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How to Merge Two UANs of Different EPF Accounts?

The regulatory requirement for individuals to possess only one UAN throughout their lifetime highlights the importance of addressing this issue as soon as possible.

  • 2,079 Views | Updated on: Mar 12, 2024

Changing jobs often initiates the new employer’s issuance of a new UAN (Universal Account Number). Reasons for this include the employee’s non-disclosure of the previous UAN and the absence of timely “Date of Exit” information from the prior employer in the Electronic Challan and Return (ECR). Individuals might have to deactivate one of the Universal Account Numbers or transfer the older EPF account to the latest one.

In recent times, there have been numerous instances in which employees have been allocated multiple UANs. According to regulations, individuals should possess only one UAN throughout their lifetime. The UAN is linked to an employee’s EPF account, and if a member of the EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organization) is assigned two UANs, the previous UAN should be deactivated.

How do you Transfer an Old UAN to a New UAN Online or Merge two UANs?

If you hold two UANs, you should know How to transfer the old UAN to the new UAN online. It is advisable to deactivate one of them, typically the previous one. The EPFO website outlines two methods for deactivating a UAN and transferring your EPF account. These methods are detailed below:

Method 1

  • Promptly report the issue to your employer or EPFO when you know it.
  • Send an email to uanepf@epfindia.gov.in, specifying your current and previous UAN.
  • EPFO will conduct a verification process for the issue.
  • Your previous UAN will be blocked while your current UAN remains active.
  • Subsequently, submit a claim to transfer the EPF account (linked with the blocked UAN) to the new active account.

This process may take some time, and the resolution rate has been relatively low. As a response, EPFO has introduced an alternative procedure for members to merge their two UANs and transfer their EPF quickly.

Method 2

  • The EPFO member initiates a request to transfer the EPF amount from the old UAN to the new one.
  • The system automatically identifies duplicate UANs at intervals during the EPF transfer request process.
  • Once identified, EPFO deactivates the old UAN used for the EPF transfer, and the employee’s previous member ID is linked to the new UAN.
  • The employee is notified of the deactivation status via SMS.
  • If the employee has not activated their new UAN, they will be prompted to do so to access the updated status of the account.

It is essential to address this situation promptly, especially if the employee expects PF arrears from a previous employer. In such cases, the arrears are received in the new PF account linked to the new UAN. Since having two EPF accounts with different UANs may lead to automatic identification by the EPFO system, applying for the prompt transfer of the old EPF to the new one is crucial. The system will auto-populate the new UAN number in the ECR (Electronic Challan cum Return).

What Factors Can Lead to the Allocation of Two UANs?

Upon changing jobs, a new employer creates a fresh EPF account for the employee. Each EPF (Employees’ Provident Fund) account is associated with a Universal Account Number (UAN). Consequently, there is a significant likelihood that a new UAN will be assigned to the employee upon transitioning to a new organization. Various circumstances may prompt the issuance of a new UAN to the member, with the most common reasons such as:

Non-disclosure of the Previous UAN by the Employee

When an employee changes jobs, providing information about the previous UAN and EPF account number (Member ID) is mandatory. Failure to furnish these details results in the new employer generating a new UAN and EPF account for the employee.

Absence of “Date of Exit” Information from the Previous Employer

The timely inclusion of the “Date of Exit” in the Electronic Challan and Return (ECR) by the previous employer is essential. If this crucial information is not submitted promptly, the new organization assigns a new UAN to the employee.

What are the Consequences of Having Two UANs?

Having two UANs is against India’s Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) regulations. Understanding the implications and taking necessary actions is crucial if you find yourself in this situation. Having two UANs can lead to various issues, including:

  • Difficulties in managing and tracking your EPF contributions: Neither account would reflect your complete contribution history, making it harder to monitor your retirement savings.
  • Delays and discrepancies in claiming EPF benefits: Claiming benefits like withdrawals or settlements might become complex and delayed due to conflicting account information.
  • Penalties and legal issues: In extreme cases, you might face fines or legal action for non-compliance with EPFO regulations.

Final Thoughts

Possessing two UANs can lead to difficulties in managing contributions and claiming the benefits of FPF. Whether reporting the issue to the employer or EPFO or following the streamlined process of initiating a transfer request, employees must proactively engage in resolving the matter. By doing so, individuals can safeguard their retirement savings and maintain compliance with EPFO regulations.

Key Takeaways

  • According to regulations, an individual should have only one UAN throughout their lifetime, and having multiple UANs is against EPFO rules.
  • Transitioning to a new employer often leads to creating a fresh EPF account and a new UAN.
  • Having two UANs can make tracking and managing EPF contributions challenging, as both accounts do not reflect the complete contribution history.
  • One might have to deactivate one of the existing UAN accounts or transfer the EPF amount from the old UAN to the new UAN.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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