Unlocking the Power of Your Universal Account Number (UAN)

Discover everything about the Universal Account Number (UAN) and how it simplifies your EPF management. Learn how to activate, use, and benefit from your UAN.



5/24/20247 min read

Image of a digital ID card with a UAN number and a computer screen showing the UAN portal.
Image of a digital ID card with a UAN number and a computer screen showing the UAN portal.

Unlocking the Power of Your Universal Account Number (UAN)


In today’s fast-paced world, managing multiple financial accounts can be overwhelming. This is especially true for employees handling various Employee Provident Fund (EPF) accounts throughout their careers. Fortunately, the Universal Account Number (UAN) is here to simplify this process. Understanding the importance of UAN, its functionalities, and the myriad benefits it offers can empower employees to manage their EPF accounts seamlessly.

What is a Universal Account Number (UAN)?

Defining UAN

The Universal Account Number, commonly known as UAN, is a unique 12-digit number assigned to each employee contributing to the EPF. Introduced by the Employees' Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) of India, the UAN acts as a centralized identity for all EPF accounts held by an employee, making it easier to manage and transfer funds.

History and Evolution of UAN

The UAN was introduced in October 2014 as part of the Indian government's initiative to streamline the EPF process. Prior to this, employees had to deal with multiple account numbers for different employments, leading to confusion and administrative hassles. The implementation of UAN marked a significant shift towards a more organized and efficient provident fund system.

How Does UAN Work?

Linking Multiple EPF Accounts

One of the key functionalities of UAN is its ability to link multiple EPF accounts. Whenever an employee changes jobs, the new EPF account opened by the employer is linked to the employee's existing UAN. This ensures continuity and easy tracking of EPF contributions across various employments.

Simplifying Employee Provident Fund Management

UAN simplifies the management of EPF accounts by providing a single platform where employees can view and manage their EPF details. This centralization reduces the administrative burden and provides transparency in transactions, making the entire process more efficient.

How to Get Your UAN?

Employer’s Role in Issuing UAN

Typically, the employer plays a crucial role in issuing the UAN. When an employee joins a new organization, the employer registers them with the EPFO, which then generates a UAN for the employee. This UAN remains the same throughout the employee's career, regardless of the number of job changes.

Self-Help: Finding Your UAN Online

If you're unsure about your UAN, you can easily find it online. The EPFO portal offers a facility where employees can enter their personal details, such as name, date of birth, and registered mobile number, to retrieve their UAN. This self-help feature ensures that employees have access to their UAN without relying solely on their employers.

Activating Your UAN

Step-by-Step Guide to Activation

Activating your UAN is a straightforward process. Follow these steps:

  1. Visit the EPFO Member Portal and click on the "Activate UAN" link.

  2. Enter your UAN, member ID, and other required details.

  3. Receive an OTP on your registered mobile number.

  4. Enter the OTP and complete the activation process.

  5. Set your username and password for future logins.

Common Activation Issues and Solutions

While the activation process is generally smooth, some employees may encounter issues. Common problems include mismatched details or non-receipt of OTP. Ensuring that your details match the EPFO records and having a reliable mobile connection can help mitigate these issues.

Benefits of UAN

Consolidation of EPF Accounts

One of the primary benefits of UAN is the consolidation of all your EPF accounts. This means no more juggling multiple account numbers or losing track of your EPF contributions when you switch jobs. With UAN, all your accounts are linked under one umbrella, making management a breeze.

Easy Transfer and Withdrawal of Funds

UAN simplifies the process of transferring EPF funds from one account to another. This is particularly useful when you change jobs, as it ensures seamless continuity of your EPF contributions. Additionally, UAN facilitates easy withdrawal of EPF funds, whether for retirement, medical emergencies, or other approved purposes.

Enhanced Security Features

Security is a top priority when dealing with financial accounts. UAN comes with enhanced security features, such as OTP verification and regular alerts on your registered mobile number, ensuring that your EPF details are safe and secure.

Using the UAN Portal

Overview of the UAN Member Portal

The UAN Member Portal is a user-friendly platform designed to give employees control over their EPF accounts. Once logged in, employees can access various services, including viewing their EPF passbook, updating KYC details, and filing transfer claims.

Key Features and Services Available

The UAN portal offers a plethora of features. Some of the key services include:

  • Viewing and downloading the EPF passbook.

  • Updating personal and KYC details.

  • Filing and tracking EPF transfer claims.

  • Checking the status of EPF contributions.

Updating KYC Details

Importance of KYC for UAN

KYC (Know Your Customer) details are essential for verifying the identity of an employee. Having up-to-date KYC information linked to your UAN ensures seamless transactions and prevents potential issues during EPF withdrawals or transfers.

Step-by-Step Guide to Updating KYC

Updating your KYC details on the UAN portal is simple:

  1. Log in to the UAN Member Portal.

  2. Navigate to the "Manage" section and click on "KYC."

  3. Enter your updated details, such as Aadhaar, PAN, and bank account information.

  4. Upload scanned copies of the relevant documents.

  5. Submit the details for verification by your employer and the EPFO.

Checking UAN Status

How to Check UAN Status Online

Keeping track of your UAN status is crucial. You can check your UAN status online by visiting the EPFO portal and entering your UAN and other required details. This will provide you with the current status of your UAN, ensuring that it is active and up-to-date.

Resolving UAN Status Issues

If you encounter any issues with your UAN status, such as discrepancies in details or inactive status, you can contact your employer or the EPFO for resolution. Ensuring that your details are correct and regularly updated can help prevent such issues.

Transferring EPF with UAN

Online Transfer Process

Transferring your EPF funds online using UAN is a hassle-free process. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Log in to the UAN Member Portal.

  2. Go to the "Online Services" section and select "Transfer Request."

  3. Enter your previous and current EPF account details.

  4. Verify the details and submit the transfer request.

  5. Track the status of your transfer through the portal.

Tracking Transfer Status

Once you've submitted a transfer request, you can easily track its status online. The UAN portal provides real-time updates, ensuring that you’re always in the loop about the progress of your transfer.

UAN and EPF Balance

How to Check EPF Balance Using UAN

Checking your EPF balance using UAN is straightforward. You can do this via:

  • The UAN Member Portal

  • The EPFO’s official app

  • Sending an SMS to the designated EPFO number

Understanding Your EPF Passbook

The EPF passbook is a comprehensive record of your EPF transactions. By regularly checking your passbook, you can keep track of your contributions, employer's contributions, and the interest accrued. This helps in maintaining transparency and ensuring that all your contributions are accurately recorded.

Withdrawing EPF Using UAN

Eligibility Criteria for EPF Withdrawal

Before initiating an EPF withdrawal, it’s important to understand the eligibility criteria. Typically, you can withdraw your EPF funds under the following circumstances:

  • Retirement

  • Unemployment for more than two months

  • Medical emergencies

  • Marriage or education of children

Step-by-Step Guide to Withdrawal Process

Withdrawing EPF funds using UAN involves these steps:

  1. Log in to the UAN Member Portal.

  2. Navigate to the "Online Services" section and select "Claim (Form-31, 19 & 10C)."

  3. Enter the required details and upload supporting documents.

  4. Submit the claim and track its status through the portal.

UAN and Income Tax

Tax Implications of EPF Withdrawals

Understanding the tax implications of EPF withdrawals is crucial. Withdrawals before five years of continuous service may attract tax, whereas withdrawals after five years are generally tax-free. It’s advisable to consult a tax advisor to understand the specific implications for your situation.

Tax Benefits of EPF Contributions

Contributing to EPF offers significant tax benefits. Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, contributions up to ₹1.5 lakh per annum are eligible for tax deductions. This makes EPF an attractive savings instrument for salaried employees.

Common UAN Issues and Solutions

Mismatched Details in UAN and EPF

Mismatched details between your UAN and EPF accounts can lead to issues in transactions. It’s essential to regularly check and update your details to ensure they match across all records. Any discrepancies should be immediately corrected through the UAN portal or by contacting the EPFO.

How to Correct UAN Details

Correcting details in your UAN is straightforward:

  1. Log in to the UAN Member Portal.

  2. Navigate to the "Manage" section and select "Modify Basic Details."

  3. Enter the correct details and submit them for verification.

  4. Your employer and the EPFO will review and approve the changes.


How can I activate my UAN?

To activate your UAN, visit the EPFO Member Portal, click on "Activate UAN," and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

What should I do if I forget my UAN?

If you forget your UAN, you can retrieve it by visiting the EPFO portal and entering your personal details. Alternatively, you can contact your employer for assistance.

How can I update my KYC details on the UAN portal?

Log in to the UAN Member Portal, go to the "Manage" section, and select "KYC." Enter the required details and upload the necessary documents for verification.

What are the benefits of linking multiple EPF accounts to one UAN?

Linking multiple EPF accounts to one UAN simplifies fund management, ensures continuity of EPF contributions, and provides a consolidated view of your EPF savings.

How do I check my EPF balance using UAN?

You can check your EPF balance using the UAN Member Portal, the EPFO app, or by sending an SMS to the designated EPFO number.

Can I withdraw my EPF without UAN activation?

No, UAN activation is mandatory for withdrawing EPF funds. Ensure your UAN is activated and linked to your EPF account before initiating a withdrawal.


The Universal Account Number (UAN) is a game-changer in the realm of employee provident fund management. By consolidating multiple EPF accounts, simplifying fund transfers, and providing enhanced security, UAN offers numerous benefits to employees. Understanding how to activate, use, and maintain your UAN can significantly enhance your experience with EPF management, making it a crucial aspect of your financial planning.

By leveraging the features and benefits of UAN, employees can take control of their retirement savings, ensuring a secure and well-managed financial future.