Board Meeting of PFRDA : Important Announcements and Approvals
“Modification in Partial Withdrawal rules under NPS & Increasing cap on equity investment in active choice to 75% from current 50% for Private Sector Subscribers”
Ministry of Finance
Important Announcements and Approvals in Board Meeting of PFRDA
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is established by the Government of India for regulation and development of Pension Sector in order to protect the old age income security of subscribers. PFRDA takes various initiatives from time to time in order to simplify and improve the operational issues in National Pension System (NPS) like new functionality development under NPS architecture, simplification of account opening, withdrawal, grievance management etc.
In this regard, during the recently held Board Meeting some important decisions were taken to improve the operational and regulation issues in National Pension System (NPS). Some of the decisions taken in the Board Meeting are as follows:
- Budget announcement- Rating criteria for investments– Proposal on changing the investment grade rating from ‘AA’ to ‘A’ for corporate bonds was approved. The change is subject to a cap on investments in ‘A’ rated bonds to be not more than 10% of the overall Corporate Bond portfolio of the Pension Funds. This initiative will enlarge the scope of investment for the Fund Managers while ensuring credit quality.
- Introduction of a Common Stewardship Code: The proposal on adoption of Common Stewardship Code, as a measure of good Corporate Governance, was approved. Further, it was also approved that the Principles enumerated in such code shall be circulated to all Pension Funds for compliance and implementation. Adoption of these Principles by Pension Funds will improve their engagement with investee companies and benefit subscribers.
- Modification in Partial Withdrawal rules under NPS: Partial withdrawals will now be allowed to NPS subscribers who wish to improve their employability or acquire new skills by pursuing higher education/ acquiring professional and technical qualifications. Further, individual NPS subscribers who wish to set up a new business/ acquire new business will also be allowed to make partial withdrawals from his contributions. Other terms applicable to partial withdrawals will remain unchanged.
- Increasing cap on equity investment in active choice to 75% from current 50% for Private Sector Subscribers: Presently there is a cap of 50% on equity investment under active choice in NPS. The proposal on increasing cap on equity investment in active choice to 75% from currently 50% has been approved by the Board. However, it comes with a clause of tapering of the equity allocation after the age of 50 years.
Currently, NPS and APY have a cumulative subscriber base of over 2.13 crore with total Asset Under Management (AUM) of more than Rs. 2.38 lakh crore.