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PRAN, or Permanent Retirement Account Number, is a unique 12-digit account number allotted to you against your NPS Account. NPS, or the National Pension Scheme, was introduced in 2004, specifically for government employees to manage their pension funds. It was later made open to the general public in 2009, so that they too can avail the benefits of a government backed pension scheme.
The National Pension System (NPS) is a mutual fixed benefit pension plan in India. National Pension System, like PPF and EPF is an EEE (Exempt-Exempt-Exempt) instrument in India where the entire corpus doesn’t attract income taxes at maturity. This means the entire pension withdrawal amount is tax-free.
NPS began with the decision of the Government of India to end the defined benefit pension for all its workers who joined after 1 April 2004. Although the scheme was originally planned for government employees only, it was opened to all Indian citizens between the ages of 18 and 65 in 2009, and for OCI card holders and PIOs in October 2019. It is managed and governed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
Individuals can make annual contributions into the National Pension Scheme in a profitable manner that will yield market-linked returns. Such returns will aggregate in a substantial corpus that people would use to finance their post-retirement life. In order to subscribe to NPS, individuals must have a Permanent Retirement Account to which they are assigned a Permanent Retirement Account Number card or a PRAN card.
PRAN number is allotted to an investor when they open an account with NPS. Opening an account is very simple. One can do it offline at their nearest PoP centre, or conveniently from their home, on the NPS CRA website. This PRAN number is unique to an individual as it is generated based on your KYC documents. This PRAN number helps you to operate your NPS account from anywhere in India.
Customers have the option to apply and get a physical PRAN card, if they need. Though a physical PRAN card is not required, once can apply for it online on the NSDL website. The card will include your profile details along with the PRAN number. It can come in handy if you can’t remember your PRAN number and want to access it instantly.
About PRAN Card
PFRDA has named agencies known as Points of Presence (POPs) to take the customer relationships to all Indians who want to open an NPS account. POP is the first link between the subscriber and the NPS framework. Point of Presence (POP) shall execute the functions relating to the identification of subscribers, the authentication of Know Your Customer (KYC) undertaking, the collection of payments and directives from subscribers and the transfer of the same to designated NPS intermediaries.
The approved branches of POP for NPS services are referred to as POP-SP (Points of Presence-Service Provider). To find the nearest POP-SP, you can go to the "Find your nearest POP-SP" section under "Important Links" on the homepage of the NPSCRA website.
So basically, PoP is usually a bank near you. You can find out the nearest PoP from the website and visit them to open an NPS account. Here are the steps to be followed:
What are the documents I need to submit along with my NPS application form at the PoP?
As mentioned earlier, you will need to submit your KYC documents along with your NPS application form;
You can use the e-NPS option to open an NPS account online. In this method, you have the option to verify your account using Aadhaar OTP method or by sending a signed physical copy of the forms to the NSDL Office. Users can use the method that is most suitable to them.
Here are the steps to create an NPS Account online:
Your PRAN number is sufficient to carry out all NPS related transactions. However, if you feel the need to have a physical copy of your PRAN card, you can apply for one on the NPS website.
It is essential to be in possession of this PRAN card as it is linked to one’s NPS account. Furthermore, it is one of the essential documents required for submission, when one makes a claim from their NPS account post-retirement.
Once you have submitted the request for a PRAN card, it will take at least 20 days for you to receive the card. In case there is a delay and you want to track the status, you can do so on your NPS login.
NPS allows you to make contributions from the comfort of your home. You can use the NPSCRA website and deposit funds to your NPS account. You will need your PRAN number to login to your account and do this. Here are the simple steps to follow and contribute to your NPS account:
Once you have created the NPS account online, you have to validate or authenticate the same before it becomes fully operational. There are 2 ways to do it; online using Aadhaar OTP or by sending a physical copy of the signed form to the NPS Mumbai office address.
E-Signing NPS Account Creation Form using Aadhaar OTP
Validating the form by Print & Courier option
Once the PRAN is created, an email intimation as well as an SMS alert will be sent to the registered email ID and the Subscriber's mobile phone. NSDL-CRA also alerts the Subscriber of the dispatch information as soon as the Subscriber's PRAN kit is dispatched.
Subscriber can verify the status of his/her PRAN application by entering the 17-digit receipt number issued by POP-SP or by the acknowledgment number assigned by CRA-FC at the time of submission of the application form at their POP-SP.
Subscribers can also verify the status of their PRAN application by clicking the tabs below under the "Important Links" section on the homepage of the NSDL website.
In order to pay to the Tier I and Tier II accounts, the Subscriber must deposit the contribution sum along with the properly filled NCIS (NPS Contribution Instruction Slip) to either POP-SP or, alternatively, can visit the eNPS website to make a contribution to the NPS. All 3 methods require you to know your PRAN number. The three methods to add to the NPS are as follows:
You can contribute to your NPS account through the NSDL website too. Here are the steps to do it.
1. How to update my profile details using PRAN number?
If you have changed addresses or your mobile number, you can update it on your NPS account online. You have to login to your NPS account to do it. Here are the steps:
2. How to track the status of PRAN Card dispatch?
3. Am I allowed to open multiple NPS accounts?
No, the opening of multiple NPS accounts for an individual is not authorised under the NPS. However, a person can have one account in the NPS and another account in the Atal Pension Yojna.
4. Do I need a physical copy of my PRAN card?
It is not necessary to have a physical copy of your PRAN card. Your PRAN number is sufficient to carry out all NPS related transactions. However, if you feel the need to have a physical copy of your PRAN card, you can apply for one on the NPS website.
5. What are PRAN and PRAN kits?
Once the Subscriber completed their registration, a PRAN card is sent to the Subscriber which has information like the Subscriber's name, the Father's name, their photograph, the Signature/ThumbPrint and the Subscriber's date of birth. This card validates the authenticity of the details in the CRA system. A PRAN kit containing PRAN card, Subscriber particulars (referred to as Subscriber Master List) and an information booklet is also sent to the registered address of the Subscriber. The Subscriber Master List contains all details submitted by the Subscriber in the application and captured in the CRA framework. In addition, the ePRAN card is also available under the NPS login of the subscriber.
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