Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) organised its third annual conference on pension on 27th April, 2017 at IHC, New Delhi. Ho’ble Minister of State for finance, Shri Santosh Gangwar inaugurated the event and released a report titled- ‘Financial Security for India’s elderly’ prepared by PFRDA in association with CRISIL. The report brings to the fore the concerns of demographic transition, existing pension provisions, need to expand the voluntary pension coverage through awareness and developing annuity market and alternatives. Shri Gangwar in his speech emphasised the need for creating awareness on pension at the grassroot level and expressed satisfaction that NPS is now gaining recognition. The top three performing POPs under NPS and APY-SPs were awarded for their contribution in bringing subscribers under the social security net of NPS and APY.
Shri Hemant Contractor, Chairman, PFRDA in his key note address stressed on the need to provide old age income security through mass awareness and training programmes and increase the financial literacy among the population of India especially the informal sector which is largely out of the social security net. NPS has been uniquely designed in a manner to cater to both the organised and heterogenous unorganised sector characterised with seasonal /sporadic employment with migration, uncertain level of income and limited capacity to save. He also informed that PFRDA is also considering an auto enrolment programme/system under National Pension System (NPS). He further assured that PFRDA will ensure to take all steps to increase the outreach of NPS and APY to meet the mandate under PFRDA Act.
Dr. B. S. Bhandari, Whole Time Member (Economics), PFRDA, highlighted the need to expand the coverage of NPS in an efficient and sustainable way and also informed the participants about the new initiatives undertaken during last financial year including launch of two new life cycle funds and eNPS -an online platform for registration. He also informed the growth of 47% in AUM and 25% in number of subscribers in the last financial year. He also threw light on the investment pattern and NPS architecture.
The conference was followed by discussion on topics related to pension annuities financial literacy, financial behaviour studies, researches, market performance & challenges, risk mitigation strategies to safeguard market anomalies and old age income security through technical sessions. The sessions were graced by the panellists namely Mr. Leo Puri (MD, UTI AMC), Mr. C Parthasarthy (Group Chairman, Karvy), Mr. Ashwin Parekh (Trustee, NPS Trust) Mr. Sandeep Ghosh (Director, NISM), Prathit Bhobe (Sr. GM, ICICI Bank), Mr. Mukul Asher (Professor) and Mr. Sandeep Bakshi (MD, CEO ICICI Prudential life insurance).
Shri Suchindra Misra (JS, DFS) and senior representative/ dignitaries from various financial institutions/Banks/NBFCs also graced the conference. Shri Misra stressed that pension was not just about old age security but about old age dignity also.
Currently, NPS has more than 1.57 crore subscribers with total Asset under Management (AUM) of more than Rs.1.72 lakh crores.