The Employee Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has extended the last date to seed Aadhaar number with the universal account number (UAN) for filing electronic challan-cum-returns (ECR) till September 1, 2021, in order to provide relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an official circular released by the EPFO on Tuesday, June 15, the last date to seed the Aadhaar number with UAN is extended from June 1, 2021, to September 1, 2021, for those who need to file the electronic challan-cum-returns.
The ECR is filed by employers. The extension of the deadline will give more time to employers to link their employees' Aadhaar numbers with the UAN. According to the retirement fund body, it is mandatory to seed the Aadhaar number with the UAN while filing ECRs.
As per the details of the circular, the competent authority approved that the electronic challan-cum-returns will be allowed to be filed only for those members whose Aadhaar numbers are seeded and verified with the UANs with effect from June 1, 2021. Accordingly, this means that members will be allowed to file the ECRs only for the UAN that are seeded with Aadhaar, from June 1.
The EPFO decided to make the Aadhaar seeding compulsory after an official notification from the Labour Ministry issued on May 3, which mandated the ministry and bodies working under it to seek the Aadhaar number from the beneficiaries under the Social Security Code.
Section 142 of the Social Security Code provides for establishing the identity of an employee or an unorganised worker or any other person through the Aadhaar number for seeking benefits and availing services.
The UAN is basically a 12-digit account number allotted by the Employee Provident Fund Organisation to every employee where the EPF deposits are being made. The universal account number makes the process of operating PF account services such as availing withdrawal, PF loans, or checking the EPF balance easier and convenient for the account holders.
Meanwhile, the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation - having finalised the interest rate on the provident fund (PF) deposits for the financial year 2020-21 at 8.5 per cent, is likely to credit the interest amount in the accounts of its subscribers by next month