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PRAN Card – Understanding Permanent Retirement Account Number

Last Update Date : April 04, 2019
Estimated Read Time: 5 min


PRAN stands for Permanent Retirement Account Number that was implemented after the National Pension Scheme (NPS) was introduced by the Central Government w.e.f 1st January 2004. PRAN number has been made compulsory by the NPS for all the government employees who joined service on or after 1st January 2004 as they get automatically enrolled for the scheme after joining the service. However , all the Indian citizens who are not a Central Government employee can enroll under the scheme and then receive their PRAN card.

What is a PRAN card?

PRAN card is a document provided to the individuals enrolled under NPS. The card contains PRAN number, the name of the subscriber, father’s name, photograph and signature or thumb impression. PRAN number is a 12-digit portable and unique number which will stay with the subscriber throughout. The Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA), i.e. NSDL issues only one PRAN card to one subscriber. After the subscriber submits the documents, he will receive the PRAN Card within 20 to 30 days. Also, one subscriber cannot open two different accounts under the same name. If in any case the application gets rejected the amount paid while applying will be refunded.


An Indian, as well as a Non-Resident Indian citizen (a person having a valid Indian Passport), can join NPS. The person who is applying for the scheme should be between 18 to 60 years of age at the time of submitting the application.

Documents and Details required for PRAN card

While applying for the PRAN card, you must fill 5 sections of certain details. You are required to submit the following details along with the duly filled application form for PRAN registration.

  • Your personal details are to be filled in Section A
  • Section B will include your employment details
  • Section C will have your nomination details
  • The scheme details will be included in Section D
  • The declaration of your T-PIN and I-PIN will be included in Section E

From the sections mentioned above, Section B will be filled by the Drawing and Disturbing Office (DDO), and the remaining sections is to be filled by you. In case you are already registered with the old pension scheme, and you are applying for a new PRAN, you will have to provide the same details again. If you are an existing subscriber, you will have to submit a fresh application form in order to register with the CRA system as the NPS has come with a few changes.

You will have to submit the following documents if you want to receive the PRAN Card:

  • Duly filled application form
  • Photograph of the applicant
  • Preference details of the scheme (Optional)
  • KYC documentation for identity and address proof

Though providing the scheme preference is optional, if you do not provide the details, your contribution will be invested in the default schemes held by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

Modes of Application

If you are a Central or State Government employee who is registered with the CRA, you can apply for a PRAN card. You can apply for the card on the official NSDL website where the online application is available. Applying for a PRAN number online has been made very simple as the Nodal office generates the number.

You can apply for the PRAN card offline by simply visiting the Point-of-Presence (PoP) under the NPS which will be your bank, in most cases.

How to check PRAN Application status?

If you have applied for a PRAN card, it usually takes up to 20-30 days for the department to dispatch it. However, if you still want to check your application you can do so by following the instructions given below:

  1. Log into the NSDL website (1)
  2. Select the ‘New Registered PRAN’ option
  3. Provide the PRAN number allotted to you while applying for the card
  4. Enter the captcha code and click the ‘Submit’ button
  5. You will be redirected to a new page where you will be shown your application status



All the accounts falling under the National Pension Scheme, initiated by the Government of India, is handled by the Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA). The CRA provides a 12-digit I-Pin and T-Pin to all the people who have a valid PRAN account so that they can access their accounts on their page (2). Once they have accessed the CRA page, you are required to enter your 12-digit pin to check the status of your accounts.

People Also Ask

Q. Can I invest in NPS if I have already invested in a Provident Fund?

A. Yes, you can invest in NPS as it is independent of a subscriber’s contribution to any Provident Fund.

Q. Can an NRI open an NPS account?

A. Yes, if you are an NRI, you can open an account under NPS. Contributions that are made by the NRI are, however, subject to regulatory requirements as prescribed by FEMA and RBI. However, if the status of your citizenship changes, your NPS account will be closed.

Q. What are the contents of the PRAN kit?

A. A PRAN kit consists of a PRAN Card, details of the subscriber (known as Subscriber Master List) and an information booklet along with the I-PIN and I-TIN which is sent to the associated nodal office.

Q. Whom should I contact if I haven’t received the PRAN Card?

A. The usual delivery time of the PRAN Card is 20 to 30 days of applying for the PRAN Card. In case you haven’t received your card in this time frame, you can check the same with your associated nodal office, or you can check it online on the NSDL CRA page.

Q. What happens to PRAN if I am transferred to another location?

A. One of the most important attributes of PRAN is its portability. You can use your account as well as your unique PRAN from any location.

PRAN card comes handy if you want to claim your retirement benefits or if you want to send across a proof of having an active NPS account. Having an NPS account can also help you save an additional deduction under Section 80CCD(1b) of Rs 50,000 apart from deductions of Rs 1.5 lakh under Section 80C.

How H&R Block can help you?

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Chetan Chandak (B.Com, LLB)
Chetan is the Head of Tax Research at H&R Block (India) with an experience of more than a decade in tax advising. He is also a regular contributor for some of the leading news publications in India such as Economic Times, Financial Express and Money Control. Professionally, Chetan is fascinated by international taxation and expat-related tax research.

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