NPS rule change: New subscribers don’t need to submit physical application for PRAN activation

New Delhi: Pension fund regulator PFRDA has taken a slew of measures to facilitate new subscribers’ onboarding into NPS. The pension fund regulator has now made it easier for Points of Presence (POPs) and Central Record Keeping Agencies (CRAs) to onboard new subscribers through the paper-less digital means.

As per its new instructions, NPS accounts opened digitally in CRA platform including eNPS, the soft copies of NPS subscribers’ applications will continue to be generated by CRAs but the subscribers will no loger have to submit the physical application form to the respective CRAs. Subscribers will have options for authentication either through e-Sign or through OTP before the creation of Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).

“Since the Subscribers are provided with the options for e-Sign or OTP, the NPS Subscribers will no longer have the option of submitting the physical application to the respective CRAs,” PFRDA said in a circular dated January 8, 2021.

This rule will also be applicable for NPS accounts opened through POPs. “For NPS accounts opened through POP, whether through digital, physical or net-banking mode, the soft copies of NPS applications shall be generated by CRAs, capturing all information about the subscribers as may be specified by PFRDA, which shall be furnished electronically by POPs to CRAs. CRAs shall also share the soft copies of the application with subscribers for their information,” the pension fund regulator mentioned in the circular.

Apart from the above, other information such as Subscribers’ Authentication modes (OTP, eSign or physical signature), the mode of onboarding (Physical, Digital or lnternet Banking), KYC related information [existing customer, Video Customer ldentification process], Aadhaar details, lnstant Bank Account verification through penny drop etc will also be furnished by POPs to CRAs electronically, PFRDA said.

However, for NPS accounts opened by POPs through CRA/CRA appointed facilitation centres, the NPS application forms shall continue to be handled as per existing process and physical application forms shall be preserved by CRAs under their safe custody.

According to the circular, even though the soft copies of NPS Subscribers’applications are generated by CRAs’on behalf of POPs and shared with Subscribers by CRA, the responsibility of accuracy of information, KYC compliance, due diligence etc. will always be with POPs.

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