The National Pension System (NPS), a flagship defined contribution pension scheme of the Government of India, has released its subscription numbers for the first quarter of 2020-21. The scheme’s subscriber base has registered a growth of 30% whereby 1.03 lakh individual subscribers from the private sector and 206 corporates were enrolled during the 1st quarter, resulting in a total of 10.13 lakh corporate subscribers in the age group of 18 to 65 years. Among the 1,02,975 subscribers registered, 43,000 have routed their subscription through their employer/ corporate while the rest have voluntarily enrolled in the scheme.
After the onset of COVID-19, employers have adopted or are willing to adopt deeper measures to ensure adequate support to employees in terms of their financial well-being. As per a recent survey of Willis Towers Watson, over 20 percent of employers in the private sector aim to educate employees on retirement adequacy and available savings options, while some companies are focusing on employees approaching retirement by providing independent, unbiased financial advice. Additionally, about 30 percent of employers are looking to address the impact of the pandemic on employees’ financial and emotional well-being due to stress and concerns related to economic conditions and job security. As retirement benefits are unlikely to be reduced despite short-term actions by employers, employees may be looking for more flexibility concerning contribution schedules, withdrawals and timing of lump-sum payments, etc.
Shri Supratim Bandyopadhyay, Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), said: “The National Pension Scheme (NPS) has been a success amongst the corporate employees. While financial planning often took a backseat in an individual’s life, this pandemic has brought it to the forefront, creating awareness for financial security at such testing times. During this pandemic, a growing realisation for both corporates and individuals has emerged that retirement planning is not a mere saving or tax benefit choice. The role played by private corporates to take charge of educating the employees about the benefits of NPS is highly appreciable, resulting in an interesting quarter for the pension sector regulator. We have also adopted various proactive measures for ensuring uninterrupted services to the subscribers in this period of unexpected crisis”
In its initiative to educate the citizens and to spread awareness about pensions and National Pension System, PFRDA has been organising webinars in association with industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).