Pension Bill may not list capital base norm for PFMs

New Delhi, Aug 2 | Updated: Aug 3 2005, 05:30am hrs
The government is unlikely to specify the minimum capital base required for pension fund managers in the new Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill. Instead, it would merely focus on issues relating to human resources, electronic connectivity and geographic reach among the eligibility norms for PFMs.

Even though the capital base would not be mandated in the statute, the PFRDA will be free to prescribe a threshold as and when it appoints a PFM. The government reckons that by being flexible in the eligibility criteria for PFMs, it can alter the norms as per the market requirements.

The standing committee on finance, which tabled its report on the sector last week, said that the eligibility criteria of the PFMs must be specified in the Bill itself. The report also said that at least one PFM should be from public sector. The PFMs must ensure payment of benefits, the report added.

Meanwhile, the PFRDA has already indicated that geographical reach would be one of the main criteria for selection of PFMs.

The Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA) will also be appointed once the Bill is passed. According to the PFRDA, there could be more than one CRA in order to ensure smooth functioning in the sector.

Meanwhile, sources said that the UPA government would refrain from introducing the Bill in Parliament if the Left parties oppose it. Leaders of the ruling UPA would try and iron out differences with the Left parties before introducing it in Parliament, official sources said. It may be noted that a number of leaders from the Left parties have sent dissent notes opposing the new pension scheme.