PRAN Card and its Benefits

PAN Cards have been common amongst all of us. But what is a PRAN Card?  There is a significant difference between a PAN Card and PRAN Card, though while pronouncing them, they sound absolutely similar!  PRAN stands for Permanent Retirement Account Number. Though the PRAN card has not been much heard about in our daily life, it came into existence ever since the Central Government started the New Pension Scheme (NPS) in 2004.

Similar to the PAN Card, the PRAN Card also has a 12 digit account number. All the members who have been enrolled in the National Pension Scheme (NPS) or Central Government employees, are eligible to apply for a PRAN card.

The PRAN card details contains;

  • Your Name
  • Your PRAN Number(Permanent Retirement Account Number)
  • Your signature / Thumb impression
  • Your Father’s Name
  • Your Photograph

It is mandatory for every member of the NPS scheme to register for their PRAN number, failing which, they will not be able to avail benefits under the National Pension Scheme.

The NPS subscribers can register for their Permanent Retirement Account Number with the National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) which forms the Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) for NPS. It is very essential to mention the PRAN Number while corresponding with the CRA, for any clarification about NPS.

The PRAN Number is nothing but your NPS account number.  Subscribers can apply for the PRAN account online. The PRAN Card online apply process , requires the subscriber, to follow these simple steps as given below;

  • Visit the official website of the National Security Depository Limited NSDL
  • Fill in the PRAN Form which is the CSRF1 (Common Subscriber Registration Form)
  • The PRAN form contains fields in which you will have to enter your personal details, contact details, address and bank details.
  • Fill out the nomination details as well, as requested in this form.
  • Once this is done, you need to affix a photograph, sign the form and submit the required documents along with it.
  • You can submit this to the POP or Designated Point Of Presence ,with your first contribution to NPS.

For the benefit of our readers, click on the link below to see the PRAN Form


The National Pension Scheme has been made mandatory for all central and state government employees – to save for the future. How to apply for a PRAN card has been just discussed a little while earlier in the article. Once that is done, the next step is to check the PRAN status. Checking the status of your PRAN Card application is very easy as well. Here are the steps involved:

  • Log on to the NSDL website link –
  • Select the option, ‘new registered PRAN’ and enter the PRAN number that has been allotted to you during the application.
  • Enter the captcha code and click on ‘submit’.
  • The page will then reveal the status of your application.
  • If for instance the site is down, you can also call 022 – 4090 4242 to check the status or send your queries to


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is NPS or National Pension Scheme?

A, National Pension System (NPS) is a government-sponsored pension scheme. The scheme allows subscribers to contribute regularly in a pension account during their working life. On retirement, subscribers can withdraw a part of the corpus in a lumpsum and use the remaining corpus to buy an annuity to secure a regular income after retirement. 

  1. Who can join NPS?
    A. Any Indian citizen between 18 and 60 years can join NPS. The only condition is that the person must comply with know your customer (KYC) norms. 
  2. Can a Non Resident Indian (NRI) join NPS?
    A. Yes, an NRI can join NPS. However, the account will be closed if there is a change in the citizenship status of the NRI. 

  3. How do I join NPS?
    A. You should open an NPS account with entities known as Point of Presence (POP). Most banks, both private and public sector, are enrolled as POPs. Several financial institutions also act as POPs. The authorized branches of a POP, called point of presence service providers (POP-SPs), act as the collection points. 

  4. How can I find POPs near me?
    A. You can access them through the website of Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). 

    Q. What are the documents needed for opening an NPS account?
    A. You should fill the subscriber registration form and submit it along with proof of identity, address, and date of birth to the POP. 

  5. What is a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN)?
  6. Every NPS subscriber is issued a card with 12-digit unique number called Permanent Retirement Account Number or PRAN. 

    Q. What happens if the subscriber dies before 60 years?
    A. If the subscriber dies before 60 years, the entire accumulated wealth would be paid to the nominee/legal heir of the subscriber. 

    Q. How do I withdraw the money from NPS?
    A. You will have to submit the withdrawal application to the POP along with relevant documents. POP would authenticate the documents and forward them to Central Record-keeping Agency (CRA) and NSDL. 

  7. What are Tier-I and Tier-II accounts?
    A. NPS offers two accounts: Tier-I and Tier-II accounts. Tier-I is a mandatory account and Tier-II is voluntary. The big difference between the two is on withdrawal of money invested in them. You cannot withdraw the entire money from Tier-I account till your retirement. Even on retirement, there are restrictions on withdrawal on the Tier-I account. The subscriber is free to withdraw the entire money from the Tier-II account. 

Q. What is the minimum contribution in NPS? 
A. You have to contribute a minimum of Rs 6,000 in your Tier-I account in a financial year. 

Q. What will happen if I don’t make the minimum contribution? 
A. If you do not contribute the minimum amount, your account will be frozen. You can unfreeze the account by visiting the POP and pay the minimum required amount and a penalty of Rs 100.