The National Pension System (NPS) is a crucial retirement planning tool introduced by the Government of India. It aims to provide financial security and stability during old age when individuals no longer have a regular source of income. By investing in the NPS, people can accumulate savings and receive a lump sum amount as regular income through an annuity plan upon retirement.

Why Is Retirement Planning Essential?

As life expectancy increases globally, planning for retirement becomes more critical. The United Nations Population Division predicts that the world’s life expectancy will reach 75 years by 2050, up from the current average of 65 years. In India, improved health and sanitation conditions have contributed to longer life spans. Consequently, the number of post-retirement years has also increased. Rising living costs, inflation, and longer life expectancy underscore the need for robust retirement planning.

The Birth of NPS

The Government of India established the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) on October 10, 2003, with the mission of developing and regulating the pension sector in the country. On January 1, 2004, the NPS was officially launched, aiming to provide retirement income to all citizens. Initially, it was introduced for new government recruits (excluding armed forces). However, since May 1, 2009, NPS has been available to all citizens, including those in the unorganized sector, on a voluntary basis.

Key Features of NPS

  1. Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN):
    • Each subscriber receives a unique PRAN that remains the same throughout their life.
    • PRAN allows access to two personal accounts:
      • Tier I Account: Non-withdrawable, meant for retirement savings.
      • Tier II Account: Voluntary savings account with no tax benefits.
  2. Swavalamban Scheme:
    • Launched by the Central Government, this co-contributory pension scheme encourages voluntary savings for retirement.
    • Eligible NPS subscribers receive a government contribution of Rs. 1,000 if they contribute a minimum of Rs. 1,000 annually (up to Rs. 12,000).
  3. Regulation and Entities:
    • The NPS is administered and regulated by the PFRDA.
    • Entities involved include pension fund managers, custodians, and central recordkeeping agencies.

Tax Benefits

  • Contributions to the Tier I NPS account qualify for tax deductions under Section 80CCD(1) of the Income Tax Act.
  • An additional deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 is available under Section 80CCD(1B).

How NPS Works

  1. Contributions:
    • Subscribers contribute regularly during their working years.
    • The accumulated corpus is invested in various asset classes (equity, corporate bonds, government securities, etc.).
  2. Retirement Phase:
    • Upon retirement, subscribers can withdraw a portion of the corpus as a lump sum.
    • The remaining corpus is used to purchase an annuity plan, providing regular income during retirement.


The NPS is a powerful tool for securing your financial future. Whether you’re a government employee, a private sector worker, or part of the unorganized sector, consider enrolling in the NPS to build a robust retirement corpus. Remember, planning today ensures a dignified and comfortable life tomorrow

Useful Links

Pensioners Portal.

Pension calculator

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