PFRDA full form is Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority and was created in 2003 with the goal of promoting, regulating, and expanding India’s pension industry. PFRDA was initially designed for government employees exclusively, but its services were subsequently expanded to include all Indian nationals and NRIs, including self-employed persons.
PFRDA Act 2013
IPRDA (Interim Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority) was passed by Parliament in 2003 in order to have a system in place till the final and fool-proof system is prepared, re-approved, and implemented with the acceptance of all political parties including the opposition parties. And this final system i.e., PFRDA – Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority was established with the President’s assent on 19 September 2013 and was made a permanent Act. The President was the guardian of PFRDA till Financial Year (FY) 2014-15 and it has become fully autonomous and functions independently from FY 2014-15.
Functions of PFRDA
The PFRDA’s preamble declares that the authority’s goals are to “promote old age income security by creating, growing, and regulating pension funds, to safeguard the interests of subscribers to pension fund schemes, and for issues associated with or incidental thereto.”
PFRDA is headquartered in New Delhi, with regional offices located around the country.
- Promote pension plans in the country by encouraging both obligatory and voluntary pension schemes to meet the retirement income demands of retired workers.
- The National Pension System, both tier 1 and tier 2, is overseen and governed by the PFRDA.
- PFRDA is in charge of hiring different intermediaries such as Pension Fund Managers, Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), and so on.
- Educating the general public and stakeholders on the significance of pensions.
- Training for intermediaries who are in charge of popularising and teaching individuals about the value of pensions.
- Addressing and resolving issues between various intermediaries, such as banks, as well as between consumers and intermediates.
Intermediaries Under PFRDA
As previously stated, the PFRDA has chosen a group of intermediaries to help with the organization, collection, management, record keeping, and distribution of money. Here’s a look at the intermediaries:
Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA)
This intermediary’s responsibilities revolve around record keeping, accounting, administration, and providing customer support to Pension Fund subscribers. PFRDA has appointed two CRAs for the aforementioned functions: National Securities Depository Ltd. (CRA1) and Karvy Computershare Private Ltd. (CRA2).
- Employers of private-sector employees who are pension subscribers have the option of choosing between the two CRAs.
- Non-employee Voluntary Subscribers can select between the two CRAs on their own.
- The respective government has the option of selecting CRA for government sector employee pension subscribers and subscribers enrolled in the Atal Pension Yojana.
- The aggregator chooses between the two CRAs for NPS subscribers.
Now, here is an outline of the CRA’s function as a mediator between PFRDA and the public:
- Assists all intermediaries as an operational interface in carrying out activities, maintaining records, and administering the information of clients registered in Pension Funds.
- Issues PRAN cards, maintains the PRAN database and keeps track of subscriber transactions.
- Ensures that the contributions made by subscribers in favor of the Pension Fund are unitized.
- Receives and gathers pertinent information from subscribers and relays it to other intermediaries, such as the Trustee bank.
- Monitors and supervises the settlement of invested money and the distribution of units to subscribers.
- Provides users with a variety of services such as customer call centers, a centralized grievance management system, withdrawal requests, and so on.
Online Services of PFRDA
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority has taken various steps, both online and offline, to make it easier for people to invest in pension schemes. The regulatory organization provides several internet services, which eventually encourages consumers to seek out various retirement funds-
- Opening a Pension Fund account through the NPS.
- Contributions to the PRAN account are being processed (Excluding NPS- Swavalamban and Atal Pension Yojana accounts).
- Account activation for Tier 2.
- Changes to subscribers’ personal information.
- Changes to the investment strategy.
- Pension arrangements have been changed.
- Transaction statements can be downloaded and accessed.
- Requests for departure or withdrawal are processed.
- Filing of a complaint
- Printing e-PRAN and other documents
PFRDA – FAQs
Q1. What is the PFRDA Act?
An Act to create an Authority to promote old-age income security by creating, developing, and regulating pension funds, to safeguard the rights of pension fund subscribers, and for issues connected with or incidental thereto.
Q2. Where is the PFRDA headquarters?
The PFRDA is headquartered in New Delhi.
Q3. What exactly is the PFRDA Bill?
PFRDA was created in 2003 as an interim authority. In addition, the PFRDA Bill was aggressively launched in 2011 to give the temporary PFRDA legislative legitimacy. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority’s powers, tasks, and responsibilities are defined in this statute. Furthermore, it provided structure to India’s old-age pension system.
Q4. What exactly is NPS Trust?
PFRDA created the NPS Trust under the Indian Trusts Act of 1882 and assigned it as an intermediary responsible for monitoring and caring for NPS funds.
Q5. Which authority is in charge of overseeing the national pension scheme?
The National Pension Scheme is an Indian pension fund governed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.