The Cabinet’s nod to the proposal to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in the pension sector to 49% has raised hopes among investors and pension fund managers that the National Pension System (NPS) would finally take off, especially at a time when sentiments are low. The government’s announcement is likely to ensure that more people join the system.
The NPS is designed to provide social security to the unorgainised sector, where employees do not enjoy retirement benefit unlike the government sector.
“Being a subscriber to the NPS, I felt unsettled at the way things have been moving in the last few years, as it seemed nobody was interested in it,” a mid-level official at the ministry of culture told HT. “It gave me a sense of discomfort as it meant dealing with my old age. The Centre’s move actually has given me a sense of comfort that the government is indeed looking to prop up the segment.”
“We need social security for the aged and therefore it is critical to have the NPS in full swing. The government is determined to give it the required push,” said a finance ministry official.
The move would arm the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority with more teeth to regulate the sector, which means it would be allowed to penalise service providers in case consumers interests are dampened.
“The move goes on to show that there is greater commitment from the government to bring in more people into the pension umbrella,” said Gautam Bhardwaj, managing director, Invest India Micro Pension Services.