National Pension System (NPS) subscribers can now opt for automated periodic withdrawal of 60 per cent of their pension corpus through the Systematic Lumpsum Withdrawal (SLW) facility with the pension regulator PFRDA approving its implementation.
With this latest PFRDA move, NPS subscribers can avail of the SLW facility through an automated route periodically basis viz monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually for a period till 75 years of age as per the choice at the time of their normal exit.
All three Central Record Keeping Agencies (CRAs) have now implemented the necessary technology changes for roll out of the SLW facility to enable withdrawal periodically, sources said.
Currently, NPS Subscribers post 60 years/superannuation could defer availing of annuity and withdrawing the lump sum on any combination till 75 years of age.
Prior to the latest PFRDA move, the lump sum amount was allowed to be withdrawn in a single tranche or it could be withdrawn only on an annual basis. If withdrawn annually, the NPS Subscriber had to initiate the withdrawal each time and authorised.
Now, with the latest PFRDA move, NPS subscribers can go in for a one-time request to opt for an automated periodic withdrawal with monthly, quarterly, half-yearly and annual time intervals.
Moreover, an NPS Subscriber can also, after setting up an SLW, go and cancel it anytime to claim the balance of the 60 per cent corpus, sources added. However, once a SLW is set up, no fresh contributions would be allowed to the account.
To begin with, this periodic withdrawal facility under SLW is being implemented only for Tier-I accounts. Going forward, this automated withdrawal under SLW will be available for Tier II accounts also, they added.
HOW SLW BENEFITS
NPS subscribers could deploy the lumpsum amount (on retirement) in NPS, derive competitive returns at low costs and have drawdowns with desired periodicity. This will be an additional option for highly risk-averse subscribers, ensure efficient delivery of services, reduce compliance burden and costs of intermediaries.
So from 60 years (on retirement) till 75 years, you as an NPS subscriber can remain within the NPS system and avail monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or yearly systematic withdrawal.
Either you can take your 60 per cent at one go when you retire at 60 years or stretch it over the next 15 years till you turn 75 years through a systematic withdrawal plan. Through this flexibility, you get a higher return and redeem as you go. Retirees not adept at managing money can settle for periodic lumpsum withdrawals in their golden years without worrying much about their poor investment skills.
This SLW flexibility is essentially targeted at non-government sector subscribers — corporate and all citizens model categories, who are seen as the growth drivers for NPS assets.
This SLW facility is also significant given the perceived low annuity returns in the Indian financial system.
In September last year, the PFRDA issued an exposure draft and sought stakeholder comments on the introduction of SLW to benefit NPS subscribers and facilitate them with a periodic lumpsum withdrawal facility.
WHAT IS NPS
NPS is a pension scheme introduced by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) in India in 2004. As of October 7, 2023, the total assets under management (AUM) stood at over ₹10.21 lakh crore.
NPS is mandatory for government servants who joined the service on or after January 1, 2004. For other individuals, NPS is a voluntary scheme that allows subscribers to contribute towards their retirement savings during their working life.
The NPS is open to all Indian citizens between the ages of 18 and 70 years.