- What is NPS?
- NPS Benefits
- NPS Returns
- NPS Tax Benefits
- Features of NPS
- Fees and Applicable Charges of NPS
- Eligibility Criteria of NPS
- Types of NPS Account
- NPS Fund Managers
National Pension Scheme (NPS) is an investment cum pension plan launched by the Indian Government. This scheme is regulated and administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority(PFRDA). It is specifically launched by the Government of India to offer financial security to Indian senior citizens. The National Pension scheme provides impressive long-term savings options so that an individual can plan his/her retirement time efficiently by investing in this safe market-based plan.Read more
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Table of Content
The National Pension Scheme also known as National Pension System is opened to all the employees from the public sector, private sector, and even the unorganized sector except for those who work in the Armed Forces. In the NPS scheme, the subscribers can make a minimum contribution of Rs.6,000 in a financial year, which can be paid as lump-sum or as monthly installments of minimum Rs.500.
In the NPS scheme, the contribution of the subscribers is invested into the market-linked instruments like debt and equity and the returns depend on the performance of these investments. The current interest rate of NPS is 8-10% on the contribution made.
Any Indian citizen from the age group of 18 years to 60 years can open the National Pension Scheme account. Regulated by PFRDA, the National Pension Scheme matures at the age of 60 years and can be extended up to 70 years. The national pension scheme allows the subscribers to make partial withdrawal up to 25% of the contribution after 3 years of opening the account in specific situations like purchasing a home, sponsoring a child’s education, or for the treatment of any critical illnesses.
The following are the benefits of the National Pension Scheme.
A portion of the contribution made towards the NPS scheme is invested in equities, which offers higher returns as compared to other traditional tax-saving investment options like PPF. With an interest rate of 9%-12%, this plan is best suitable for individuals who want to accumulate funds in the long-term and financially secure life after retirement.
This is another NPS benefit offered to the individuals. The contribution made towards the NPS scheme up to the maximum limit of Rs.1.5 lakhs is eligible for tax exemption under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Moreover, in the NPS scheme, the contribution made by the employer and the employee are both applicable for the tax exemption.
As a pension scheme, it is mandatory to invest in NPS until 60 years of age. However, partial withdrawals are allowed after 3 years from the date of opening the account. The subscribers can withdraw up to 25% of the total contribution made. Premature withdrawal is only applicable in case of specific circumstances like sponsoring a child’s education, purchasing a house, or in case of any medical emergency. The subscribers can make a withdrawal up to 3 times in the intervals of 5 years in the entire tenure. These rules are only applicable to the Tier I account and not on the Tier II accounts.
In the NPS scheme, the individual cannot withdraw the entire accumulated fund from the account after the retirement. In the NPS scheme, it is mandatory to keep aside at least 40% of the accumulated fund to receive a regular annuity from the PFRDA registered insurance firm. The remaining 60% of the accumulated fund is tax-free.
In NPS, the investments are made into a different scheme. As per the equity allocation rule, the investors can allocate a maximum of 50% of their investment in equities. There are two options of investments are available to invest in i.e. active choice and auto choice. The active choice allows the investors to choose their fund and split the investment as per their risk appetite and suitability on the other hand, in auto choice the investment is made considering the risk profile and age of the investors.
Currently, on equity exposures of the NPS scheme a cap between the range of 75% to50% exists. For government employees, this cap is 50%. In the prescribed range, the equity portion will reduce by 2.5% every year starting from the year in which the investors will turn 50 years old. This balances the equation of risk-return for the investors that mean the invested fund is safe from the volatility of the equity market. The NPS scheme offers a higher earning potential as compared to other fixed-income schemes.
In the NPS scheme, the subscriber can contribute anytime during a financial year and can also change the amount he/she wants to invest every year.
National Pension Scheme offers flexibility as subscribers can choose their option of investment and pension fund and see their investment grow.
The subscribers can open the NPS account by visiting the website of eNPS(https://enps.nsld.com/eNPS/) or at any one of the Point of Presence (POP).
The NPS scheme is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA). With regular monitoring and transparent investment norms, NPS offers transparency and reliability to the subscribers.
Option to Change the Fund Manager or the Scheme
This is another NPS benefit offered to the investors. The subscribers have an option to change the fund manager or the pension scheme if they are not satisfied with the performance of the scheme. This option is offered for both the accounts, Tier I and Tier II.
A national pension scheme does not have a fixed rate of interest, but the returns are based on the market performance of the funds as the investments are made in market-linked securities. The contribution made towards the NPS scheme can be invested in 4 different asset classes like equities, government bonds, corporate bonds, and alternative assets through different pension funds. The returns offered by these pension funds depend on the market performance of the stocks and bonds.
The National Pension Scheme is one of the most popular annuity products in the country. Investing in the NPS scheme not only provides an advantage to the investors over other fixed-income schemes but also offers the perk of tax exemption Under Section 80C and 80CCD of the Income Tax Act. NPS scheme comes with a lock-in period till retirement, however, it allows premature withdrawals in specific circumstances. Under the NPS scheme details, the investors are also given the advantage to allocate their investment. Investors can choose the option to invest in funds either automatically or manually.
The National Pension System allows tax exemption on the contribution made towards the scheme up to the maximum limit of Rs. 1.5 lakh under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Moreover, in the NPS scheme, the contribution made by the employer and the employee are both applicable for the tax exemption.
80CCD(1)- This is a part U/S 80elf-contribution. The maximum deduction up to 10% of the salary can be claimed for tax exemption under this section. For the taxpayers who are self-employed, this limit is 20% of the gross income.
80CCD(2)- This section covers the contribution made by the employers towards the NPS scheme. This benefit does not apply to self-employed taxpayers. The maximum amount entitled to the tax exemption is the lowest of the: a. Actual NPS contribution by employer b. 10% of Basic + Dearness Allowance c. Gross total income
You can claim any additional self contribution (up to Rs 50,000) under section 80CCD(1B) as National Pension Scheme (NPS) tax benefit.
As a government-sponsored pension scheme, here we have mentioned some of the NPS scheme details and some of the salient features of the NPS:
|Category||Charge head||Service Charges*|
|Private / Government|
|Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA)||Permanent Retirement Account (PRA) Opening charges||CRA charges if the individual opts for a Physical PRAN card||CRA charges if the individual opts for an ePRAN card|
|Physical welcome kit||Welcome kit via email|
|NCRA||Rs. 40||Rs. 35||Rs. 18|
|KCRA||Rs. 39.36||Rs. 39.36||Rs. 4|
|Note: The reduction in charges will be on the current charge structure and excludes applicable taxes Charges will be applicable post-release of the functionalities by CRAs to capture the choice of NPS subscribers to have physical or ePRAN card|
|Maintenance cost of PRA (Annually)||NCRA: Rs. 69|
|KCRA: Rs. 57.63|
|Transaction charges||NCRA: Rs. 3.75|
|KCRA: Rs. 3.36|
|Point of Presence (POP)||-||Private||Govt.|
|Initial contribution during registration||Rs. 200||NA|
|additional transactions||0.25% of the contribution Min. Rs. 20 Max. Rs. 25000||NA|
|Non-Financial Rs. 20|
|Persistency||Rs. 50 per annum||NA|
|Less than 6 months and contribution of Rs 1000|
|eNPS Contribution||0.10% of contribution,||NA|
|Min. Rs.10 Max. Rs.10000|
|Custodian||Asset Servicing charges||0.0032% per annum for Electronic segment & Physical segment|
|NPS Trust||Reimbursement of Expenses||0.005% per annum|
|Payment Gateway Service Charge (Applicable for transactions made on eNPS platform)||Mode of Payment||Method for quotation rate per transaction||Payment Gateway Service Provider|
|IndiaIdeas.com Limited (Billdesk)|
|Credit cards||Percentage (%) of transaction value||0.75%|
|Internet Banking||The flat rate in INR||0|
There are two types of accounts that NPS offers:
It is a basic pension account with limitations on withdrawal
Before attaining 60 years of age, only 25% of the contribution can be withdrawn while the rest 75% has to be necessarily used for buying the annuity from a life insurer. An annuity is a series of payments made at fixed intervals of time. Annuity plans necessitate the insurer to pay the insured income at regular intervals until his death or till maturity of the plan.
After attaining the age of retirement also (60 years), close to 60% contribution can be withdrawn and the rest 40% again has to be used to purchase the annuity from approved life insurers.
It is a voluntary savings option from which a person can withdraw money limitless.
The individual/organization that takes decisions regarding any portfolio of investment (mostly a mutual fund, pension fund, or insurance fund), as per the stated goals of the fund. It is necessary to opt for a fund manager while opening the account.
The money is managed by seven fund managers appointed by the PFRDA. The government employees accounts are taken care of by one of the best three government fund managers, LIC Pension Plan, SBI Pension Plan and UTI Retirement Solutions, the money invested by others is managed by one of the six fund managers, ICICI Prudential Pension, IDFC Pension, Kotak Mahindra Pension, Reliance Capital Pension, SBI Pension Funds and UTI Retirement Solutions.
Features of both Tier-I and Tier-II account
|Tier I||Tier II|
|In the case of Government funds, the contribution from the employee's side is 10% basic salary + dearness allowance with the same contribution from the employer.||The contribution is Rs.1000 at the time of account opening or a minimum contribution of Rs.250 per month can also be chosen. Also, it is necessary to maintain a minimum balance of Rs. 2000 at the end of the financial year.|
|But in the non-government fund, the investor pays Rs.6000; with a choice of paying at least Rs. 500 per installment||-|
|In a Government fund, the default investment is made mostly in Corporate and Government bonds||The investment is a mix of equity, corporate bonds, government funds, FDs, liquid funds, etc.|
|In a non-Government fund, the default investment is in stocks, corporate bonds, government funds, FDs, liquid funds, etc.||-|
As National Pension Scheme allows individuals to make systematic investments, liquidity is never an issue. To enjoy liquidity benefits, the subscriber needs to have any of the below-mentioned accounts along with a unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).
Let us look at the table to understand Tier-I and Tier-II account of the National Pension Scheme better
|Tier I and Tier II NPS|
|Tier I||Tier II|
|Eligibility||Any Indian citizen between 18 & 65 years of age||Members of Tier I only|
|Lock-in||Till the age of 60 years||Nil|
|Minimum number of contributions in the year||1||Nil, you can choose not to make any contribution in a year|
|Minimum contribution for account opening||Rs 500||Rs 1,000|
|The minimum amount for subsequent contribution||Rs 500||Rs 250|
|Minimum number of annual contributions||Rs. 6,000||Not mandatory|
|Fund management charge||Same as Tier-II||Same as Tier-I|
|Available asset classes||Same for both|
|Equity (E): Predominant investment in Equity market instruments. Maximum 75%|
|Corporate Debt (C): Scheme invests in Bonds issued by Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), Public Financial Institutions (PFIs), Infrastructure Companies and Money Market Instruments|
|Government Securities (G): Scheme invests in Securities issued by Central Government, State Governments and Money Market Instruments|
|Alternative Investment Funds (A): In this asset class, investments are being made in instruments like CMBS, REITS, AIFs, etc.|
|Tax benefits on the contribution||For Tier-I investments, tax is deductible within the total ceiling of 1.5 lakh under Section 80CCD (1)||No tax benefit|
|Allowed up to Rs.50,000 as deductions towards Tier-I contributions under 80CCD 1(B)|
|Taxation on withdrawal||At maturity, the entire corpus is tax-exempt||The entire corpus can be withdrawn, which is added to income and taxed as per the tax slab one falls in|
This table gives you a wide idea as to how Tier-I and Tier-II account for National Pension Scheme works. Study the table carefully and make an informed decision.
*Policybazaar does not endorse, rate, or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product by an insurer or any other financial product.
*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C applies.
|Class Of Fund||Invested In||Risk Average||Return Since Launch (%)|
|E||Index-based Stocks||Carry market risk like any large-cap equity fund||3.79%|
|C||Bonds issued by State Govt, PSUs and Private Firms||Going by the quality of companies, the risk would be low.||8.66%|
|G||Bonds issued by Central Govt.||Lacks default risk but volatility can't be avoided in long term bonds.||5.92%|
Depending on how open the investor is to risk, the corpus can be divided among these three fund classes. Exposure to equity cannot be more than 50%. However if the allocation is not specified, the exposure to various classes, especially equity is decided on the basis of age.
The above figure also tells us about the average performance of National Pension Scheme funds in different classes.
The investment mix according to the age of the investor:
|Age of the Investor||Percentage of Investment in Various Classes|
|Up to 35 Years||50% Equity and 50% Debt|
|40 Years||40% Equity and 60% Debt|
|45 Years||30% Equity and 70% Debt|
|50 Years||20% Equity and 80% Debt|
|55 Years||10% Equity and 90% Debt|
So with increasing age, the investment corpus gets more inclined towards Debt
Non-Residential Indians (NRIs) can also open an NPS account and can make full use of the benefits they carry. The NPS is a retirement savings scheme launched by the government of India with an objective to secure the life of an individual financially after retirement. The eligibility criteria for NRIs who want to open an NPS account are.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India regulates the operations of the National Pension Scheme. PFRDA offers both online and offline process to open an NPS account. The individuals can register and obtain the subscription for the NPS scheme through the online platform of eNPS or the offline process. Let’s take a look at how to open an NPS account.
An individual can now open an NPS account in a simple and hassle-free way. To open an NPS account online, it is important to link the account to the PAN, Aadhaar, and mobile number. Let’s take a look at the steps to open the NPS account online.
To open the NPS account manually or offline, the individual will require finding Point of The individual will require collecting the subscriber form from the nearest PoP and submitting it along with the completed KYC papers. Once the individual makes the initial investment, the point of presence will send you a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN). The PRAN number and password in the sealed welcome kit will help the individual to operate the account. The offline process to open the NPS account includes one-time registration fees of Rs.125.
While this is the process of registration for the National Pension Scheme for all subscribers, the NRIs need to complete a few additional steps to complete the process.
Besides NPS, the other popular tax saving investment instruments available in the market U/S 80C are Public Provident Fund (PPF), Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS), and tax-saving fixed deposits (FDs). Let’s take a look at the comparison between NPS and other tax-saving instruments.
|Investment||Interest||Lock-in Period||Risk Profile|
|NPS||9%-12%||Till retirement||Market-related risk|
|ELSS||12%-15%||3 years||Market-related risk|
|PPF||8.1% (Guaranteed)||15 years||Risk-free|
The NPS can earn higher returns as compared to PPF and FDs, however, it is not as tax-effective on maturity as compared to other investment options. For example, the subscribers can withdraw 60% of the accumulated fund from the NPS account on maturity. However, out of this 60%, 20% is taxable. The taxability on NPS scheme withdrawals is subject to change.
Any individual aged between 18 years and 60 years can open the National Pension Scheme Account.
National Pension Scheme is best suited for individuals who are unable to decide their asset allocations or do not have time to manage their investment.
An NPS is a completely government-backed scheme and any person who wants to plan their early retirement and does not wish to take high-risks should undoubtedly go for it.
A salaried person who wants to take the best advantage of 80C deductions, should consider National Pension Scheme.
A person planning to retire should go for NPS scheme. The following person can buy National Pension Scheme
The applicant should not have any pre-existing NPS account
National Pension Scheme calculator allows the subscriber to compute the provisional lump-sum and pension amount.
At the time of retirement based on the monthly contributions, a subscriber can expect:
As per National Pension Scheme rules, any individual aged between 18 years and 60 years can open the National Pension Scheme Account, and hence can use NPS Calculator.
To use the National Pension Scheme calculator, you have to follow these simple steps:
Note that, National Pension Scheme calculator illustrates tentative pension amounts and does not guarantee exact numbers.
NPS offers a current interest rate of 9%-12% depending on the subscribers and type of scheme.
National Pension System offers different options of investment to the subscribers and also provides them the option to choose the fund managers as per their choice. Depending on the scheme chosen by the investors NPS offers an interest rate of up to 9%-12% as compared to other investment instruments.
The withdrawal of the accumulated fund from the NPS account is allowed at the age of 60. However, NPS also offers the facility of premature withdrawals in certain conditions. Let’s take a look at the withdrawal process of NPS.
In the case of maturity of the scheme in 60 years, the subscribers can withdraw 60% of the accumulated corpus from the NPS account, whereas, the rest 40% of the accumulated amount is used to purchase the annuity. The subscribers will need to provide the withdrawal details and bank account to the aggregator to Upload the information to the CRA system for execution.
As a pension scheme, it is compulsory to invest in NPS until 60 years of age. However, partial withdrawals are applicable after completion of 3 years from the date of opening the account. The subscribers can withdraw up to 25% of the total contribution made. Premature withdrawal is only applicable in case of specific circumstances like sponsoring a child’s education, purchasing a house, or in case of any medical emergency. The subscribers can make a withdrawal up to 3 times in the intervals of 5 years in the entire tenure. These rules are only applicable to the Tier I account and not on the Tier II accounts.
In case of the demise of the subscribers, the entire accumulated corpus is transferred to the beneficiary or the legal heirs. The beneficiary or the legal heir will have to contact the aggregator with the required documents like identity proof of the beneficiary, death certificate, etc. for the withdrawal of the fund.
The following is the list of different forms available for different categories of withdrawal requests.
|Form 101 GS||This form can be used by government employees, who want to make withdrawal post-retirement.|
|Form 301||This form can be used by corporate employees and other citizens who want to make a withdrawal on superannuation|
|Form 501||Applicable for subscribers who are part of the Swavalamban sector and want to make a withdrawal on the superannuation|
|Form 102 GP||This form can be used by government employees, who want to make a withdrawal before retirement.|
|Form 302||This form can be used by corporate employees and other citizens who want to make a withdrawal before superannuation|
|Form 502||Applicable for subscribers who are part of the Swavalamban sector and want to make a withdrawal before superannuation|
|Form 103 GD||This form can be used by the beneficiary/legal heir of the government employees, who was an NPS subscriber. The nominee can fill the form to claim the accumulated amount in the account of the subscriber.|
|Form 303||This form can be used by the beneficiary/legal heir of the corporate employees and other citizens who were an NPS subscriber. The nominee can fill the form to claim the accumulated amount in the account of the subscriber.|
|Form 503||Applicable for the beneficiary/legal heir of subscribers who were part of the Swavalamban sector. The nominee can fill the form to claim the accumulated amount in the account of the subscriber.|
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