The Provident Fund is a contribution that is made by both employers and employees towards building a retirement corpus for an employee.
Sadly employees leave an organisation and they tend to withdraw all the money. An individual employee contributes an amount each month and the employer too contributes a sum which helps in building a solid retirement corpus over a period of time.
What Is The EPF No?
Prior to the Universal Account Number or what is called UAN, there was a Employees Provident Fund number. One drawback of this was that each time an employee changed job and withdrew his PF, he would have to apply for a new PF no. So, like the PAN no, used for the purpose of income tax, which is a permanent number, this number was never permanent.
So, you would be never allotted a permanent number.
How has the UAN been different?
The biggest advantage of the UAN is that it has been a permanent number. Ever since it was introduced 2-3 years ago by the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO), it has made life easy for employees. The UAN is a permanent number, which never changes when you change a job or withdraw the money.
Let us assume that as per the present norm you lose your job and are jobless for 2-months. You can now withdraw your money. If you get a new job all over again, you can use the same UAN that was prevailing earlier.
What this means is that it is permanent in nature. The UAN is a 12-digit number. This is what is allotted to you these days in lieu of the old EPF no. If you have not received the same, you should ask your employer for the same.
Once you get your no, you can view your statement and can also download your passbook. This will give you an accurate assessment of your balance and other details, including interest accrued thereof.
Let us see the difference between UAN and EPF NO
The Universal Account Number is a permanent number, while the PF no was originally in the nature of a number that could be changed a number of times. Today, the PF no has gradually ceased to exist, as it has made way for the UAN.
Settlements are much faster in the UAN as compared to PF. These days, the EPFO is looking at the possibility of settling claims in just one week, if you have linked your Aadhar card to the UAN.
So, the major difference between the UAN and PF no is that that the latter has made life easy, by bringing about faster settlements and not to mention greater transparency. No doubt the UAN is much better than the previous EPF number and has evolved tremendously over the last few months.