NPS Chintan Shivir was recently organized by PFRDA and NPS Trust. The event was attended by the Secretary DFS, Chairman PFRDA, Additional Secretary DFS, Chairman NPS Trust, Joint Secretary DFS, Whole Time Members PFRDA, CEO NPS Trust, other senior officers from DFS/PFRDA/NPS Trust, thought leaders from academia and industry, representatives from intermediaries of PFRDA, i.e Pension Funds, Custodian, Trustee Bank and CRAs. The “NPS Chintan Shivir” provided a platform to the stakeholders, wherein the discussions and deliberations were held to generate ideas and inputs for policy formulation to achieve the envisaged goal of achieving fully pensioned society by increasing NPS acceptance in organized and unorganized sector.
Secretary (FS), Shri (Dr.) Vivek Joshi, mentioned that India is growing at a faster pace and require lot of funds for long term investment and many of the investment opportunities are available in infrastructure space which matches the maturity profile of investment requirement under NPS. Dr. Joshi further stressed to simplify the enrolment process under NPS and asked to address pain points. Dr. Joshi further added that the ideas from this conference can further streamline NPS architecture in the best interest of subscribers. He released one-pager informative APY Flyer in all the 22 languages specified in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India, during the event.
Shri (Dr.) Deepak Mohanty, Chairperson, PFRDA, talked about social and demographic changes in India that interlinks the need for pension. He emphasized that pension corpus in some countries has crossed 100% of the GDP. Average pension assets in India are estimated around 16.5%. Dr. Mohanty stressed that the income tax benefit to the employers in corporate sector for their contribution to NPS be revised to 12%. He suggested that Systematic Lump Sum Withdrawal (SLW) may be extended up to 100% under NPS, so that the funds may remain under NPS corpus for a longer tenure.
A panel was invited for discussion and deliberation on the steps to increase the growth of NPS with eminent panelists, viz. Prof. Ruma Ghosh, V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, Sh. Dhirendra Kumar, CEO, Value Research, Prof. Arvind Sahay, Director, MDI, Gurgaon and Sh. Nilesh Shah, Managing Director, Kotak Asset Management Co. Ltd.
The suggestions emanated from the NPS Chintan Shivir were in the policy, product, investment and financial literacy, such as, how to improve gender imbalance under NPS, how to increase investment infrastructure sector looking at the experience of other countries, make NPS as part of financial inclusion initiative at school and college curriculum, how to reduce NPS onboarding time under online module, concept of universal old age pension to include informal workers, gig and platform workers and women workers under the ambit of pension schemes, how to increase NPS reach to contractual employees to expand the investment universe, launch of blended products of pension and health insurance.