The 16-digit Aadhaar number is back on the radar of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation as it starts giving out unique account numbers to its subscribers.
Aadhaar is amongst the four instruments selected by the EPFO as know-your customer that will be seeded to each PF account number. The others include NPR number, Permanent Account number and bank account number.
“To make UAN effective and to link service delivery to the UAN, it is necessary to seed UAN with various KYCs to know the members of the Fund. KYC selected for the purpose are Aadhaar/NPR, PAN and bank account number,” EPFO said in a missive to its field formations.
The other options for KYC with the EPFO included election card, ration card, passport, driving licence but workers are not mandated to give these to employers, who usually require the PAN and bank account details.
This is not the first time that the EPFO is planning to use the Aadhaar numbers to give out individual PF account numbers. It had started a similar exercise in January 2013 but had pulled back within a month due to low enrollments.
However, this time around it is more confident of the coverage of Aadhaar after a recent meeting with UIDAI officials on the issue.
Pointing out that the Aadhaar number are already being used by some employers such as Trident for making payments to workers, the EPFO said that it already covers nearly 60 per cent of the workforce. “It is further felt that Aadhaar coverage will be more among the employees who are the members of the Fund. Aadhaar and NPR number should be available in more than 70 per cent to 80 per cent of the contributing members,” said the missive.
It has also directed field offices that employers must get in touch with the local UIDAI office to register their employees for Aadhaar numbers.
Initially, the EPFO will issue unique account numbers to contributing members and employers will be responsible for seeding the KYC of each employee.
The retirement fund manager has also constituted a special team for the purpose and all seeding activities have to be completed by October 15 this year.
The roll out of the UAN for PF subscribers was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the Union Budget.
The move is targeted at weeding out multiple accounts for each subscriber as members currently open a fresh PF account every time they change jobs.
As a result while the total number of EPFO subscribers are pegged at 11.78 crore as on March 31, 2014, the number of contributing members is much lower at 3.1 crore.
“It is, therefore, necessary for you to work in a mission mode. A lot of passion is required at your end to accomplish this task,” the EPFO has said.
The UAN is expected to help subscribers to smoothly change between jobs without having multiple PF accounts while it would also help the EPFO substantially cut down its workload relating to transfer of accounts.