News Life and Health15 Mar 2018

India:Membership of National Pension Scheme to reach 21 mln at 31 Mar

15 Mar 2018

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA) is expecting the number of National Pension Scheme (NPS) subscribers to hit 21 million by the end of this financial year which falls on 31 March.

Mr Hemant Contractor, PFRDA Chairman, said that they currently have 20.5 million subscribers, reports Moneycontrol.

“We had a good response from corporate subscribers as well for NPS. The number of corporate subscribers has gone up to 4,400 and this year itself 935 corporates have signed,” said Mr Contractor. He added that there is a higher demand for e-NPS, which is a digital version of the scheme.

Established in 2004, NPS is a voluntary, defined-contribution retirement savings scheme designed to enable subscribers to sav for their retirement.

Under the NPS, individual savings are pooled in to a pension fund, which is then invested by PFRDA regulated professional fund managers as per approved investment guidelines in government bonds, bills, corporate debentures and shares.

At the time of a normal exit from NPS, subscribers can use the accumulated pension wealth under the scheme to purchase a life annuity from a PFRDA-empanelled life insurance company, apart from withdrawing a part of the accumulated pension wealth as lump sum, if they choose to do so.

Earlier this month, the PFRDA relaxed the rules to allow partial withdrawal under the NPS. The subscriber must have subscribed to the NPS for at least a period of three years to be eligible to make partial withdrawals. The subscriber can withdraw a maximum of three times during the entire tenure of his subscription under the NPS. The partial withdrawal is linked with the contributions made by the subscriber who shall be permitted to withdraw accumulations not exceeding 25% of the contributions made by him or her and standing to his or her credit in his or her individual pension account, as on the date of application for withdrawal.

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