Permanent Retirement Account Number

Permanent Retirement Account Number or PRAN is a 12-digit numeric code allotted to individuals subscribed to the National Pension Scheme (NPS). Once allotted, the subscribers can choose to receive a PRAN card. The PRAN serves as a unique identification number for an NPS applicant and is cannot be changed throughout your life.

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Why is PRAN Assigned?

The purpose of PRAN is to identify and distinguish one NPS subscriber from another and to avoid overlapping in case of the same details. The account holders can use the PRAN to access the NPS digital portal. 

By accessing the portal, the subscribers can carry out functions like making deposits and withdrawals, and checking account balances in their NPS accounts.

What Are the Types of Accounts Under PRAN?

The allocation of PRAN allows the subsequent opening of two different types of accounts.

  1. Tier 1 account

    When the applicant is successfully registered under NPS and receives a PRAN allocation, a Tier 1 account becomes active by default. This account is known as a pension account and becomes the primary account of the holder.

    The corpus accumulated in this account is nontaxable, which is a major benefit. Only under distinctive circumstances and in case of emergencies is the withdrawal of funds permissible from this account. It is termed partial withdrawal. 

    The minimum contribution required at the time of opening a Tier 1 account is Rs. 500/-. A subsequent contribution of Rs. 500/- and a minimum contribution of Rs. 1000/- per annum is necessary to keep the account functional

  2. Tier 2 account

    Opening a Tier 2 account is not by default or mandatory. If the applicant wants to open a Tier 2 account, he/she must file a separate application. 

    In contrast to the Tier 1 account, a Tier 2 account offers no tax exemptions on the funds. The account holder can freely withdraw the accumulated corpus from a Tier 2 account as per his/her wishes.  

    The minimum contribution required at the time of opening a Tier 2 account is Rs. 1000. A subsequent contribution of Rs. 250/- is necessary to keep the account functional. 

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Documents Needed to Apply for PRAN

The following documents must be kept handy while applying for PRAN:

  • Aadhaar Card

  • Permanent Account Number (PAN) issued by the Income Tax Department

  • Bank passbook

  • Passport (mandatory for NRI applicants)

  • Passport size photograph

In the case of an online application, all the documents should be available as scanned copies in the jpeg/jpg format of a maximum 12 KB size. 

How to Apply for PRAN?

The CRA or the Central Record Keeping Agency for NPS is the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL). PRAN applications are therefore submitted to the NSDL either online on the NSDL portal or offline. 

  1. Applying for PRAN offline 

    Applicants wishing to apply for a PRAN through offline mode should visit their nearest Point of Presence – Service Providers (PoP-SP). PoPs carry out the following NPS activities:

    • Accepting applications

    • Accepting deposits

    • Withdrawals

    • Account transfers

    In most cases, the PoP-SP is likely to be a bank. 

    The PRAN card application form is the same as NPS and it asks for the following details: 

    • Personal Information

    • Employment and income information

    • Scheme details

    • Declaration to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)

  2. Applying for PRAN online

    Applicants have the option of opening an account online through the NSDL portal. He/she must complete the KYC process as deemed by the NPS online using the subscriber’s Aadhaar Card or PAN card. 

    PRAN application using PAN

    • A bank account with a listed bank is mandatory.

    • During the registration process, the bank will carry out the KYC verification. 

    • The name and address should be as per the bank records during the registration process. 

    • Fill up the required details. 

    • Upload copies of PAN card and a canceled cheque. 

    • Upload a signature and photograph. 

    • Once redirected to the payment gateway, deposit money to your NPS account. 

    • Print the registration form and e-sign it. 

    PRAN application using Aadhaar

    • Enter the Aadhaar number in the online form.

    • The mobile number registered on the Aadhaar database will receive a One-Time Password (OTP). 

    • The personal details and a photograph will be automatically fetched and updated into the online form. 

    • Fill up any other mandatory details. 

    • Upload a signature.

    • You may upload a scanned photograph to replace the one obtained. 

    • Once redirected to the payment gateway, deposit money to your NPS account. 

    • Print the registration form and eSign it. 

    NRI PRAN application

    NRI applicants should follow the below-mentioned steps:

    • Enter your bank account details- Whether it is an NRE/NRO bank account and whether it is a non-repatriable or repatriable account. 

    • Upload a scanned copy of the passport. 

    • Enter supporting details like permanent Indian address or overseas address and your preferred address for communication. 

    CRA evaluates the application before PRAN is generated. Applicants can track the status of the application on the NSDL portal. 

How to Activate PRAN?

Using the e-sign is the best way to get your PRAN card activated. The subscribers who have registered for PRAN by Aadhar card should follow the given steps to e-sign the document:

  • On the eSign/Print and courier page, pick the ‘eSign’ option. 

  • You will receive an OTP on your registered number.

  • Once you validate the OTP, the registration gets eSigned. There is no further need to send the physical copy of the form to the CRA. 

For offline activation, the applicant must download and print the form. Then he/she must sign it and send the form to the CRA for offline activation. 

How to Print the PRAN Card?

For printing the ePRAN (Electronic PRAN), the subscriber must log into his/her NPS account and select the ‘Print ePRAN’ option. This generates a soft copy of the PRAN card. 

There is also the offline method of obtaining the PRAN card:

  • On the eSign/Print and courier page, pick the ‘Print and Courier’ option.

  • Print out the completed form and attach your photograph. 

  • Sign in the appropriate space on the form.

  • Send the application form to the relevant CRA within 90 days of allotment of the PRAN. 

Printing of ePRAN is free of charge. The offline method of getting the PRAN card is chargeable. 

How to Track the PRAN Card Dispatch Status?

The CRA dispatches the PRAN card to the nodal office within 20 days of allotment. You can visit the respective nodal office to track the status of your application. 

To check the PRAN card dispatch status online:

  • Visit the NPS- NSDL Portal.

  • Select the 'Track Status of PRAN Card.'

  • Enter PRAN and captcha. Click Submit.

  • You will be able to see the status of your CRAN. 

How to Log in to the PRAN Card Portal?

To log in to the NPS portal, you must have a PRAN allotted to you. 

  • Visit the eNPS page. 

  • Click on the ‘Click here to generate or reset the password if you are a first-time user’ option at the bottom of the page. 

  • Enter the PRAN, date of birth, and captcha on the next page and click on the 'Submit’ button. 

  • Once you receive an OTP on your phone, enter it on the screen. You will receive the password approval.  

  • Back on the login page, enter PRAN, password, and captcha. 

  • Click on the ‘Login’ button. 

Existing portal users must use the following steps to log in:

  • Go to the NPS login portal.

  • Click on the ‘Login for Existing Subscribers’ option. 

  • Using your PRAN and NPS’s account password, log into your NPS account. 

In Conclusion

The Permanent Retirement Account Number facility is an integral part of the NPS. With features like ease of application, offline and online procedures, quick allotment, and widespread applicability, PRAN is instrumental in the success of NPS.


  • Q. Can I have more than one PRAN?

    A. No. Only one PRAN per account holder is permissible according to the existing rules of NPS. 
  • Q. Whom can I approach in case of a grievance?

    A. You can contact the NPS/PRAN card customer care services by phone, fax, email, and in-person in case of complaints.
  • Q. How can I check my PRAN card balance?

    A. You can log in to your National Pension System account to check the balance in both accounts. 
  • Q. How do I know if my PRAN is active?

    A. Upon the successful generation of PRAN, the system will send an email and a text alert to the registered email ID and mobile number of the applicant. 
  • Q. Can CRA reject an application for PRAN?

    A. Yes. If the information submitted by the applicant is not complete, the CRA can reject an application and inform the PoP-SP.

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