New Pension Scheme-Features
The NPS is a new contributory pension scheme introduced by the Central Government for its own new employees. Under the new pension system, each new central government employee will open a personal retirement account on joining service. Every month, and till the employee retires or leaves government service, a part of the employee's salary will be transferred into this account. When the person retires, he will be able to use these savings to take care of the needs and expenses of his family during old age.
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority was established by the Government of India on 23rd August 2003 to promote old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds, to protect the interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
When you join Government service, you will be allotted a unique Personal Pension
Account Number (PPAN). This unique account number will remain the same for the rest of your life. You will be able to use this account and this unique PPAN from any location and also if you change your job. The PPAN will provide you with two personal accounts:
1. A mandatory Tier-I pension account, and
2. A voluntary Tier-II savings account.
1. Tier-I account: You will have to contribute 10% of your basic+DA+DP into your Tier-I (pension) account on a mandatory basis every month. You will not be allowed to withdraw your savings from this account till you retire at age 60. Your monthly contributions and your savings in this account, subject to a ceiling to be decided by the government, will be exempt from income tax. These savings will only be taxed when you withdraw them at retirement.
2. Tier-II account: This is simply a voluntary savings facility for you. Your contributions and savings in this account will not enjoy any tax advantages. But you will be free to withdraw your savings from this account whenever you wish.
Main Features and Architecture of the New Pension System
The new pension system would be based on defined contributions. It will use the existing network of bank branches and post offices etc. to collect contributions. There will be seamless transfer of accumulations in case of change of employment and/or location. It will also offer a basket of investment choices and Fund managers. The new pension system will be voluntary.
The system would, however, be mandatory for new recruits to the Central Government service (except the armed forces). The monthly contribution would be 10 percent of the salary and DA to be paid by the employee and matched by the Central Government. However, there will be no contribution from the Government in respect of individuals who are not Government employees. The contributions and returns thereon would be deposited in a non-withdrawable pension account. The existing provisions of defined benefit pension and GPF would not be available to the new recruits in the central Government service.
In addition to the above pension account, each individual can have a voluntary tier-II withdrawable account at his option. Government will make no contribution into this account. These assets would be managed in the same manner as the pension. The accumulations in this account can be withdrawn anytime without assigning any reason.
Individuals can normally exit at or after age 60 years from the pension system. At exit, the individual would be required to invest at least 40 percent of pension wealth to purchase an annuity. In case of Government employees, the annuity should provide for pension for the lifetime of the employee and his dependent parents and his spouse at the time of retirement. The individual would receive a lump-sum of the remaining pension wealth, which she would be free to utilize in any manner. Individuals would have the flexibility to leave the pension system prior to age 60. However, in this case, the mandatory annuitisation would be 80% of the pension wealth.
There will be one or more central record keeping agency (CRA), several pension fund managers (PFMs) to choose from which will offer different categories of schemes.
The participating entities (PFMs, CRA etc.) would give out easily understood information about past performance & regular NAVs, so that the individual would able to make informed choices about which scheme to choose.
Individual will not be eligible to Gratuity
The General Provident Fund (Central Service) Rules, 1960 also do not apply to them. They will not be permitted to contribute towards GPF