The Government of India has launched a number of schemes to encourage savings among the citizens. One such popular investment schemes is the National Pension Scheme (NPS), which was launched to encourage savings and investment among all financial classes including the unorganised sector.
Since the unorganised sector usually worked on daily wages and hardly saved anything, the government also introduced this pension scheme contributory to the NPS where it would contribute Rs. 1000 to every person subscribed under NPS provided the individual can contribute Rs. 1000 monthly to Rs. 12,000 anually. Note that this particular provision was available only until the financial year 2016-17.
For everyone who has subscribed to the National Pension Scheme, there is a mandatory account they need to have called the Permanent retirement Account (PRA) where the savings in NPS are seen. The number associated with this account is called the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).
The PRAN is a unique 12-digit permanent retirement benefit number for anyone in India. It is accessible from any given location in India. The PRAN card is similar to a PAN Card. This card will have details like the father/guardian’s name, your photo and your signature/thumb Impression. This card will stay with you for a lifetime/ If you are an NPS subscriber, you will need to quote your PRAN at designated Points of Presence (POS) related to your NPS Account.
There are two types of accounts under PRAN. They are mentioned below:
Tier I account refers to a non-withdrawable account for retirement savings.
Tier II Account is for voluntary savings. If you are an NPS subscriber, you are free to withdraw your savings from the account whenever you wish. However, there are no tax benefits available on this account.
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The National Pension Scheme is under the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). It is the Central Record-keeping Agency (CRA) for NPS. This is why applications or PRAN card are made at NSDL portal. If you are a subscriber, you have to submit all necessary documents to the Point of Presence — Service Providers (POP-SP).
There are two methods for applying for PRAN. They are mentioned below:
If you are opting for the offline method, you will need to visit a Point of Presence under the National Pension Scheme. The PRAN application form will have the following requirements:
As an NPS subscriber, you can visit the official website of the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). You can use both PAN or Aadhaar number to apply online. Know how to get a PRAN number online.
To apply for PRAN through PAN card, following the points mentioned below:
You will need to have a Bank account with a recognised bank for KYC verification.
The bank will conduct the KYC verification
Your name and address should be the same on the application form and bank records
Fill up all necessary details online
Upload scanned copies of PAN card and cancelled cheque
Upload scanned copies of photograph and signature
You will be redirected to the payment portal for payment toward the National Pension System Account.
There is an option to Print the online filled form and print it. You can then courier it to CRA or e-Sign it.
Under this method, your KYC verification will be done through a One Time Password (OTP). This is sent to your Aadhaar registered mobile number.
On confirmation, all your Aadhaar registered details will be auto-populated to the online form. You will have to fill in other application form details and upload your scanned photo and signature.
Here are some instructions to open Tier I and Tier II account for individuals and corporates:
Individuals can open Tier I and Tier II account with PRAN. You will be required to submit a form with necessary KYC documents. If you want to open a Tier II account and have an active Tier I account, please file one copy of the Tier I PRAN Card along with the Tier III activation form.
Individuals from the corporate sector will have to provide CS-S1 form to the corporate office. The minimum contribution required will be Rs. 500 for Tier I account and Rs. 1000 FOR Tier II account.
The following documents are required for PRAN card:
Normally, a PRAN card is dispatched within 20 days from the Receipt date of the filled registration form by CRA-FC office. You can also contact the respective nodal office concerning PRAN status. You can also track PRAN card status online. Go to NPS-NSDL portal and search Track the status of PRAN card.
You will then have to enter your PRAN number and click submit. You can then view your status.
Activating your E-pran card is easy. All you have to do is to make use of the ‘e-sign’ option. If you have applied via the Aadhaar number, you can activate your PRAN card by following the steps given below:
After verification, your PRAN card will be activated. You will receive a text message regarding the same. The process of activation will incur a nominal charge. You can also check your PRAN card balance.
You can also choose the e-PRAN option to have a digitised copy on your mobile phones and desktops. You will have to log in to your National Pension Scheme account and select Print e-PRAN. Then start the E-pran card download.
PRAN card is a boon to all National Pension Scheme beneficiaries. Get your PRAN Card today.