A Comprehensive Guide to PRAN Number in NPS

If you have already started planning for retirement, you've likely encountered the National Pension System (NPS). With its enticing market-linked returns and tax advantages, NPS has firmly cemented…

If you have already started planning for retirement, you've likely encountered the National Pension System (NPS). With its enticing market-linked returns and tax advantages, NPS has firmly cemented its place as a cornerstone of retirement strategies followed by Indians. In 2023, the NPS reached an impressive 17 million subscribers (Source), reflecting its growing popularity among individuals seeking to secure their financial futures. But amidst this vast network of contributors, how does the NPS effectively manage and identify each participant? The answer lies in the Permanent Retirement Account Number or PRAN.

PRAN number is a unique identifier for every subscriber and facilitates seamless management of their accounts. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the significance of PRAN in detail.

What is a PRAN Number in NPS?

PRAN number is a 12-digit alphanumeric code assigned to every NPS subscriber on enrollment. It ensures seamless identification and administration of their pension accounts and is crucial for accessing and managing NPS contributions. As a subscriber, you can also use it to monitor investment performance and secure your financial well-being in retirement.

Think of PRAN as your unique digital identifier within the NPS framework, akin to your Aadhaar card. It serves as a digital footprint, enabling the efficient tracking and management of your retirement savings journey. With PRAN, you gain access to a host of online services and resources provided by the NPS authority.

You should also know that:

  • Your PRAN number remains consistent across both Tier 1 and Tier 2 accounts within the NPS. These accounts serve distinct purposes, each catering to different aspects of your financial planning journey.
  • The Tier 1 account represents the core of the NPS, offering a default option with a fixed lock-in period up to 60 years. The contributions here are eligible for tax deductions under applicable regulations. While the lock-in period ensures disciplined savings for your retirement years, it also signifies the commitment to building a robust financial cushion for the future.
  • The Tier 2 account provides a voluntary savings avenue. Unlike the Tier 1 account, contributions to Tier 2 do not offer tax benefits. However, the flexibility afforded by this account is unparalleled, allowing subscribers to withdraw funds at their discretion without any restrictions or penalties. 

How to Get a PRAN Number?

You can get a PRAN number by following the straightforward process facilitated by the National Pension System (NPS). Here're the generic steps to obtaining your PRAN:

  • Before proceeding with the PRAN application, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for NPS enrollment. Generally, any Indian citizen between the age of 18 and 65 can join the NPS.
  • Identify a Point of Presence (POP) authorized by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) to facilitate NPS enrollment. POPs include banks, financial institutions, and other intermediaries.
  • Visit the selected POP and request an NPS registration form. Fill out the form accurately, providing essential details such as personal information, contact details, and nominee details.
  • Submit Know Your Customer (KYC) documents as per the requirements specified by the POP. Typically, this includes identity proof, address proof, and a recent photograph. Ensure that the documents are valid and up-to-date.
  • Choose a Pension Fund Manager (PFM) from the options provided by the POP. Additionally, specify your preferred investment choice— Active Choice or Auto Choice—based on your risk tolerance and investment objectives.
  • Make the initial contribution towards your NPS account as per the minimum amount criterion. The POP will facilitate the payment process and ensure your contribution is credited to your NPS account.
  • Upon successful registration, you will receive a PRAN acknowledgment containing your unique 12-digit PRAN number. This number serves as your digital identity within the NPS ecosystem and is essential for accessing your pension account.

You can then utilize the PRAN number to access account statements, contribution history, and investment performance tracking.

How to Apply for a PRAN Number Online?

You can also apply to open NPS accounts online across the country. Designated Central Recordkeeping Agencies (CRAs), namely the NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) and Karvy, facilitates online NPS registration. These platforms serve as trusted portals for initiating NPS enrollment.

Here are the steps involved:

  • Steps to Apply for a PRAN Number Using Aadhaar

  • Begin the NPS KYC process by opting for Aadhaar OTP authentication.
  • Await and then enter the Aadhaar OTP sent to the mobile number linked with your Aadhaar card.
  • The Aadhaar database will automatically fetch your demographic details and photograph.
  • Fill all the mandatory fields accurately during the online registration process.
  • Prepare a scanned signature in .jpg/.jpeg format, adhering to the specified file size range of 4kb to 12kb.
  • If you prefer to use a different photo from the one fetched from Aadhaar, upload a scanned photo as per the specified guidelines.
  • Choose your preferred payment method from debit/credit card or internet banking options.
  • Transfer funds to your NPS account via the designated payment option.
  • Steps to Apply for a PRAN Number Using PAN

  • Ensure you possess a valid PAN card before applying for PRAN.
  • As an eNPS subscriber, confirm that you hold an account with one of the empanelled banks authorized for KYC verification.
  • During the PRAN registration process, choose the bank where you hold an account for KYC verification purposes.
  • Ensure that the name and address provided during PRAN registration match the details held in the records of the selected bank for successful KYC verification.
  • If any discrepancies arise during KYC verification and the selected bank rejects the request, promptly contact the bank to resolve the issue to prevent rejection of your PRAN application.
  • Fill out all mandatory fields accurately in the online registration form for the PRAN application.
  • Prepare scanned copies of your photograph and signature in .jpeg or .jpg format, ensuring each file falls within the specified size range.
  • Utilize online banking services to make the required payment.

Documents Required to Apply for a PRAN Number

Here's a list of documents you'll need when applying for a PRAN number:

  • Proof of Identity (POI) such as Aadhaar card, PAN card, passport, voter ID card, or driver's license
  • Proof of Address (POA) which could include Aadhaar card, passport, utility bills (electricity, water, gas, telephone), bank statement, or rent agreement
  • Proof of Date of Birth (DOB), such as Aadhaar card, birth certificate, passport, or school leaving certificate
  • Scanned photograph in .jpeg or .jpg format with a file size ranging between 4kb and 12kb for online submission
  • Scanned signature in .jpeg or .jpg format with a file size ranging between 4kb and 12kb

How to Check PRAN Card Status?

Typically, PRAN cards are generated and dispatched within 20 days of the CRA – Facilitation Centre receiving the completed registration form.

If you haven't received your PRAN card within the expected timeframe, you can reach out to the associated nodal office for assistance in tracking the status of your PRAN card. Alternatively, you can check the status of your PRAN card online by visiting the CRA website at

Once on the CRA website, locate and click ‘Track the status of the PRAN Card’ option. This will direct you to the relevant page where you can input your details to track the status of your PRAN card.

How to Reactivate PRAN Number?

Keeping your PRAN number active is crucial for maintaining your NPS account. Failure to deposit the minimum contribution of Rs 1,000 can result in your account being frozen or blocked. However, reactivating your PRAN is easy using the following steps:

  • Deposit the minimum contribution amount of Rs 1,000 to reactivate your NPS account. You can do this via the eNPS portal or by visiting your nearest bank or Point of Presence (PoP).

If you prefer to make your contribution online, follow these steps:

Step 1: Visit the eNPS portal.

Step 2: Navigate to the ‘National Pension System’ section and select ‘Contribution’.

Step 3: Enter your PRAN number and date of birth, choose your NPS subscriber type, and select your OTP mode (SMS or Email). Click on ‘Verify PRAN’ to proceed.

Step 4: Enter the desired contribution amount and complete the transaction.

After the payment is made, the CRA will process your transaction. You will receive a confirmation email, and your NPS account will be unfrozen. 


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