Why NPS account gets frozen and how to unfreeze your account
You are an NPS account holder and as usual you are trying to make your NPS contribution. However, suddenly you find out that making your NPS contribution this time is not possible because your NPS account has got frozen. This may not only surprise you, but may also make you nervous. After all, what has happened? What wrong have you done? Why your account has got frozen? But there is no need to worry. If that is the case, then most likely you have missed making the minimum amount of deposit that was required to be made in 2018-19 or before. It may be noted that one needs to deposit a minimum amount in each financial year to keep one’s NPS account active. Else, the NPS account gets frozen.
You might have received a communication through an email from PFRDA intimating that your account status has been changed to “Frozen.” There would also be the instructions for “unfreezing” the account in the same mail. If not received, then the email must be on the way. An alert is sent to the subscriber by SMS or email one month before the account is due for ‘freezing’ and also on the ‘freezing’ of the account.
When does NPS account get frozen
As per the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) guidelines, every subscriber has to make a minimum contribution to his NPS account, every financial year. In case any subscriber fails to make such minimum contribution, the account gets frozen i.e., no further transactions would be allowed in the account.
Minimum Contribution for Tier I account
A subscriber is required to make at least one contribution transaction in a financial year. The minimum amount per contribution is Rs.500.This requirement, however, does not apply to Government or Corporate subscribers. A minimum contribution of Rs.1000 ( earlier it was Rs 6,000) should be made in each financial year in order to avoid getting the account frozen.
Minimum Contribution for Tier II account
There is no minimum contribution requirement for the Tier II account. If a Tier I for a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) is frozen, the Tier II account is also kept in ‘Freeze’ status even if it meets the required criteria.
How to unfreeze NPS account
The subscriber needs to submit a duly filled physical form as per the format provided by PFRDA (Form UOS-S10) to the associated POP-SP and has to provide a copy of PRAN card along with the application form. The subscriber has to make a payment of the minimum contribution of Rs. 500 together with a penalty of Rs.100 for the years of the freeze. The Penalty is applicable to unfreeze Tier 1 or Tier 2 or both accounts.
Point of Presence (POP) are the entities such as SBI, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank etc registered with the PFRDA to act as a customer interface. POPs shall perform functions through their network of branches called POP Service Providers (POP-SP). One may get the forms from POP or POP-SP or else can download it from here. ( https://npscra.nsdl.co.in/download/non-government-sector/all-citizens-of-india/forms/UoS-S10A-Unfreezing%20of%20PRAN.pdf)
POP-SP will receive the request for ‘unfreezing’ along with the contribution and penalty and record the details of penalty and contribution in the system to ‘Unfreeze’ the account. On upload of contribution information in the CRA system, the status of the accounts will be changed to ‘Active’. Thereafter, an email intimation will be sent to the subscriber intimating that the account has been ‘un-frozen’ and that the status has been changed to ‘Active’.
Depending on which Central Record keeping Agency (CRA) your NPS account is linked to, whether its Karvy or NSDL, the freeze and unfreeze is to be done by them. However, the request to unfreeze has to go through the POP or the PO-SP.