There are a wide range of investment tools in India. One can invest hard earned money in a list of options like stock exchanges, mutual funds, pension accounts, savings or even deposits and earn a wide range of interest on investments. Among many of these, one investment tool is also provident funds. This tool is very familiar for salaried class and employers. A percentage every month gets deducted from a person’s salary account as investment. Now provident funds are largely monitored by government body EPFO (Employment provident fund organisation). This regulatory body is considered as the world’s largest social security organisation in terms of clientele and the volume of financial transactions undertaken.
The latest news has it that EPFO shut it website and stopped linking provident fund (PF) accounts with Aadhaar numbers after confidential data was breached by hackers from the Aadhaar-seeding portal about a month earlier.
What happened is that EPFO had to shut down its portal especially the users accounts which were linked with Aadhaar following an alleged data breach where confidential user information was sourced by hackers.
The matter was raised by EPFO Central Provident Fund Commissioner V P Joy in a letter to Common Service Centre (CSC) Chief Executive Dinesh Tyagi on March 23.
“The web portal has been closed one-and-a-half months ago, immediately after a possible data theft was reported to us during a process of routine security check. There was some problem in the application run by CSC and it is not related to our data centre that maintains the EPF accounts,” Joy told Business Standard on Wednesday.
The above mentioned hack put 2.7 crore accounts data at stake. Such news fuels at a time when there have been reports over 12-digit Aadhaar number in data breach allegations while also being at the centre of India’s privacy debate.
However, the news was later denied by EPFO, but this does create a cause of concern among citizens who are active with their provident fund accounts.
There are three ways to check your EPF account actions and details like transfer, balance, etc.
One of the important factor to track your EPF account is by having them linked with a 12-digit unique number called as UAN. This is usually given to every member. According to BankBazaar, before the introduction of the UAN, employees were inconvenienced by the fact that they had to keep shifting their accounts when they shifted organisations, but now, the UAN controls all PF accounts of an employee and it can function as one account. The UAN has made almost all processes of the EPF easier and convenient.
One can check their EPF balance by following below mentioned steps:
- Visit the EPFO’s member portal – http://www.epfindia.com/site_en/KYEPFB.php
- Next, click on ‘Know your balance’ at the bottom of the screen
- Then, select the location of your regional EPF office
- Enter your PF account number and your mobile number
- Once you have done that, click on ‘submit’. In a few seconds you will receive a text message of your EPF balance
To check balance via UAN:
Visit the UAN webpage – http://uanmembers.epfoservices.in/
Next, enter your UAN and mobile number
Next, select your EPF state and city
Enter the captcha code and click on ‘submit’.
You will receive an SMS of your EPF balance
For EPF members who need help navigating through the processes of the EPF or facing difficulties, the EPFO has set up a dedicated helpline number for such members. One can call on the toll free helpline of the EPF, which is 1800118005.