Regulator seeks details on non-regulated pension funds

| | Updated on: Jun 26, 2015
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Wants level playing field, tax-exempt status for National Pension System

The Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority is collecting information on various superannuation funds that are not regulated.

According to BS Bhandari, Member, PFRDA, the idea is to bring them under the regulatory ambit while ensuring protection for subscribers.

The PFRDA currently regulates the National Pension System and the newly launched Atal Pension Yojana.

“The pension landscape in the country is varied…There are superannuation funds that are at present not regulated by any regulator. These seek tax exemption from EPFO or tax concession from the CBDT. Now we are trying to see whether there is adequate regulatory framework for protection of subscribers’ interest. We have written to some of the entities and companies and are collecting information on this matter, before deciding how to proceed,” he said.

Regulatory issues Bhandari was speaking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a seminar on “Unlocking the Potential in Insurance and Pension Sector” organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).

To a question on whether PFRDA could ultimately be the single pension regulator in the country on the lines of the insurance regulatory body, IRDAI, he said: “We don't want to get into any issue in areas which are already regulated,” he said.

The pension regulator is also pushing for EEE (exempt, exempt, exempt) status for the National Pension System (NPS). It has an EET (exempt, exempt taxation) status. Competing schemes like Employee Provident Fund and Public Provident Fund have the EEE status.

Under this, the money that is deposited in EPF or PPF schemes and is exempt from income-tax under Section 80C. Any interest or returns earned during the accumulation phase is also exempted from income-tax Also, during withdrawal (after maturity), the money one gets is also exempted from income-tax.

In comparison, the EET status (for NPS) means that the accumulated corpus at the time of withdrawal will continue to be taxable.According to Bhandari the absence of an EEE status has “affected” the NPS.

“Whenever we meet government officials, we always emphasise the need to give NPS a level-playing field. We have been asking for EEE status. We are hoping they will give it,” he said.

Atal Pension Yojana PFRDA has set an ambitious target of having 2 crore subscribers by December this year under the Atal Pension Yojana. At present, it has enrolled about 3 lakh subscribers.

According to the PFRDA member, the system so put in place can handle large volume of subscribers. He expects more subscribers to be enrolled as awareness increase.

Published on January 24, 2018

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