A Step-by-Step Guide to UAN Generation and Activation Process

7 min read • Published 10 March 2023
Written by Anuj Agarwal

Unlike visiting the employers to get things done earlier, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) allotted 12-digit Universal Account Number (UAN) now allows an employee to track all the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) contributions made during the current and previous employments, check EPF balance, transfer and/or withdraw online from his/her PF account.

What is EPF 

Without any definite benefit pension system, getting regular income after retirement is one of the major concerns for private sector employees. The Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) is one of the retirement benefits schemes that aim to help such employees working in the private sector.

Benefits of EPF

  • Lump Sum Benefit

EPF helps private sector employees accumulate retirement corpus that may be utilised to create a source of regular post-retirement income. 

  • Pension Benefit

EPF also provides pension benefits to the members making PF contributions for 10 years or longer through EPS (Employees’ Pension Scheme) after retirement. 

  • Insurance Benefit

EPF members also get insurance coverage through EDLI (Employees’ Deposit Linked Insurance) during their employment.

  • Tax Benefit

While the employee’s contribution is eligible for tax deduction u/s 80C of the Income Tax Act – which is currently lower than the actual contribution or Rs 1.5 lakh under the Old Income Tax Regime, the lump sum withdrawal made after 5 years from the start of contribution after joining an organisation is also tax-free. Withdrawals made before the completion of 5 years are, however, taxable.

Who can get the benefit?

As per the provision of Employees’ Provident Funds and the Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952  the EPF scheme is mandatory for organisations having 20 or more employees. Making PF contributions is compulsory for the employees drawing a basic salary (Basic + DA) of up to Rs 15,000 per month. Although EPF is optional for employees drawing a higher salary, employers generally extend the retirement benefit to all employees. The lucrative rate of interest and various benefits associated with EPF also make the higher-ranked employees opt for the scheme.

Contributions of EPF

Both the employees and the employers make a matching contribution of 12% of an employee’s basic salary (basic + DA). While an employee’s entire 12% contribution goes to PF, out of the employer’s 12% contribution, 8.33% goes to EPS and the remaining 3.67% goes to EDLI.

What is a Universal account number (UAN)?

UAN is a 12-digit number allocated to each member by linking it to the member’s currently active PF account. (From 31/07/2014 to 30/11/2016). From December 2016, any new member has to be allotted a UAN linked to the establishment’s code number.

Benefits of UAN

  1. Withdrawal, transfer of PF online

When an employee changes jobs, his/her PF Account Number gets changed. Moreover, once the contributions stop after an employee leaves his/her job, the interest payment on the outstanding balance in the PF account stops after 3 years. So, an employee needs to either withdraw or transfer the amount lying idle in the PF account of the previous employer(s). However, to avoid paying tax on short-term withdrawals and to avail of pension benefits, it’s better to transfer the PF account from the previous employer(s) to the current employer.

  1. Convenience

Earlier, after changing his/her job(s), EPF members had to visit their old employers to withdraw their PF money or to get it transferred to the current EPF account maintained by the new employer. Apart from cumbersome paperwork, visiting old employers becomes difficult. . Moreover, an old employer may not cooperate with an ex-employee, especially if the relieving process was not done on a sweet note.

  1. Ease of PF transfer

Also, in case of any data mismatch in the EPF accounts maintained by the old and new employers, transferring PF money through physical application may hit a dead end. In such a case, an employee may not have any other option, but to withdraw the money from the old EPF account even if it becomes taxable.

  1. Control

As the UAN remains the same for an employee irrespective of change in employment, it acts as a bridge between the different EPF accounts maintained by the new and the old employers. So, UAN not only eliminates the cumbersome paperwork and the difficulties of visiting old employers for withdrawing or transferring PF money, but also allows an employer to rectify minor data mismatches online for smooth consolidation of multiple EPF accounts by transferring all the money to the account maintained by the current employer.

UAN Generation and Activation Process

Employers can generate the UAN. In case of a change in employment, the previously  Allotted UAN may be provided to the employer.

Here is a Step-by-Step Guide for Generating and Activating UAN:

  • Keep the UAN, Aadhaar number, Mobile number, and Member ID ready for activation purposes. For further details, select the hyperlink ‘User Manual for Member’ on the EPFO portal.
  • The UAN in respect of an EPF member with first-time employment would be generated by the employer prior to the filing the UAN-based ECR (Electronic Challan cum Return) for the member.  In case a PF beneficiary doesn’t have UAN, he/she may approach the current employer to get the same. Existing members may use the same UAN provided by the previous employer.
  • Visit the UAN-based Member Portal website https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ and activate the UAN by selecting a link given ‘Activate UAN’. To eliminate redundancy, it’s better to tag KYC details against the allotted UAN rather than the member ID.
  • Link your Aadhaar with your UAN through Aadhaar OTP and then create a password for future login using UAN as the User ID.

Once the UAN is activated and the password is set, visit the EPFO member portal through https://unifiedportal-mem.epfindia.gov.in/memberinterface/ and log in to avail the following facilities –

  • Download

– Download Member Pass Book

– Download UAN Card

  • Previous Member-IDs

– List Previous Member ID

– View Status

  • Transfer Claim

– File Transfer Claim

– View Transfer Claim Status

– System Generated Transfer Claim Status

  • Profile

– Edit Mobile Number

– Edit Email Id

– Update KYC Information

– Change Password

– Edit Personal Details

  • Transactions

– Initiate PF withdrawal process and check the status

– Initiate PF transfer process from previous employers to the current employer and check the status


Generation and activation of UAN make life simple for a private sector employee availing EPF for retirement benefits. Once activated, an employee may check PF balances, download passbook, change profile details, update KYC, add and/or change nominee, put a PF withdrawal request or transfer request online on the EPFO portal through UAN, without visiting previous employers and doing cumbersome paperwork.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is UAN?

UAN is a 12-digit number allotted by the EPFO that remains the same for an individual even as his/her EPF Member ID or the EPF Account Number changes with the change in jobs. Thus, UAN aims to act as an umbrella for the multiple Member IDs or EPF account numbers allotted to an individual by different establishments. If a member is already allotted UAN, then he/she is required to provide the same to the new employer on joining a new establishment to enable the employer to in-turn mark the new Member ID to the already allotted UAN.

  1. How to get the UAN?

An employee enjoying the EPF benefits needs to contact his/her employer to get the UAN.

  1. How to get a password to access the EPFO site?

The password has to be created by the member only while activating his/her UAN. The password should be alphanumeric, have at least 1 capital letter, and 1 small letter, have a minimum of 1 special character and be 8-25 characters long. Special characters are !@#$%^&*() Sample Password:: Abc@123456

  1. Is it mandatory to provide an Aadhaar number?

With effect from June 1, 2021, in view of the impending mandatory provisions, linking of the Aadhaar number with the UAN has become compulsory to avail uninterrupted services of the EPFO. Validation of Aadhaar with UAN through the online e-KYC facility may be done on the EPFO member portal, as well as on the UMANG App.

  1. Can we activate UAN via offline mode?

No, UAN registration and activation are done only online. 

  1. What is the cost of generation/activation of UAN?

Generation and activation of UAN are free of cost.

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Anuj Agarwal

Investment Principal
Anuj is an investment professional with a demonstrated history of working in Debt Capital Markets. He has completed his B.Com (Hons) in St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and holds PGDM (Finance) degree from GIM. He is currently working as Investments Principal at Wint Wealth. He has been working in the debt capital market space for the past 4+ years and is also an NISM certified mutual fund expert.

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