National Pension System: NPS, APY gaining popularity among pension seekers

Amitava Chakrabarty
pension, pension fund, Atal Pension Yojana, APY, National Pension System, NPS, retirement corpus, retired life, tax benefits, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India, PFRDA, LIC

With the increase in life expectancy, more Indians are likely to live a long retired life. So, it is very necessary to make sure that people accumulate a decent retirement corpus to ensure that they spend the retired life comfortably.

With more people becoming conscious about the importance of retirement savings, demands for government-run pension schemes are on the rise.

Going with the trend, it is expected that around 10-12 lakh new subscribers would be added to its two pension schemes-Atal Pension Yojana (APY) and National Pension System (NPS)-in the current fiscal ending March, said newly-appointed Chairman of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA), Supratim Bandyopadhyay.

One of the reasons for the increased popularity of NPS may be additional tax benefits up to Rs 50,000 per financial year u/s 80CCD(1B) on voluntary contribution to NPS Tier 1 accounts, which is over and above the 80C limit of Rs 1.5 lakh.

By March-end, the pension fund regulator is expected to have nearly 3.48-3.50 crore subscribers on board in its flagship pension schemes APY and NPS.

As of February 22, 2020, total number of subscribers under the two schemes were around 3.38 crore, informed the PFRDA Chairman.

"By the end of the fiscal if you look at APY, there may be another close to 8-10 lakh additions and another 1-1.5 lakh for NPS. So all taken together, around 10-12 lakh new customers should join our fold by March-end," Bandyopadhyay said.

According to the PRFDA data, as on February 22, 2020, total asset under management (AUM) for these 337.63 lakh subscribers stood at Rs 4,21,336 crore.

Previously holding the position of Whole Time Member (Finance) in the PFRDA for two years, Bandyopadhyay took charge on February 21, 2020.

A science graduate and a qualified Chartered Accountant, Bandyopadhyay was with the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) for around three-and-a-half decades, before moving to PFRDA.