PFRDA – Exit and Withdrawal under the National Pension System (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

PFRDA – Exit and Withdrawal under the National Pension System (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

PFRDA – Exit and Withdrawal under the National Pension System (Amendment) Regulations, 2021

PENSION FUND REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NOTIFICATION

New Delhi, the 14th June, 2021

PENSION FUND REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (EXITS AND WITHDRAWALS UNDER THE NATIONAL PENSION SYSTEM) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS, 2021

No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8.—In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of Section 52 read with sub-clause(g), (h), and (i) of sub-section 2 of Section 52 of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013 (Act No.23 of 2013), the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority hereby makes the following regulations to amend the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) Regulations, 2015 namely, –

  1. These regulations may be called the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) (Amendment) Regulations, 2021.
  2. These shall come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette.
  3. In the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) Regulations, 2015: –

(I). Sub-regulation (k)(ii) of Regulation 2 shall be substituted as below: –

a subscriber having attained the age of sixty years, and where so specifically permitted has not exercised a choice in writing to continue to remain subscribed to such system, till such further period as is permissible, with or without making contributions or in respect of a subscriber who has joined National Pension System after attaining the age of sixty years (but before attaining seventy years of age) upon attaining the maximum age permitted to be subscribed to such scheme or any date prior thereto, based on the specific request for closure received from subscriber;

(II). Sub-regulation (k)(iii) of Regulation 2 shall be substituted as below: –

death of the subscriber before attaining the age of superannuation, or the age of sixty years, or in cases where an option has been exercised by subscriber to continue to remain subscribed to a certain permissible time period, death before expiry of such period or death of a subscriber who has joined National Pension System after attaining the age of sixty years (but before attaining seventy years of age) at any time prior to attaining the maximum age permitted to be subscribed to such scheme;

(III). The introductory para under the heading Exit from National Pension System of Chapter II shall be substituted as below: –

For the purpose of exit from the National Pension System, the subscribers are categorized and defined as, (1) Government sector, (2) All citizens including corporate sector and (3) NPS- Lite and Swavalamban subscribers. The exit regulations specified hereunder shall apply accordingly to the category to which the subscriber belongs to.

(IV). Sub-regulation (a) (i) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

the following shall be the default annuity contract that will be applicable and wherein the annuity contract shall provide for annuity for life of the subscriber and his or her spouse (if any) with provision for return of purchase price of the annuity and on the demise of such subscriber and his or her spouse, the annuity be re-issued to the family members in the order specified hereunder, at the rate of premium prevalent at the time of purchase of such annuity by utilizing the purchase price required to be returned under the annuity contract (until the family members in the order specified below are covered) :

(a) living dependent mother of the deceased subscriber;

(b) living dependent father of the deceased subscriber.

After the coverage of the family members specified above, the purchase price or the amount which was to be utilised for purchase of annuity shall be returned to the surviving children of the subscriber and in absence of children to the legal heir(s) of the subscriber, as the case may be;

In the absence of or non-availability of such a default annuity for any reason, the subscriber shall be required to exercise the option for purchase of such annuity of his choice, within the then annuity types or contracts made available by the annuity service providers empanelled by the Authority;

Further, a subscriber who wishes to opt out of the default option mentioned above and wishes to choose the annuity contract of his choice from the available annuity types or contracts with the annuity service providers, shall be required to specifically opt for such an option:

(V). Sub-regulation (a) (iii) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

where the subscriber desires to defer the purchase of annuity, he or she shall have the option to do so for a maximum period of three years from the date of attainment of age of superannuation, provided the subscriber intimates his or her intention to do so in writing in the specified form or in any other manner approved by the Authority, at least fifteen days prior to the attainment of age of superannuation, to the Central recordkeeping agency or National Pension System Trust or an intermediary or entity authorized by the Authority for this purpose. It shall be a condition precedent to opt for such deferment of annuity purchase, that in case if the death of the subscriber occurs before such due date of purchase of an annuity after the deferment, the annuity shall mandatorily be purchased by the spouse(if any) providing for annuity for life of the spouse with provision for return of purchase price of the annuity and upon the demise of such spouse, be re-issued to the family members in the order of preference provided hereunder, at the rate of premium prevalent at the time of purchase of the annuity, utilizing the purchase price required to be returned under the contract (until the family members in the order specified below are covered):-

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(a) living dependent mother of the deceased subscriber;

(b) living dependent father of the deceased subscriber.

After the coverage of the family members specified above, the purchase price or the amount which was to be utilised for purchase of annuity shall be returned to the surviving children of the subscriber and in absence of children to the legal heir(s) of the subscriber as the case may be;

(VI) Sub-regulation (a)(v) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

where the accumulated pension wealth in the Permanent Retirement Account of the subscriber is equal to or less than a sum of five lakh rupees, or a limit as specified by the Authority, the subscriber shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without purchasing annuity and upon such exercise of this option, the right of such subscriber to receive any pension or other amount under the National Pension System or from the government or employer, shall extinguish;

(VII). Sub-regulation (a) (vi) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

where the subscriber desires to continue in the National Pension System and contribute to his retirement account beyond the age of sixty years or the age of superannuation, he or she shall have the option to do so by giving in writing or in such form as may be specified, and up to which he would like to contribute to his individual pension account but not exceeding seventy years of age. Such option shall be exercised at least fifteen days prior to the age of attaining sixty years or age of superannuation, as the case may be to the central recordkeeping agency or the National Pension System Trust or any other intermediary or entity authorized by the Authority for the purpose. In such cases, individual pension account/ Permanent Retirement Account shall require to be shifted from Government sector to All citizens including corporate sector and the expenses, maintenance charges and fee payable under the National Pension System in respect of the said individual pension account/ Permanent Retirement Account, shall continue to remain applicable:

(VIII). Proviso 1 of sub-regulation (b) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

Provided that such annuity contract shall provide for annuity for life of the subscriber and his or her spouse (if any) with provision for return of purchase price of the annuity and on the demise of such subscriber and his or her spouse, the annuity be re-issued to the family members in the order specified hereunder at the rate of premium prevalent at the time of purchase of the annuity, utilizing the purchase price required to be returned under the annuity contract (until the family members in the order specified below are covered) :-

(i) living dependent mother of the deceased subscriber;

(ii) living dependent father of the deceased subscriber.

After the coverage of the family members specified above, the purchase price or the amount which was to be utilised for purchase of annuity shall be returned to the surviving children of the subscriber and in the case of absence of children, to the other legal heir(s) of the subscriber, as the case may be;

In the absence of or non-availability of such a default annuity for any reason, the subscriber shall be required to exercise the option for purchase of such annuity of his choice, within the then annuity types or contracts made available by the annuity service providers empanelled by the Authority;

Further, a subscriber who wishes to opt out of the option mentioned above and wishes to choose the annuity contract of his choice, from the available annuity types or contracts with the annuity service providers, shall be required to specifically opt for such an option:

(IX). Proviso 2 of sub-regulation (b) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

Provided that if the accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber is more than two lakh fifty thousand rupees or a limit to be specified by the Authority for the purpose but the age of the subscriber is less than the minimum age required for purchasing any annuity from any of the empanelled annuity service providers as chosen by such subscriber, such subscriber shall continue to be subscribed to the National Pension System, until he or she attains the age of eligibility for purchase of any annuity:

(X). Proviso 3 of sub-regulation (b) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

Provided further that if the accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber is equal to or less than two lakh fifty thousand rupees or a limit to be specified by the Authority, such subscriber shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without purchasing any annuity and upon such exercise of this option the right of the subscriber to receive any pension or other amounts under the National Pension System shall extinguish and any such exercise of this option by the subscriber, before the notification of this provision, shall be deemed to have been made in accordance with this regulation;

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(XI). Sub-regulation (c)(i) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

such annuity contract shall provide for annuity for life of the spouse of the subscriber (if any) with provision for return of purchase price of the annuity and upon the demise of such spouse be re-issued to the family members in the order specified hereunder at the rate of premium prevalent at the time of purchase of the annuity, utilizing the purchase price required to be returned under the contract (until the family members in the order specified below are covered):-

(a) living dependent mother of the deceased subscriber;

(b) living dependent father of the deceased subscriber.

After the coverage of the family members specified above, the purchase price or the amount which was to be utilised for purchase of annuity shall be returned to the surviving children of the subscriber and in absence of children, the legal heir(s) of the subscriber as the case may be. In the absence of or non- availability of such a default annuity for any reason, the family member of the deceased subscriber shall be required to exercise the option for purchase of such annuity of his choice, within the then annuity types or contracts made available by the annuity service providers empanelled by the Authority;

(XII). Sub-regulation (c)(ii) of Regulation 3 shall be substituted as below: –

Provided further that if the accumulated pension wealth in the permanent retirement account of the subscriber at the time of his death is equal to or less than Five lakh rupees or a limit to be specified by the Authority, the nominee or legal heir(s) as the case may be, shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without requiring to purchase any annuity and upon such exercise of this option the right of the family members to receive any pension or other amounts under the National Pension System shall extinguish.

(XIII). Sub-regulation (a) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below: –

where a subscriber attains the age of sixty years or superannuates in accordance with the service rules applicable to such subscriber, at least forty percent out of the accumulated pension wealth of such subscriber shall be mandatorily utilized for purchase of annuity providing for a monthly or any other periodical pension and the balance of the accumulated pension wealth, after such utilization, shall be paid to the subscriber in lump sum. In case, the accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber is equal to or less than a sum of five lakh rupees, the subscriber shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without purchasing any annuity:

(XIV). Para 2 of proviso 2 of sub-regulation (a)(i) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below: –

Notwithstanding exercise of such option or automatic continuation, the subscriber may exit at any point of time from the National Pension System, by submitting a request to National Pension System Trust or any intermediary or entity authorized by the Authority for the purpose. The options of deferment of lump sum as well as annuity shall not be available to such a subscriber. In case of death of subscriber during the period of continuation, the entire accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber shall be paid to the nominee(s) or legal heir(s), as the case may be, of such subscriber. The nominee(s) or family member(s) of the deceased subscriber shall have the option to purchase any of the annuities being offered upon exit, if they so desire;

(XV). Sub-regulation (a)(iii) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below-

the subscriber shall have the option to defer the purchase of annuity for a maximum period of three years, from the date of attainment of sixty years of age or the age of superannuation, as the case may be, provided the subscriber intimates his or her intention to do so in writing in the specified form at least fifteen days before the attainment of age of sixty years or the age of superannuation, as the case may be, to the National Pension System Trust or any intermediary or other entity authorized by the Authority for this purpose. It shall be a condition precedent to opt for such deferment of annuity purchase, that in case if the death of the subscriber occurs before such due date of purchase of an annuity after the deferment, then the entire accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber shall be paid to the nominee(s) or legal heir(s), as the case may be, of such subscriber;

(XVI). Proviso 1 of sub-regulation (b) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below

Provided that if the accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber is more than two lakh fifty thousand rupees but the age of the subscriber is less than the minimum age required for purchasing any annuity from any of the empanelled annuity service providers as chosen by such subscriber, such subscriber shall continue to subscribe to the National Pension System, until he or she attains the age of eligibility for purchase of any annuity:

(XVII). Proviso 2 of sub-regulation (b) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below-

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Provided further that if the accumulated pension wealth in the individual pension account of the subscriber is equal to or less than two lakh fifty thousand rupees, or a limit to be specified by the Authority, such subscriber shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without requiring to purchase any annuity;

(XVIII). Sub-regulation (d) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below-

Exit from National Pension System by subscribers, joining such pension system on or after attaining the age of sixty years (but before attaining seventy years of age):

(XIX). Sub-regulation (d)(i) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below

In case of a subscriber, joining National Pension System under all citizens model or in corporate model, on or after attaining the age of sixty years, (but before attaining seventy years of age) and after having subscribed to such pension system for at least a period of three years from the date of such joining and thereafter till he attains the age of seventy five years, on exit, at least forty percent out of the accumulated pension wealth of such subscriber shall be mandatorily utilized for purchase of annuity providing for a monthly or any other periodical pension and the balance of the accumulated pension wealth, after such utilization, shall be paid to the subscriber in lump sum. In case, the accumulated pension wealth of the subscriber is equal to or less than a sum of five lakh rupees or a limit to be specified by the Authority, the subscriber shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without there being any requirement of purchasing an annuity;

(XX). Proviso 1 of sub-regulation (d)(ii) of Regulation 4 shall be substituted as below

Provided further that if the accumulated pension wealth in the individual pension account of the subscriber is equal to or less than a sum of Rupees two lakh fifty thousand, or a limit to be specified by the Authority, such subscriber shall have the option to withdraw the entire accumulated pension wealth without there being any requirement of purchase of an annuity;

(XXI). Sub-regulation (c)(i) of Regulation 6 shall be substituted as below-

the amount withheld which are payable under the National Pension System shall not be paid to such subscriber until the conclusion of the departmental or judicial proceedings, as the case may be and subject to the final orders, passed in such proceedings;

(XXII) Sub-regulation (c)(iii) of Regulation 6 shall be substituted as below-

the amount withheld becomes payable to the subscriber on the final settlement, as certified by the employer specified, which has sought withholding of such benefits, and shall be paid to the subscriber as per applicable regulation while executing exit as soon as possible and in no case beyond ninety days of receipt of the final order by the National Pension System Trust or any other entity or person, authorized for the purpose by the Authority:

Provided that, in case the amount withheld becomes payable after the death of subscriber, on the final settlement, the benefits, shall be paid to the nominee(s) or legal heir(s), as the case may be of such subscriber as per the applicable regulations;

(XXIII). Sub-regulation (2) of Regulation 17 shall be substituted as below-

Within thirty working days of the date of receipt of certificate of empanelment, the annuity service provider shall initiate action to operationalise the system and process to be specified by the Authority for purchase of annuities by the subscribers of the National Pension System.

SUPRATIM BANDYOPADHYAY, Chairperson

[ADVT.-III/4/Exty./102/2021-22]

Footnote:
1. The Principal Regulations, The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) Regulations, 2015 were published in the Gazette of India on 11th May, 2015 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/ RGL/139/8.

2. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2017 were published in the Gazette of India on 10th August 2017 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8

3. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2017 were published in the Gazette of India on 06th October 2017 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8

4. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2018 were published in the Gazette of India on 02nd February 2018 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8.

5. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2018 were published in the Gazette of India on 18th May 2018 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8.

6. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2019 were published in the Gazette of India on 19th Feb 2019 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8.

7. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) (Sixth Amendment) Regulations, 2019. were published in the Gazette of India on 20th September 2019 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8.

8. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals Under the National Pension System) (Amendment) Regulations, 2020. were published in the Gazette of India on 29th September 2020 vide notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/8.

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