Now, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) subscribers will have time till September to link their Aadhaar card with the Provident Fund (PF) accounts. Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) has made it mandatory to link Aadhaar Card with PF UAN (universal account number) to get PF contributions from the employers and other benefits. The deadline was deferred to September 1, 2021 from June 1, 2021. “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," said Saraswathi Kasturirangan, partner, Deloitte India.
The labour ministry amended Section 142 of the Code of Social Security 2020 to implement this new rule. Section 142 provides for establishing the identity of an employee or an unorganised worker or any other person through Aadhaar number for seeking benefits and availing services under the Code.
“The Code on Social Security, 2020 is a legislation to amend and consolidate the laws relating to social security with the goal to extend social security to all employees and workers in the organised/unorganised or any other sectors. Although the Code has not been implemented as yet, Section 142 of the Code has been notified by the ministry of labour and employment on June 3, which mandates that the Aadhaar number has to be provided by employees and unorganised sector workers who are seeking registration, benefits or expect to receive any payment under various schemes," said Amrita Tonk, partner, L&L Partners.
“The EPFO has issued a notification whereby it is now the responsibility of the employer to ensure that their employees link their provident fund account to their Aadhar number," he further added.
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The date of implementation for filing ECR (electronic challan cum receipt or PF return) with Aadhaar verified UANs was also extended to September 1, 2021, the EPFO said in a notification. The retirement body earlier said that the employer can only file ECR for those employees who have linked their Aadhaar to PF UAN. “Employer can file separate ECR for non-Aadhaar seeded UAN after completion of Aadhaar seeding process," it added.
“The EPFO is moving towards an online approach for all benefits, be it KYC updation, request for advances, withdrawals etc. Hence establishing the identify of the beneficiary becomes critical, and Aadhaar is being insisted upon," Kasturirangan added.
You will lose out on other EPF benefits too if your Aadhaar details are not updated. This includes taking COVID-19 advances announced last month and insurance benefits linked to PF accounts. “The linking of PAN and Aadhaar to the under is a basic KYC requirement of all banks, PPF accounts and EFP accounts. If this is not done then as an enforcement measure interest credit and withdrawal claims will face issues such as rejection," said Vidisha Krishan, partner at law firm MV Kini.
“Employers’ 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," Kasturirangan mentioned.