Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has introduced certain additional facilities for the New Pension Scheme (NPS) subscribers. Now they can make contributions to accounts online and with draw from Tier-II accounts by using the registered mobile number and a mobile application.
NPS along with Atal Pension Yojana has got about 1.29 crore subscribers and assets worth Rs. 1.34 lakh crore. The corporates and big business are eyeing and pressurizing the government for getting this fund in to the market. The central trade unions have strongly opposed the move.
It is reported in the press that Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), is proposing to invest the NPS funds in the private equity and mutual funds. This proposal is being forwarded to the Finance Ministry for approval. Now, the NPS funds, the Provident Fund contributions from those central government employees who are recruited after 01-01-2004, are with the government only.
The proposal to hand over a part of these funds to private investors/equity is dangerous and may result it being completely wiped out in the turbulent market. The proposal is against the interest of the workers and is to be dropped. There should be strong protest from concerned stake holders.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is thinking in terms of allowing partial withdrawal to the subscriber from the National Pension Scheme (NPS), even before maturity. At present as per the PFRDA Ordinance, no withdrawal is allowed before maturity ie. before reaching the age of 60 years. The Parliamentary Standing Committee had earlier recommended that withdrawal should be allowed even before maturity. The NPS is reported to have about 53 lakh subscribers and a corpus of about Rs. 35,000 crore.
While the PFRDA under the Ministry of Finance is for shifting the subscribers of EPFO to the NPS, the Labour Ministry which operates the EPF is against the same. However, the Finance Ministry headed by P.Chidambaram is putting pressure, so that EPF corpus of lakhs of crores of rupees can be made available to the Fund Managers of NPS to be utilised for business purposes. The argument of the PFRDA is that while there is assured returns for EPF subscribers, the returns from the NPS is more. This is only a fallacy. The returns from NPS is volatile and it can be reduced also. It depends upon the market. The hard earned savings of the workers can not be put at the mercy of the corporates and the business sharks. Though the present Fund Managers are mainly PSUs like LIC and SBI, there is every chance that the private insurers, Mutual Funds etc. may gain access in future to the Fund. Then it will, no doubt be, a disaster. Hence the workers are completely against putting the Funds of EPF at NPS. This proposal is not acceptable to the workers. It has got to be resisted and defeated.