New Delhi: The government has deferred the April-one launch of a much-talked about pension scheme for all its citizens, citing the model code of conduct for general elections.
Keeping in view the model code of conduct for elections, it has not been possible for PFRDA (interim pension regulator) to continue information campaign and undertake other preparatory activities as originally scheduled.
“It has, accordingly, been decided to defer the date of extension of the new pension system,” an official statement said on Thursday.
Wait not over: A file photo of a call-centre. The new pension scheme for private sector employees will be in place only after the election. S Burmaula / HT
The Centre has already implemented a new pension system (NPS) for its employees who joined on or after 1 January 2004.
In August 2008, the government advised the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) to extend the NPS to all citizens.
The PFRDA has sought the Election Commission’s approval to market the new pension scheme for all citizens, private and unorganized.
An official statement said since considerable preparatory work was involved, PFRDA had decided to extend NPS to all citizens, including workers of the unorganized sector, from 1 April 2009.
PFRDA has already appointed six fund managers for all citizens scheme-IDFC Mutual Fund, Kotak Mahindra, SBI, UTI Asset Management, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and Reliance MF.
It has also appointed 23 Points of Presence for managing NPS contributions pertaining to all citizens.
So far as the employees of the union government are concerned, the centre moved to NPS from 1 January 2004. Under the NPS for government employees, the subscriber contributes to his pension fund with equal fund from the employer.
However, old pension scheme has assured pension benefits unlike defined contribution in the NPS.
Most states have joined NPS for their employees, while the Left ruling states - West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura - continued to stay away from the scheme.