Starting from next month, your employer will only be able to credit money in your provident fund (PF) account if your UAN (universal account number) is linked to your Aadhaar card. It is mandatory to link your Aadhaar card with the provident fund account to get various benefits of the retirement fund. Due to non-linking of Aadhaar and UAN, the employers would not be able to deposit the employee’s and employer’s contribution in the fund," said Subodh Sadana, Partner, AnantLaw.
The Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has amended Section 142 of the Code of Social Security 2020 to implement this new rule. " Explaining the new rule, Raunak Singh, Partner, Avitr Legal, said, “The ministry of labour and Employment, Government of India brought Section 142 of the Code on Social Security, 2020 into effect from May 03, 2021, whereby an employee or any other beneficiary in order to obtain any benefit under the Social Security Code, is required to establish his/her identity (or the identity of her/his family members or dependents, as the case may be) through Aadhaar number."
Apart from missing out monthly EPF contributions from the employers, several other EPFO services will also be impacted if PF account and Aadhaar card are not linked, starting from September 1. Your contribution to the pension fund will also be affected. “Contributions to the pension fund would also be impacted due to non-linking of Aadhaar. The employers would be at statutory default due to non-deposit of the contributions and could face penal consequences under the law. On the other hand, for the employees, the contribution would not be deposited until the linking is done and employees would lose the interest on the said amount. Other services of EPFO would also remain suspended for these employees until the linkage is done," said Sadana.
In June, the Employees’ Provident Fund Organization has also updated the norms for filing Electronic Challan cum Return (ECR). It directed that the employers shall be allowed to file the electronic challan-cum-returns only for the UAN Linked with Aadhaar with effect from June 1, 2021. On June 15, 2021, EPFO extended the last date to seed the Aadhaar number with UAN from June 1, 2021 to September 1, 2021, for filing the ECR. Thus, it is mandatory for the employers to seed the Aadhaar number of its employees with UAN by August 31, 2021 while filing ECR.
The retirement body asked the employers to ensure that linking of Aadhaar and UAN must be done to avail uninterrupted services. “EPFO has given employers the responsibility to make employees’ accounts Aadhaar verified. In case if the employee’s EPF account is not Aadhaar verified, it may mean that employer’s contribution shall not be credited into employees’ account," said Raunak Singh.
“Linking of Aadhar with the UAN is mandatory. Effective 1 September 2021, employers will not be able to remit PF for cases where such linking is not done. Employer’ need to use this extended time to make sure that suitable communication is sent to employees advising them of the consequences of non-linking, and provide guidance on how the linking can be completed," said Saraswathi Kasturirangan, Partner, Deloitte India.
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