Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), Hemant Contractor has emphasised on the need for increasing the coverage of State Autonomous Bodies (SABs) and bring the unorganised workers like Anganwadi workers, Asha workers and SHGs within the ambit of National Pension System (NPS) so that they may also benefit from the scheme.
Addressing a Conference on implementation of NPS, organsised by PFRDA in New Delhi on Thursday, he commended the substantial increase in the subscriber coverage of the State Governments’ subscribers which crossed the figure of 28 lacs and the increase in Asset under Management (AUM) of the State Governments’ subscribers which crossed Rs. 50,000 crore in November 2015.
The Conference aimed to provide a forum to all the State Governments where the progress in the implementation of NPS with respect to subscriber coverage and services could be brought to the fore and a way forward could be provided. Contractor said that PFRDA was intent on achieving its twin objective of ensuring orderly growth of pension sector and protection of subscribers’ interest.
He informed that barring two States viz. Tripura and West Bengal, all other States have notified NPS and have registered subscribers under NPS. He further informed that the main areas of concern while implementation of NPS by the State Governments include coverage gaps and process related issues at the level of nodal offices. He insisted the State Governments for improving the IRA compliance and updating subscribers’ details to avail of the latest technological benefits in provision of subscriber services and to avail smooth exit/ withdrawal process.
Ajay Narayan Jha, Special Secretary (Expenditure), Ministry of Finance in his Keynote Address informed that a third of the total staff enrolled in both the Central and the State Governments are registered in NPS and the pension liabilities of all the State Governments was around 3 percent of total revenue expenditure excluding salary and interest payment in 2004-05 which increased to 12.30 percent in 2012-13.
Shashank Saksena, Economic Advisor, Department of Financial Services(DFS), Ministry of Finance urged the State Governments to generate awareness with a sense of urgency and maximise coverage under Atal Pension Yojana (APY) as the benefit of Government co-contribution would be available to those subscribers only who join APY before 31st December, 2015. Currently, NPS including APY has more than 1.02 Crore subscribers with total Asset Under Management (AUM) of more than Rs.1, 05,000 crores.
RV Verma, Member (Finance), PFRDA, highlighted the robust mechanism put in place by PFRDA through notification of important regulations like Grievance Redressal and Exit & Withdrawals. He emphasised the need for enhancing capacity building of the nodal officers especially in view of their enhanced role as envisaged in the regulations and the provisions of the PFRDA Act.