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Monday, August 24, 2015

PFRDA to launch online facility to open NPS accounts

MUMBAI: Pension fund regulator PFRDA is set to launch an online facility for  opening of accounts under the National  Pension System (NPS) to net in prospective customers. 

 "We are set  to launch the online on-boarding facility for the prospective customers of  pension schemes under the NPS," PFRDA chairman Hemant Contractor told reporters  on the sidelines of an insurance summit organised by the industry lobby CII here  this evening.

"We have also urged the government to offer tax-breaks to pension schemes falling on the lines of other financial  products like mutual funds  and insurance, to popularise pension products in the unorganised sector," he  said.

The Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA  has sought clarification from the government if the pension products being run  by various fund houses and life insurers can be regulated by it

 "We have asked the government to clarify whether we can regulate the  pension business being run by mutual fund houses and life insurers because the  PFRDA Act empowers us to regulate all kinds of pension business," Contractor  said.

On the pension business being managed by the Employees Provident  Fund Organisation ( EPFO), he said it  is up to the government to decide that who will be regulating it.

Commenting on the progress of NPS, he said the NPS  corpus has already crossed Rs 94,000 crore so far, which includes Rs 7,000 crore from the  Atal Pension Yojana.

He further said, "We've already opened 6,80,000  accounts under the Atal Pension scheme during the past couple of months and we  are looking at taking it to 2 crore by December. Out of these 6,80,000 accounts,  65 per cent subscribers come from urban areas and the rest from the rural  areas."

The three state-owned fund managers, who are managing the Atal  Pension scheme funds are UTI, SBI and LIC Pension  Fund.

The regulator is getting ready to appoint new fund managers for  the NPS, which has seven active fund managers now and also reviewing fund  management charges.

Contractor also said the regulator is planning to  increase the tenure of NPS fund managers to five years from the present three. 

"We don't mind paying a higher commission to incentivise fund managers and  distributors so as to expand the NPS reach. We are reviewing a proposal in this  regard and we will be issuing a request for proposal to appoint new fund  managers within a month," he said.

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