EPF Balance Check Online, SMS, Mobile App, Missed Call, UAN Passbook
Retirement is a serious concern. No one likes dependency. Dependency brings with it, loss of self-esteem. So, it is always important to plan for retirement and keep enough funds ready so that one can stay financially independent. Of course, there are several options to create a retirement corpus and EPF is one of those. EPF fund grows over time because it keeps receiving a monthly contribution from both the employee and his / her employer.
Sometimes it is wise to keep a tab on the amount accumulated in EPF account as that helps to gauge the future requirements more efficiently. For instance, you know that your EPF account has INR 10 lakhs and considering the inflation and your lifestyle, you eventually find out that that amount will not be enough to give you full financial coverage when you retire. So, you can actually decide on invest in some other retirement plan or you may decide to bring a change your lifestyle to lower your expenses. So, checking EPF balance is a good idea.
EPFO or Employee Provident Fund Organization has come up with several options that allows you to quickly check your EPF balance whenever you need or want to. This was not the condition a few years back. Checking EPF balance was considered more like a Herculean task. Basically, if you wanted to know EPF balance, you had to go to a regional office with your PF number and ask for the details. Alternately, at the end of the year, you would receive your EPF slip, which would spell out the EPF balance you have. So, these two options were definitely not user-friendly.
Only recently, EPFO made significant changes and started using technology to its advantage. The organization introduced several other options like online status check of EPF, SMS alert, balance enquiry using missed call and more…
7 Methods of Checking EPF Balance
As of today, there are seven (7) methods that can be used for checking EPF balance or checking the status of EPF account. Those seven methods are:
- SMS-based monthly updates – Requires UAN registration.
- EPF Passbook download – Requires UAN registration.
- EPF Passbook download – Also available via Member Portal.
- Via missed call.
- Getting EPF status via sending SMS.
- Via mobile app of EPFO.
- Online check of EPF balance.
Let us check out each and every option individually…
SMS-based monthly updates – through UAN
UAN stands for Universal Account Number. This number is allotted to every EPF member by the EPFO. UAN has radically changed the EPF services by simplifying several processes. There is something called UAN Member Portal, which the EPF members can access easily, provided they have UAN registration. It future, UAN which are properly verified, will allow their respective members to easily withdraw EPF online. For now, however, the biggest benefit that EPFO members enjoy with UAN registrations is that they receive one SMS every month. The SMS that you will receive will have the details of your contributions and the balance available in your EPF account.
The whole process has been automated and hence, you will not have to take any additional step after you register with UAN. Once registration is completed and you activate UAN, you will start receiving updates on your phone via SMS.
EPF Passbook download via UAN portal
UAN registration comes with many benefits. One of those benefits is the EPF passbook. Yes, when you register with UAN, an EPF passbook will be allocated against your EPF account. You can easily download this passbook if you want to and keep it in electronic format. Every month, the passbook gets updated and you need to download the updated passbook every month if you want to store the passbook locally on your computer.
The EPF passbook that is provided will have the following details:
- The monthly contribution that you make towards your EPF account.
- The monthly contribution that your employer makes towards your EPF account.
- The monthly contribution that your employer makes towards EPS or Employee Pension Scheme.
- The EPF balance available in your EPF account.
Steps that are involved in using this method include:
- Register yourself for UAN through http://unifiedportal.epfindia.gov.in
- Login to your account.
- From download tab, select, “Download Passbook”.
The updated passbook will be downloaded to your local hard disk.
EPF Passbook download via Member Portal
It is not that EPF Passbook service was introduced with introduction of UAN. The service already existed before UAN was introduced and, members were allowed to download the passbook directly from EPF Member Portal. This service is still available and is really helpful in a number of ways. On top of that, it is actually easier to operate. You may use Member Portal if:
- If do not remember the UAN login credentials.
- If you do not remember the additional information that is required for downloading EPF passbook through UAN portal, you can always use the Member Portal because all you will need is your EPF account number for downloading your passbook.
- Member Portal doesn’t have a dedicated login password. You can actually use the number of the KYC document you provided for registration and your mobile number for logging in to the portal.
Once you log in to the Member Portal, you will need your EPF account number. Enter the number, enter the captcha and then click on Get PIN button. A One-Time-Password will be sent to your registered mobile number and you have to use that PIN to get access to your EPF passbook. The PIN is required for authentication to ensure that you are the right person accessing the account.
Via missed call
Yet another method for checking EPF balance is to give a missed call to 011-2290-1406. This is the easiest possible method that you can use. Once you give a missed call to the aforementioned number, you will receive one SMS. The SMS will have several information in it. The provided information includes:
- Your UAN.
- Your birth date.
- The status of your KYC.
- The last amount you contributed.
- The balance available in your EPF account.
Here is what happens when you give a missed call to the aforementioned number:
- You will hear two rings.
- The phone automatically disconnects. You need not disconnect the call.
- EPFO then automatically sends an SMS to your mobile number.
IMPORTANT! You should use the same number for giving missed call that you used for UAN registration. Using other number will not work. If the number is not registered with UAN, you will receive an SMS from EPFO which will state that the number has not been registered with any UAN.
This method is one of the easiest methods of knowing your birth date records with EPFO. In case of any mistake, you can immediately ask for change.
Getting EPF status via sending SMS
If you are not a big fan of missed call, you may want to check your EPF balance using SMS service. You need to send the SMS to the number: 7738-299-899.
You can receive the details in your preferred language. There is a specific format that you need to use for sending SMS to the aforementioned number. The format is given below:
EPFOHO UAN ENG
There are10 supported languages. Those are:
- English: ENG
- Bengali: BEN
- Telugu: TEL
- Hindi: HIN
- Gujarati: GUJ
- Punjabi: PUN
- Malayalam: MAL
- Kannada: KAN
- Marathi: MAR
- Tamil: TAM
Via mobile app of EPFO
In this era of smartphones, we just cannot think of a service provider not offering a mobile app. EPFO stepped into the race and made life simple for those who have EPF accounts. The official mobile app launched by EPFO provides services for:
That’s one app for all. It is available for download through the Google Play Store. Unfortunately, the app is not available for iOS users. Once you download and install the app on your phone, you will be able to activate your UAN if it is not already activated. If it is already activated, you can check your EPF status directly within the app.
There are two things you need to remember:
- You need to make sure that you have registered with UAN through UAN portal. Without registration, you cannot use this app because the app will not allow you to register. It will also allow you to activate.
- In order to check your EPF balance using the app, you will have to provide your UAN as well as your mobile number.
Also, you will need an active data plan on your mobile device to be able to use this app. If you have a smartphone (Android-based), this is definitely the best option at your disposal as you can use it on the move.
Online check of EPF balance
The final method is that of checking your EPF balance online through the web portal. This is the old method. Though the method is considered redundant after introduction of various other easier methods, this method is still available. For this method to work, you need to visit the EPFO website and then on the page which reads ‘Know Your PF Balance’, provide your PF number along with your mobile number in the respective fields. You will also have to provide your name as it appears on the EPF slip that you get. Once you provide the necessary details, you will receive the EPF balance details on your phone through SMS. Various details will be provided, which include:
- Total pension amount in your account.
- The amount contributed by the employer.
- The amount you have contributed.
The exact steps that you need to follow for this method are mentioned below:
- On the website, you need to select the office of EPFO where your EPF account has been maintained.
- You will be asked to provide your EPF account number. Provide the same.
- You will next see a field for extension. If your account doesn’t have an extension, just leave that blank.
- Enter your name.
- Enter your mobile number.
The request will be serviced through SMS and the aforementioned details will be sent to you.
Why is it Important to Check EPF Balance?
EPF is a very important thing. It is your savings for your silver years. So, keeping a tab on the amount accumulated in the account will help you plan your retirement according. On top of that, sometimes, employers may not deposit their share of the contribution. Checking EPF balance once a month will help you know whether your employer is honestly contributing or not. It may happen that the employer doesn’t contribute and then one fine day, the company shuts down. You cannot recover your EPF money in that case from the employer. So, checking regularly is important. Also, there is a loan facility against your EPF balance. By checking regularly, you can know the amount available and the amount you can take out as loan, if required.
Why is EPF Balance Less Than Anticipated?
Well, this may actually happen. You may notice that the EPF amount you expected in your account is not showing up. Instead, you are seeing a smaller amount. There may be multiple reasons for this. The reasons are summed up below:
- Your employer has not contributed towards your EPF account. This may happen for any reason. The employer simply missed or maybe it was a deliberate act. So, inquire.
- You should know that though your employer provides an equal amount as you do, a part of that employer’s contribution actually goes towards EPS contribution. That EPS amount is also yours but will not show up in EPF balance. 8.33% of the total contribution made by the employer goes towards EPS. So, your EPF balance may be less than anticipated.
- May be the EPF account has not yet been updated by EPFO. This generally doesn’t happen but it is a possibility.
- You may have partially withdrawn EPF balance and it simply skipped your mind. So, it is better that you check and recheck your EPF passbook. All transaction details will be reflected in the passbook and you will get to know the exact cause. May be, you also took a loan against your EPF balance, the loan amount will be deducted from your EPF balance and the remaining will be shown. Once you repay the loan, the deducted amount will be added back to your EPF balance.
EPF is your retirement corpus. So, if you are changing job, you should have your EPF transferred to the new employer. Also, never withdraw from your EPF account unless it is absolutely necessary. It will help you maintain a high balance over time and you can stay financially independent when you retire.