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Employee Provident Fund (EPF) is a government-run saving scheme under Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Act, 1952. The scheme is managed, along with its trustees, by Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which in turn is under the administration of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India (GoI). It focuses on your post-retirement financial requirements. If you work in an organization that employs 20 or more people you are likely to be enrolled under this scheme by your employer. Under this scheme, you and your employer make compulsory monthly savings into your PF account. These savings get accumulated over your lifetime of work in different organizations. In addition to retirement benefits, EPF, allows you to avail loans against it, provides for tax breaks and also acts as a backup in case of your personal financial emergencies.
According to the ministry of labor, as per the last count, more than Rs. 27000 crore is lying in unclaimed PF accounts with EPFO. One of the reasons cited for this is that people often face difficulty to access their accounts mainly because of credentials mismatch. There have been many instances where people have encountered issues in withdrawing or transferring the money in their PF account because of incorrect entries of credentials and its subsequent mismatch with their Aadhar card or any other identification document. Such error usually takes place at the time of submitting details to the employer for registration. It may also happen that you submitted the correct information but your employer made the errors in submitting your application to EPFO. Therefore, it is advisable that you correct any mistakes of names or other credentials in your EPF account as soon as possible lest problems might crop up when you decide to utilize your funds.
A name change in PF account is not just required in cases of incorrect entry, but also in cases where you have changed your name officially, as in cases of marriage. If you have changed your name after marriage or otherwise and have also done such a name change in your bank account (linked to your PF account), you need to affect the same change in your PF account too. But, if you have not effected such name change either in your bank account or your Aadhar card then there is no requirement to change the name of your PF account.
EPFO provides both – online and offline mode, for you to correct your credentials. To make the corrections offline, you and your employer need to make a joint declaration and submit it to EPFO in the prescribed EPF correction form (click on the link to download name correction form in pdf). As can be seen in the form, the declaration is addressed to the Regional PF Commissioner. Entries that can be requested for correction are – (i) Name; (ii) Father/Husband Name; (iii) PF/EPS Account number; (iv) Date of Birth; (v) Date of joining and; Date of leaving. Along with the declaration you are required to enclose a self-attested copy of any one of the 5 documents – PAN card, Aadhar Card, Passport, Voter’s Identity card, or driving license, mentioned in the form. Follow the general process as mentioned
Fill in the form and the desired category in which you wish to request the change
Put your signature in the form
Secure counter signature and seal of your employer on the form
Attach a self-attested copy of any of the above-mentioned document along with the form
Submit the filled and signed form to your employer
Your employer will hand over the form to EPFO field officer – EPFO will then examine your request and either accept or reject the requested change
Now, EPFO provides subscribers an option to change their details online also. To make the corrections online you would require an active ‘Universal Account Number’ or UAN.
Earlier, when employees used to leave their jobs and join new organizations, their new employer re-enrolled them in a new EPF account. This led to a single person holding multiple PF accounts and often abandoning their older accounts unaware of the funds it holds. To eliminate the issues of duplicity and unclaimed accounts, NDA government, in October 2014, launched ‘Universal Account Number’, on the lines of unique Aadhar card number to cover all members of EPF. EPFO allotted 12 digits unique number to all account holders which will remain with the member no matter how many jobs he switches. Apart from easing the withdrawal and transfer of money, UAN will also facilitate other services like online passbook, SMS update of credit or debit and online KYC of the account. You will be given your UAN when you first enroll for EPF account through your employer. It is usually mentioned in the payslip issued to you by your employer. In case, you do not have the UAN, you can request your employer for the same. When you join any new organization you can give the UAN to your new employer for your EPF account linking.
For availing online services you need to sign up for the member portal using your UAN. ‘Active UAN’ implies that you have access to the UAN member portal. For activation, you need to visit the UAN Member e-sewa website. Therein, in the bottom right side of the page, you will find a link to ‘Activate UAN’. Click on the link and fill all the required details to activate your UAN. If you are not sure about your UAN, you can check its status by clicking on ‘Know your UAN status’ below the above-mentioned link.
Once your UAN is activated, you can log into the member service portal from the website by entering your UAN number and your password. This will allow you to access your EPF account like any other bank account and provide you with other services including the service to modify your basic details. Once registered, you can also access these services through the government-managed UMANG app on your Android and iOS devices.
Online name correction is a dual-level process:
Name correction and application at the employee’s end
Verification and authorisation at the employer’s end
For online correction of name, you will have to log in to your UAN member portal. Wherein, you will be required to fill in an online application form available for modification. Enter your Aadhar card details and submit the application for further processing. Your application will be verified against your identity card and then forwarded to your employer and the EPFO. Follow these general instructions:
Login in to your UAN member portal by using your UAN number and password
You will be directed to your employee user interface. Click on the ‘Manage’ tab from the Tab menu and go to ‘Modify Basic Details’.
You will have to enter your Aadhar number first and then carry on to fill in your correct details as per your Aadhar card. Ensure that you make changes as per the details contained in your Aadhar card. If your Aadhar card itself contains any incorrect information, it is recommended to get that rectified first.
Click on ‘Update Details’ (this will forward your request to your current employer).
Like in offline mode, the Employer is required to co-sponsor your request for name correction and forward the combined application to EPFO for final changes.
Employers will receive your request through the Employer’s Universal Interface.
The employer will make the request for correction to Regional PF Commissioner along with his comment and your application.
Thereafter, it is upon the PF Commissioner to accept or reject your request.
You can view the status of your request through the member portal. Once, the correction is approved, it will be reflected in your account details. Though EPFO does not provide any deadline for the correction, you can expect changes requested to be reflected in your account within 3-4 weeks.
Changing name or details of the PF account is quite cumbersome and even after the introduction of the ‘UAN member portal’ many people have complained of unresponsive EPFO website and user accounts. Experts at MyAdvo can help you navigate through your small and major labor and employment-related issues with most appropriate and timely consultations and opinions.