Chief Editor, ApnaPaisa
We have already discussed the basics of an NPS account in an earlier article. I have also explained that an NPS account can be opened online as well as offline. Let us understand how to open the NPS in both ways.
Registering for NPS offline
For opening your NPS account offline, you need to visit the office of any of the points of the presence-service provider (POP-SP) to submit the registration form in physical form with documents for KYC compliance. For complying with KYC, you need to provide documents for your identity, date of birth, address proof and a photograph. You need to have a bank account in India and have to furnish an Indian address even if you are an NRI. You need to have either an Aadhaar Number or a PAN for opening an NPS account.
While registering for NPS you have to choose any one of two Central Recordkeeping Agencies to keep records of your NPS account. Presently there are two Central Recordkeeping Agencies (CRAs). The CRA functions like registrar and transfer agent. The CRA will keep your records as well as expedite all your transactions.
For proofs of identity and address, various documents like school leaving certificate, water bill, electricity bill, driving license, copies of your depository account, PAN card, identity card issued by your employer, rent receipt and credit card statement etc. are accepted. Even if you are not able to provide any of the documents listed in the application form, as a last the resort you can obtain a certificate of identity and certificate of address signed by Member of Parliament, Member of Legislative Assembly, Gazetted Officer or even a Municipal Councillor for identity proof.
After the account is opened, the CRA will send you a “Welcome Kit” which will have subscriber’s unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) Card and the details as provided in the Subscriber Registration form at the time of registration. You will also receive a Telephone Password (TPIN) for accessing your account on the call centre number. You will also get your Internet Password (IPIN) for accessing your account on the CRA Website.
You can open an NPS account online by visiting the website of either NSDL (https://enps.nsdl.com/eNPS/NationalPensionSystem.html) or Karvy (https://enps.kfintech.com/). There are two routes through which you can register yourself for an NPS account. One is Aadhaar based verification and the other is PAN based verification.
For Aadhaar based online registration you have to generate your eKYC file from the Aadhaar website. A link to generate it is provided on the NDSL website itself. After your eKYC is submitted your personal details, available with Aadhaar website UIDAI, like your name, gender, mobile number, address and photograph are automatically fetched. You need to upload a scanned copy of the cancelled cheque and photograph online. The facility to register through your Aadhaar number is available only on the website of NSDL, and presently not available on the website of Karvy.
For the second route you need to have a PAN number.
You can apply online NPS account using either NSDL or Karvy website. Under this process, your PAN will be verified by any entity of your choice where you have an existing relationship. The entity may be your existing bank or your depository. You may provide details of your bank account number with name of the bank or you can also choose to get it verified by depository where you have your Demat account. Under this process also, you need to upload scanned copies of your PAN, a canceled cheque, latest photograph and signature in specified formats. While opening the account online you have to make a minimum initial contribution of Rs. 500/- for Tier I account and Rs. 1,000/- for Tier II account, if you wish to open Tier II account also. You have the option to either e-sign the registration form or in case you are not able to e-sign it, then you have to send the physical copy of the print out of the registration form to the office of CRA within 30 days from the date of allotment of PRAN, which gets allotted instantly while applying online. You have to physically sign the registration form and paste the photograph on the form at the space provided in case you have to submit the form physically.
Under both the options explained above the subscriber has an option to receive the E-PRAN card instead of a physical copy of it. This will result into savings for the subscriber. So for Physical PRAN card the cost is Rs. 40 for NSDL and and Rs. 39.36 you opt Karvy as your CRA. However, if you opt for e-PRAN card the charges drops to just Rs. 4 for Karvy and Rs. 18 for NSDL. In case you opt for e-PRAN the welcome Kit will also be sent by email. You can get a physical copy of your PRAN card anytime on payment of fee.
The non resident Indian Citizens who wish to open an NPS account have to provide some additional documents like copy of the passport during the registration process. The NRI can also provide an overseas address for the communication for which they will be charged. The NRI are not allowed to open Tier II account.
I hope now you will not find it difficult to open the NPS account about which you have just heard till now. Take your first step towards experiencing the benefits of NPS.
The writer is a tax and investment expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.