At a point when individuals retire, they will either receive no salary or encounter a decrease in it. Without accurate planning, you might have to alter your lifestyle. In fact, it’s difficult to compromise on your comforts and expenditure. On the other hand, we all wish to have financial freedom when we retire; it gives us the confidence to lead our lives according to our will and not depend on family (children or relatives).
As a solution, opting a pension plan would help you to save a good corpus for your old age, thus providing financial security and one such scheme that we help you do so is the “NATIONAL PENSION SYSTEM.”
What is NPS?
The National Pension System is a Government initiative, intending to provide pension opportunity to every Indian (Resident or Non- Resident) and to inculcate the habit of saving, especially for retirement. It was rolled out on January 2004 for new Government recruits and has been made mandatory for all central government employees and some state government employees. This scheme is not compulsory for Government Employees who have joined before January 2004; however, they can always opt for it if they want to. As for the private sector employees, they have a choice to choose between Employees’ Provident Fund Organization and NPS.
Am I eligible for NPS?
Any person between the age of 18 – 65 years can open an NPS account, provided you choose the right type:
Types of NPS :
1. Tier 1
It is a mandatory account for all those who opt for NPS.
- The Government employees have to contribute 10% of their salary (salary = basic + DA), and the government will make equal contributions as well.
- For others opting this scheme, the initial contribution is Rs. 500/- at the time of account opening and minimum annual contribution is Rs. 1000.
2. Tier 2
Not a compulsory account like Tier 1. You can withdraw funds at any time, and hence, it provides high liquidity. There are no contributions from the government or the employers and include no tax exemptions either. There are three critical points to make a note of:
- The minimum amount required to open this account is Rs. 1000/-
- Minimum monthly contributions amount to Rs. 200/-
- Necessary to hold a minimum balance of Rs. 200/- every financial year.
How do I exit from NPS?
If you retire at 60:
- 40% of withdrawals are free from tax.
- From the balance 60%, 40% minimum has to be used to purchase an annuity. The remaining 20% can be used to either buy an annuity or withdrawn by paying tax according to the tax slab.
If you retire before 60 years:
- You would use 80% of your corpus to buy an annuity.
- And withdraw the remaining 20% by paying the amount taxable according to the tax slab.
Remember, the taxation of the amount via annuity is according to your tax slab. In the event of the account holder’s death, the nominee receives the entire amount.
Do I get tax benefits?
- Tax deductions up to Rs. 1.5 lakh per annum under Section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act.
- Additional tax deduction up to Rs. 50,000 under Section 80CCD(1B) in a financial year. (only Tier 1 accounts are eligible, not Tier 2)
- At term completion or 60 years, 40% of the amount received is free from tax.
Who are the Pension Fund Managers for NPS?
- HDFC Pension Management Company.
- ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company.
- Kotak Mahindra Asset Management Company.
- LIC Pension Fund.
- Reliance Capital Asset Management Company.
- SBI Pension Funds.
- UTI Retirement Solutions.
- Birla Sun Life Pension Management.
These fund managers invest funds in varying proportions of equity, corporate debt, and government securities out of which:
- Equity come with maximum risk but has higher chances to earn maximum returns.
- Government securities come with minimum risk and least returns.
What investment options do I get?
1. Active- choice:- With this investment option, an investor gets to mix equity, corporate debt, and government securities as per his/ her choice. However, the allocation of equity can be a maximum of 50%.
2. Auto- choice:- Allocation is done as per the investor’s age.
|Equity||Till the age of 35, the equity portion is 50%, post which it reduces 2% yearly till it becomes 10% by the age of 55.|
|Corporate Debt||Till the age of 35, the corporate debt is 30 %, post which it reduces 1% every year until it becomes 10% by the age of 55.|
|Other Options||1. Aggressive life-cycle fund - begin with an equity allocation of 75%
2. Conservative life-cycle fund - start with an equity allocation of 25%
Reduce as per the investor’s age advances.
Hopes these details help you in your journey with NPS. After all,
“The best way to predict your future is to invest in it.”