Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) has cancelled the request for proposal (RFP) for appointment of a consultant to help design a Minimum Assured Return Scheme (MARS) under the National Pension System (NPS).

It will soon re-issue another RFP after making some changes in light of the experience gained from the earlier effort, sources close to the development said.

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The earlier RFP, floated in May this year by the pension regulator, had to be cancelled as there was only entity that had bid, they added.

The whole idea behind having MARS is to have a separate scheme that can offer a guaranteed minimum rate of return to NPS subscribers, especially those who are risk averse. Currently, the NPS gives returns annually, based on prevailing market conditions.

The appointed consultant, with requisite actuarial skills, is expected to help formulate/design a MARS that can be offered to the existing and prospective subscribers by the pension funds.

The chosen consultant is also expected to set up a procedure to evaluate and approve basic scheme design modifications by the pension funds and supervise MARS. The consultant would be required to prescribe fees, solvency requirements, risk management and reporting mechanisms for pension funds in respect of MARS.