New Pension System top of the charts on subscribers, returns

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 7 2013, 15:49pm hrs
Super pensionSuper pension: Subscriber base grows by 522.9% in last three years. (AP)
The New Pension System (NPS), which was introduced by the Centre with a view to develop the pension sector, has shown a sharp growth in the subscriber base and corpus over the last three years, buoyed largely by the more impressive return of the scheme as compared to peers.

During March 2010 and March 2013, the subscriber base of the NPS mandatory for all new recruits to the government (except armed forces) with effect from January 1, 2004 and rolled out to all citizens from May 1, 2009 on a voluntary basis grew by an impressive 522.9 per cent, while, the corpus increased by 538 per cent, according to RBI data.

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), in a statement, has already billed the NPS as the cheapest retirement product and also the highest returns generating scheme, especially as the weighted average return as on March 31, 2013 calculated on the basis of Net Asset Value of the NPS Schemes ranged between 8.4 per cent and 14.2 per cent.

In contrast, the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO), which manages retirement savings of over 6 crore formal sector workers, generated an interest of 8.25 per cent in 2011-12 and 8.5 per cent in 2012-13. The General Provident Fund that takes care of retirement savings of government employees recruited before 2004 too offered a return of only 8.8 per cent.

With those opting for the NPS including the entrants in government service since January 2004 are going to end up with a better returns on their savings than their senior colleagues, much against the fear propagated by the trade unions and left parties was that the later entrants will be left high and dry, officials said.

The Central government NPS with a corpus of Rs 18,693 crore and 11.5 lakh members gave a consolidated return of 12.39 per cent, for state government pool the return was 13 per cent. It was 9.95 per cent and 8.5 per cent in 2011-12 respectively. The pension scheme for unorganised sector Swavlamban, though, did better with a return of 13. 4 per cent.