Eager to reach out to more people and also to popularise the New Pension Scheme (NPS), Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is lobbying with the government to waive some of the charges required to be paid for subscribing to NPS, while also urging the government to introduce an incentive scheme for the distributors of the scheme. It is also in discussion with the postal department for distributing the NPS which is regarded as the biggest initiative spearheading pension reforms in India.

Stating this while talking to reporters, the Executive Director of PFRDA, Praveen Kumar Tiwari, said that the Postal Department could be an important ‘point-of-business’ for distributing pension schemes and discussions were on for making them partners in the entire process. He felt that with their huge network even in the rural areas, they could be “significant partners”.

He, however, said that one of the necessary conditions would be that post offices should be able to transfer money electronically. Given their plans to complete computerisation, the prospects were bright, Mr. Tiwari felt.

He was talking to the media after addressing a seminar on pension reforms in India organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Tiwari said at present there were 21 points-of-business (which comprised financial institutions authorised to accept NPS). They had a branch network of 600 and the availability of NPS would be boosted if the partnership with the Department of Posts (DoP) could be struck, he said.

Six fund managers have been appointed to run the scheme and a subscriber has the liberty of changing a manager.

The PRFDA has also appointed a Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) and POPS who are really the distributors. The CRA acts as an interface between the POPS, pension fund managers (PFMs) and banks.

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