PRAN or Permanent Retirement Account Number is a unique 12-digit number that is assigned to each subscriber of the National Pension Scheme (NPS).
The NPS is a government-sponsored savings scheme that offers social-security benefits through pension to subscribers. It encourages subscribers to make regular investments for gathering a post-retirement corpus. The scheme is open for subscription by employees of each sector, however, individuals in the armed forces cannot opt for this scheme.
PRAN can be accessed from anywhere in India. There are two categories of accounts under PRAN:
- Tier I account is a non-withdrawable account
- Tier II account is a voluntary savings account. This account format allows the account holder to make withdrawals without any restrictions.
Why is PRAN needed?
PRAN helps in the easy identification of NPS subscribers. Since it is issued to all NPS subscribers, it helps in avoiding any overlap or confusion of similar names or individual’s details who may have subscribed to NPS. With PRAN, NPS subscribers can check their NPS account balance at any time without any restriction.
How to apply for PRAN?
If an individual is an NPS subscriber, there are various ways in which he/she can apply for a PRAN. To make an application, one must first approach the NSDL or National Securities Depository Limited, which acts as the central record-keeping body. Before making an application, however, subscribers must ensure to keep all the required documents ready.
Applying for PRAN offline
NPS subscribers who want to apply for a PRAN can make the application offline by visiting the nearest service provider such as banks and other financial institutions that are designated to offer NPS services. Some of the documents required for making an offline application are:
- Application form
- Passport-sized photograph of NPS subscriber
- Details of the scheme opted
- KYC documents such as identity proof and address proof
Applying for PRAN online
NPS subscribers can also apply for a PRAN online on the NSDL website. NSDL, which acts as the central record-keeping agency for NPS, is responsible for processing PRAN applications and allotting them to subscribers.
To make PRAN application online:
- One must complete the KYC compliance by either uploading Aadhaar card’s scanned copy or a PAN card’s scanned copy.
- The subscriber must also upload a scanned copy of his/her signature
- Subscriber’s photograph must be uploaded as well.
- The application form requires a subscriber to fill in his/her personal information, bank details, employment details and nomination details.
- After all the required fields are completed, a subscriber must make the online payment for PRAN card.
When is PRAN issued?
After a subscriber makes an application for PRAN, the agency where the application is made will acknowledge receipt of the form by issuing a unique 17-digit acknowledgement number. The application is thoroughly examined, after which, a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) is issued. A physical copy of PRAN card is issued in 20 days from the date of application. One can track the PRAN application status using the NSDL website.
Once a PRAN is generated, the NPS subscriber will receive an alert via SMS on a registered mobile number or an e-mail. For security purposes, one can see only the last four digits of the PRAN number in these communications.
NPS subscribers can use their PRAN to log into their NPS account online. For first-time users, the initial login will require them to generate a password.
After application and approval, your PRAN card will be dispatched within 20 days to the respective nodal office. You can reach out to the nodal office for PRAN dispatch status. This can also be tracked online using the NPS-NSDL portal. For this, you must enter your PRAN and captcha before clicking on submit.
While making the PRAN application, you can choose the option of physical PRAN card delivery and e-PRAN card download. If you have selected e-PRAN at the time of application, you can get a digitalised copy of the same on your registered mobile number.
Yes, NRIs may apply for a PRAN card using their NRI/NRO bank accounts. For NRIs, there is a charge associated with shipping to an address outside India.
No, since each NPS subscriber is allotted a unique PRAN that is linked to their NPS account, you can have only 1 PRAN card. Even in case of job changes, the NPS account does not change and therefore the PRAN card remains the same.