Online e-KYC service for Aadhaar seeding of UANs is available to both employers and employees on EPFO’s Portal and through UMANG App.
Aadhaar number seeding with the Universal Account Number (UAN) makes withdrawal and transfer of Provident Fund (PF) easier for the employees. On a regular basis, the employers have to submit the electronic challan-cum-returns (ECR) carrying employee’s details with the EPFO. The ECR is to be filed only for those employees who have their Aadhaar number seeded with the UAN.
This new rule was to be implemented from June 1, 2021, but later on it was extended till September 1, 2021. Now, the deadline for Aadhaar linking of UAN has been extended till December 31, 2021 for establishments in the North East and certain other establishments.
Benefits of Aadhaar UAN seeding
Since Aadhaar seeding is mandatory for any withdrawals and transfer of PF funds, receipt of contributions in Aadhaar seeded UANs helps members to file online claims to avail withdrawals and file e-nominations without employer’s intervention and avoids delay in withdrawals due to non-seeding of Aadhaar in UAN.
Aadhaar UAN seeding timeline
Employees joining EPFO registered establishments on or after 1st October 2017 have Aadhaar seeded UANs. Further, online e-KYC service for Aadhaar seeding of UANs allotted prior to 01.10.2017 is available to both employers and employees on EPFO’s Portal and through UMANG APP and any withdrawals from member’s PF account is allowed only if UAN is Aadhaar seeded.
Regarding Aadhaar seeding, EPFO had already issued instructions dated June 1, 2021 mandating that UANs is to be Aadhaar seeded for receipt of contributions through ECR.
However, considering the challenges faced by the employers & employees in expeditious seeding of Aadhaar in UANs particularly in view of corrections required in Aadhaar data of employees in aftermath of second wave of Pandemic, the EPFO with prior approval of the Central Government had extended the time for mandatory seeding of Aadhaar in UAN for filing ECR up to September 1, 2021.
According to EPFO, the representations for extension of time beyond 01.09.2021 have been considered and it is noted that overall about 94% of contributory EPF members’ UAN have Aadhaar seeding but there is less percentage of Aadhaar seeding in UANs of contributory members in EPFO’s administrative Zone of North Eastern Region and in certain class of establishments / industries such as Beedi making, Building & Construction and Plantation.
Aadhaar UAN seeding extension
Now, according to the latest EPFO circular, the following has been decided:
(a) Considering the low Aadhaar penetration in the EPFO’s administrative Zone of North East Region comprising of States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland & Tripura, time for mandatory seeding of Aadhaar in UAN for filing ECR is extended till 31.12.2021
(b) Considering the concentration of establishments in remote localities & in areas affected by insurgency, frequent change in work sites of the workers and other attendant constraints in the Classes of establishments- Beedi making, Building and Construction and Plantation industries (Tea, Coffee, Cardamom, Pepper, Jute, Rubber, Cinchona, Cashewnuts etc.) time for mandatory seeding of Aadhaar in UAN for filing ECR is extended till 31.12.2021.
(c) For areas and industries or class of establishments other than above, delay in filing of ECRs for wage months of August, 2021 & September, 2021 only in respect of EPF members due to non-seeding of Aadhaar in the UANs should not be presumed as employer’s default for levy of penal damages u/s 14B of the EPF & MP Act, 1952.
What to do as employee
As an employee if you have yet seeded Aadhaar with UAN, initiate the process to link them. You may log on to the EPFO employee portal to check the status and upload KYC documents. But, importantly, keep tracking and follow up with the employer if the seeding remains incomplete even after a few days of uploading the documents. Your employer will not be able to communicate and intimate your wages, PF details with EPFO, if they remain unseeded.