Buoyed by an equity markets rally in May, coupled with the fall in G-sec rates, the overall assets under management (AUM) of the market-linked National Pension System (NPS) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) touched ₹9.53-lakh crore as of May 27, 2023, up 29.15 per cent y-o-y, show data from Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).

This compares with the 25 per cent growth seen in April and the 22 per cent growth witnessed in the previous fiscal. As of end-May 2022, the overall AUM of NPS was at ₹7.38-lakh crore.

While the NPS equity scheme recorded a robust 17.1 per cent return y-o-y, as of end-May, the average return on corporate bonds was 8.08 per cent, and 10.16 per cent for government securities.

The average one-year return was 10.61 per cent in the case of Central government scheme; 10.58 per cent for State government scheme; and 10.60 per cent for APY.

The continued strong performance of NPS is also an indication that young investors prefer market-linked investments over fixed-return vehicles.

Million subscribers

The overall AUM growth also came on the back of continued strong response from the non-government sector — individuals and corporate sector categories — in terms of new subscribers. Over a million new subscribers were added in the last 12 months.

While the AUM of corporate model grew 38.57 per cent y-o-y as of May 27 at ₹1.27-lakh crore, the ‘all citizens model’ AUM grew 38.82 per cent to ₹45,352 crore, official data showed. In terms of the number of subscribers, the growth was 19.54 per cent and 27.23 per cent, respectively.

The frenetic pace in NPS’ AUM growth can be gauged from the fact that the latest figure is over a four times that of ₹2.35-lakh crore recorded as of end-March 2018. The total number of subscribers, too, have surged from 2.11 crore to 6.42 crore in the last five years, PFRDA data showed.