometrics-linked National Identi-ty Card project to create a centralized register of sensitive information about residents similar to Aadhaar was scrapped in 2010?? The reasons were the massive threat posed to the privacy of people, the possibility of a surveillance state, the dangers of maintaining such a huge centralized repository of personal information and the purposes it could be used for, the dangers of such a centralized database being hacked, and the unreliability of such large-scale biometric verification processes. The Aadhaar program was designed in 2009 by mainly considering the 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' of UK, but the UK stopped that project in 2010, whereas India continued with the biometrics-based program. We must think why the United Kingdom abandoned their project and destroyed the data collected. (Google: 'Identi-ty Cards Act 2006' and 'Identi-ty Documents Act 2010' )
      Reply
      1. R
        Reader
        Nov 27, 2017 at 7:17 am
        A centralized and inter-linked biometric database like Aadhaar will lead to profiling and self-censorship, endangering freedom. Personal data gathered under the Aadhaar program is prone to misuse and surveillance. Aadhaar project has created a vulnerability to identi-ty fraud, even identi-ty theft. Easy harvesting of biometrics traits and publicly-available Aadhaar numbers increase the risk of impersonation, especially online and banking fraud. Centralized databases can be hacked. Biometrics can be cloned, copied and reused. Thus, BIOMETRICS CAN BE FAKED. High-resolution cameras can capture your fingerprints and iris information from a distance. Every eye hospital will have iris images of its patients. So another person can clone your fingerprints and iris images without your knowledge, and the same can be used for authentication. If the Aadhaar scheme is NOT STOPPED by the Supreme Court, the biometric features of Indians will soon be cloned, misused, and even traded.
        Reply
        1. R
          Reader
          Nov 27, 2017 at 7:17 am
          The US Social Security Number (SSN) card has NO BIOMETRIC DETAILS, no photograph, no physical description and no birth date. All it does is confirm that a particular number has been issued to a particular name. Instead, a driving license or state ID card is used as an identification for adults. The US government DOES NOT collect the biometric details of its own citizens for the purpose of issuing Social Security Number. The US collects the fingerprints of only those citizens who are involved in any criminal activity (it has nothing to do with SSN), and the citizens of other countries who come to the US.
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