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PRAN Card: Overview

The PRAN card or Permanent Retirement Account Number Card is a special 12 digit number that identifies those individuals who have registered themselves under the National Pension Scheme (NPS). This unique identification number card came into being from 1, January, 2004 only after the Central Government introduced the NPS. NPS is a special pension scheme that is governed and regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The Central Government has made PRAN card mandatory for all the Central as well as State Government employees who have joined their service on and after 1st January 2004. The power to issue PRAN card is vested upon the NSDL. The NSDL or National Securities Depository Limited has joined hands with the PFRDA to establish a Central Book Keeping Agency or CRA. This book will contain all the necessary data and details of the members of NPS. So the first step in order to apply for NPS is to apply for PRAN card. One can also say that having a PRAN card is same as having a PAN card but it should be applied just before filing the income tax returnS

PRAN Card Application
The initial step for the NPS application is the application of PRAN card. All the State and Central Government employees are needed to apply for such a card. In order to do so, they can go to the NSDL for registration. PRAN card can be applied both online as well as offline. In case of online registration, application form can be availed from NSDL official website which has to be downloaded and then properly filled in. The employees then submit the completed form to the administration officer who would further submit it to the Central Record Keeping Agency. It has to be kept in mind that applicants must register themselves initially with the CRA and then with Drawing and Disbursing Office or DDO before applying for PRAN card. PRAN card will only be allotted to subscribers who are registered with both DDO and CRA. Again, the employee must also be of age group ranging between 18-60 years if they wish to apply for PRAN card.

If any Central and State Government employee or the subscriber is unable to register themselves online through NSDL, they also have the facility of offline application for PRAN card. In order to do so, they must download the PRAN card form available on the official website of NSDL, fill the form properly with all the required details and then submit it through the post office.

Documents Required

PRAN card can be applied both online and offline by the Central and State Government employees. The application process is comparatively very simple and does not involve a wide list of documents. But still some basic amount of documents is needed if the applicant wishes to apply for PRAN cards. Those documents are as follows:
  • PAN card or Permanent Account Number that is issued to him by the Income Tax department.
  • If the subscriber fails to hold PAN card, he also has an option to submit Aadhar Card.
  • A bank account with any bank which is authorized by the NSDL. If the bank account held by the subscriber is not in the list of authorized banks of NSDL, the employee can apply for the card offline too.
  • A photograph which should be a scanned copy along with the subscriber’s signature. The photograph must be in peg/jpg of 4kb-12kb.
  • A photocopy of the address proof where the subscriber is presently residing.
  • Debit card, credit card as well as internet banking details and information   for making payments through the internet or online.

Necessary Details for Online PRAN Card Application

The Central and State Government employee can apply for PRAN card online just by filling a simple application form which is available on the NSDL website. After following the complete application procedure, the Nodal Office provides the PRAN card to the subscribers. But for its application, the subscriber is supposed to provide certain details along with the completed PRAN card application form. Failure to do so will make the PRAN card application process incomplete. These details are sub-sectioned under 5 headings. They are as follows:
  • Full personal details of the subscriber applying for the PRAN card.
  • The details regarding the employment of the subscriber.
  • Complete detailed information regarding the facility of nomination of the subscriber.
  • Full details of the scheme undertaken by the employee.
  • Declaration of T-PIN and I-PIN.
All the above mentioned sections are to be filled by the subscriber applying for the PRAN card. Only the second section, that is, the details related to employment are filled by the Drawing and Disbursing Officer (DDO). If the subscriber applying for the allotment of PRAN card already holds the registration of an old pension scheme where he has mentioned all the above needed details, then he is not needed to submit all the details required. They just have to submit the new application form which he should first register with the CRA. A CRA registration is made mandatory only because of the reason that NPS scheme launched by the Central Government comes with certain changes. Like for example, the previous pension scheme was based on the last pay that was drawn by the employee unlike the new pension scheme. In the New Pension Scheme or NPS, both the employer as well as the employee has their own set of contributions in order to create pension fund which is supposed to be paid to the employee of both Central as well as State Government at the time of their retirement. It has to be noted that details regarding PAN card, nomination facility and preference of scheme of the employee is not compulsory. It is optional and can be provided by the employee any time he wishes after the completion of registration procedure.

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