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Lok Sabha passes Pension Bill



Updated On - Monday, 09 September 2013

4 September 2013

NEW DELHI: The long-pending Pension Bill, a key economic legislation assuring minimum returns to subscribers, was approved by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, with the government saying it is based on the principle that "you save while you earn".

The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Bill, 2011, provides for market based returns and wide coverage based on several investment options in the pension sector with an aim to building confidence in the subscribers. It will have provision for withdrawals for limited purposes from Tier-I pension account, an incentive for subscribers to join the new pension scheme (NPS). Replying to a brief debate, finance minister P Chidambaram said the government has accepted most of the recommendations of the standing committee.

The NPS, beneficial for employees in the long run, is based on the principle that "you save while you earn" especially for retirement period and is mainly for those who have a regular income, he said. The corpus of the NPS having 52.83 lakh subscribers (including those of 26 state governments) was about Rs 35,000 crore.

The bill also seeks to grant statutory status to the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. "... Rs 35,000 crore should not be used by unstatutory authority ... All this Bill does is make unstatutory authority (into) a statutory authority," Chidambarm said, adding the statutory authority will have powers to penalise.

The bill would also provide subscribers a wide choice to invest their funds for assured returns, like opting for government bonds as well as in other funds depending on their capacity to take risk. The subscriber seeking minimum assured returns would be allowed to opt for investing funds in such scheme providing minimum assured returns as may be notified by the authority.

Published by: The Times Of India

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