The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority was established in 2003. It was instituted with the aim of developing, promoting, and regulating the pension sector in the country. The NPS scheme was introduced by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority in 2003, and by 2009, it was extended to all sections of citizens. PFRDA comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance. The headquarters of PFRDA is in New Delhi, and its regional offices are distributed across the country.
Functions of PFRDA
The PFRDA preamble states that the authority’s aim is to increase income security in old age by developing, establishing, and regulating pension funds to protect the subscribers’ interests in pension fund schemes and for matters related to it. Following are some of the main functions of the PFRDA:
- Foster the pension schemes in India by promoting voluntary as well as mandatory pension schemes so that the old age income needs of retired personnel are served.
- Both tier 1 and tier 2 of the National Pension System are under the purview of the PFRDA. The same PFRDA carries out the task of appointing different intermediate agencies like the Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) and Pension Fund Managers.
- Educating the stakeholders, including the general public, about the significance of pensions for the post-retirement period.
- Train the intermediaries who are responsible for performing the task of popularising and educating the public about the significance of pensions.
- Addressing the complaints concerning various pension schemes in the country.
- Resolving and addressing disputes along various intermediaries such as banks and between intermediaries and customers.
Intermediaries of PFRDA
PFRDA are categorised into three sub-divisions— each of which carries out a function to add to the holistic responsibility of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority towards Indian citizens. These three subdivisions are:
Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA)
The following are the functions performed by the Central Record-Keeping Agency:
- Record-keeping and administration of all the information related to customers registered under the NPS
- Issuing of the Permanent Retirement Account Number for those customers who have employed savings plans under the NPS.
- Serving as a working intermediary between PFRDA and other entities such as the Trustee Bank, Pension Funds, etc.
- Monitoring the NPS subscribers’ contribution and updating various intermediaries about the same.
- Furnishing updated and periodic PRAN statements to all subscribers regularly.
- Overseeing the settlements of the invested funds and the subsequent units assigned to subscribers.
Pension Fund Managers (PFMs)
Following are some of the most important functions of Pension Fund Managers:
- Pension Fund Managers are responsible for investing and managing the funds of subscribers enrolled in the NPS.
- Investment of the subscriber’s contribution according to the rules and guidelines of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
- Maintenance of the records and books of the flow and investment of funds.
- Construction of customer portfolio who choose fund auto-allocation.
- Reporting to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority regularly.
Disclosing the financial information from time to time according to the guidelines issued by PFRDA.
Point of Presence Agencies (PoPs)
Point of Presence Agencies are the most public-facing entity of the PFRDA. The following are its main functions:
- Receive and evaluate the duly filled application form with the KYC documents issued by the customers who register for the National Pension Scheme.
- Verification of KYC documents as and when required
- Collecting and verifying the National Pension Scheme contributions made by subscribers through different channels like demand drafts, cash, cheques, etc.
- Deduction and collection of the application fee of the National Pension Scheme and furnishing of the receipt of the same to the subscribers
- Upload the subscribers’ contribution files onto the system of the Central Record-Keeping Agency.
- Maintenance of records of all transactions happening for different customers’ National Pension Scheme accounts
- Perform alterations in the details of the subscribers according to their requests made by them.
- Handle complaints and requests regarding the contributions made towards the National Pension Scheme and other such requests.
This agency is also one of the intermediaries of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. The tasks that this agency performs are given below:
- Receives funds for the National Pension Scheme from all over the country through regional and zonal offices.
- Verifies the amount that the zonal offices pay.
- Fund transfers with deviations are sent back to the bank involved, and rectification of the transfers is sought.
- Produces the Fund Recept Information by integrating all the funds received into the National Pension Scheme.
- Transfer funds in accordance with the instructions by the CRA for fund settlement for various entities.
- Accommodate daily balances according to the CRA
- Maintain the records of nodal office contributions and other documents related to the same.
- Performs the function of maintenance of accounts of assets and securities held by customers.
- Collecting accrued benefits on assets and securities.
- Serving as a Domestic Depository and carrying out functions related to the same.
- Informing about the actions that have to be taken or are taken by the security issuer.
- Maintenance and reconciliation of the service records.
1. What is the significance of the Nodal offices?
Nodal offices play a crucial role in the spread and reach of National Pension Schemes. They interact with the CRA on behalf of the customers. The nodal offices of the State Government also perform the same function but under a smaller node.
2. What is the function of the aggregators in the NPS?
Aggregates act as the first and the most important point of contact between the NPS and the subscribers. They are responsible for bringing about changes in any of the KYC details (like address, contact information, etc.) as requested by the subscribers.
3. Who are the other intermediaries involved in popularising the NPS?
Apart from the intermediaries listed above, both private and public banks are responsible for popularising and opening the National Pension Scheme to some extent.
4. What is the main aim of the government behind introducing the PFRDA?
The government’s main aim behind the development and regulation of the PFRDA is to ensure that the citizens have a certain amount of pension money to rely on when they retire from their jobs.