Common Reference Number or CRN serves as the link to your respective membership numbers for SSS, Philhealth, Pag-IBIG Fund (HDMF), and GSIS.
You can find your CRN at the front upper right side of your UMID ID card. It is a 12-digit number issued by SSS for privately employed individuals or issued by GSIS for government-employed personnel when they apply for their respective UMID ID.
GSIS however, does not come up with its own CRN, as the said government agency also gets it from the Social Security System (SSS). Based on this, it seems that SSS generates the CRN and GSIS only distributes it to their new members.
The existing SSS members can use their CRN number if they want to create an online account with the agency. Now, assuming you already register your sss account online but have forgotten your login details. You can also use your Common Reference Number as an alternative to reset your login details online in case you do not know your social security number.
SSS implements the usage of the Unified Multi-Purpose ID (UMID) card in 2010. After 5 years in 2015, the agency redesigned the card’s features but they keep the location of CRN. You may be asking if CRN and SSS Numbers are the same. Unfortunately, they are not. The former has 12 digits, while the latter only has 10 digit numbers. The digits between the hyphen are also different. The good news though, is these numbers are somehow related.
I think the advantage of having a UMID card is you do not have to bring other government IDs. You only need to present your UMID if you want to make transactions with Pag-Ibig Fund, Philhealth, Government Service Insurance System, and Social Security System.
I have here photos or UMID ID and SSS ID. Check the numbers that the arrow is pointing to. So you can see the respective samples of CRN and SS number.