By : Balwant Jain
Though everyone of us has heard about the God but only a few have experienced the miracles which can be attributed to the God. Based on the mails received from the readers I have realized that though a lot of people have heard about the NPS but only very few people are aware about how it functions, including how to open a NPS account. I therefore have decided to write about how to open your NPS account in physical form. This will help the people who are not technology savvy and can not use the computer comfortable and who do not have online banking facility.
Who can open the NPS account?
Any individual person who is a citizen of India can open account under the NPS. So an NRI who has retained his Indian passport can also open this account. For opening the account under NPS, a person should have completed 18 years of age on the date of opening the account. A person who has completed the age of 60 years can not open this account since purpose of NPS is accumulation of corpus till one reaches the age of 60 years. However a person who has already opened an NPS account can extend the same till 70 years of his age. A person who has been declared an insolvent and has not been discharged as insolvent can not join this scheme.
Where the account can be opened
For the purpose of helping the Indian Citizen in opening the NPS account, the government has nominated many entities. These include nationalized banks like Central Bank Of India, Allahabad Bank, Syndicate bank , Union Bank of India, and State Bank of India and its subsidiaries. In addition to the nationalized banks the government has nominated private banks like ICICI Bank, Kotak Bank, Axis bank, Yes bank etc.. In addition to the banks the government has also nominated some other entities like Indian Postal Department, Stock Holding Corporation, UTI Assest Management Company, UTI Technology etc. All these entities are called POP (Points Of Presence) under the NPS scheme. The detailed list with contact numbers is available on the Link www.npstrust.org.in/images/pops.pdf. Since there are ample number of entities nominated for opening the account, I think you should not face any problem in getting your account opened
How to open the NPS account
You have to collect the Application form for subscriber registration from any of the POP. You can also open your NPS account online. The application form duly filled in with necessary documents for the purpose of KYC should be submitted to any of the above POP. The KYC norms are normal like those which are applicable for the purpose of opening you normal bank account. While filling up the form you can appoint one or more nominees for the purpose of receiving the corpus lying to the credit of your NPS account, in case something happens to you. It is always advisable to have nominees in all your accounts be it bank account or demat account. Even a minor can be appointed as a nominee under NPS. However in case you are appointing a minor as nominee, you need to provide the details of name of the guardian and date of birth of the minor. While nominating more than one nominee, you need to specify shares of each nominee in percentage term. Please ensure that share is not mentioned in fractional and sum of all the shares is equal to 100%.
However unlike your bank account, you do not have the option to add someone as joint account holder under NPS. The account has to be opened in an individual’s single name.
Document Needed for opening the account:
For complying with KYC you need to provide documents for identity, date of birth, address etc. Please note that you need not have a PAN card in order to make an application under NPS unless you intend to make cash contribution Rs. 50,000/- or above. For proof of identity and address various documents are accepted like School leaving certificate, water bill, electricity bill, driving license, copies of your depository account, bank account PAN card, password, rent receipt, credit card statement, Aadhaar card etc. Even if you are not able to provide any of the documents listed in the application form as a last resort, you can obtain a certificate of identity and certificate of address signed by Member of Parliament or member of legislative assembly, gazetted officer, or even your municipal councilor.
Selection of Pension Fund Manager
Like the POP (Point of Presence) the government has also appointed PFM (Pension Fund Managers) for the purpose of management of the Funds. While filling up the application form for registration under NPS, you have to indicate your preference for the PFM. If you do not indicate your preference of the Pension fund manager, your application will not be processed and will invariably be rejected. The PFM appointed are Pension Fund Management Companies of various financial institution/mutual fund house like ICICI, SBI, Kotak, Reliance SBI and UTI.
Issue of PRN (Pension Retirement Number)
The Government has appointed National Securities Depositories Limited as the Central record keeping agency for the purpose of NPS. NSDL is responsible for record keeping of the all the subscribers under NPS. Once your application for the purpose of NPS registration is accepted and processed, you will receive a welcome kit from NSDL along with allotment letter of an PRAN (Pension Retirement Account Number) along with the PRAN Card bearing your photograph having basic details about you. You have the option of receiving your PRAN card in Hindi also and for that purpose you will have to submit some basic details in devnagri script. Please be careful while you fill in the details in the application form for registration for NPS. In case you have committed some mistakes while filling in the details in the application form, this may cause errors in all the documents including the PRAN card. The PRAN is your unique identification for the purpose of operating this account.
The welcome kit will also contain a telephone password (TPIN) for the purpose of accessing your NPS account through the call center number 1800-222080. The kit will also have a internet password to access your NPS account through internet on www.npscra.nsdl.co.in
(The author is a CA, CS and CFP. He can be reached at jainbalwant at gmail.com and @jainbalwant)By Balwant Jain (CA, CS and CFP)The author is a CA, CS and CFP. Presently working as Company Secretary of Bombay Oxygen Corporation Limited. Views are personal., He can be reached at email@example.com and @jainbalwant