Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Chairperson Shri Supratim Bandyopadhyay delivered the 37th Sir Purshotamdas Thakurdas Memorial Lecture today. The topic was ‘Increasing longevity and significance of pension and innovation’, and was organised in virtual mode by the Indian Institute of Banking & Finance (IIBF).
“If we look at the current scenario of increasing and ageing population, the first question that comes to mind is that what will happen if we don’t start planning for pension and retirement early?” Also, the ageing pattern is changing rapidly and the way it is changing, our country’s demographic dividend will be reversed in the next 30 years. Not only this, in another five-six years India will become the most populous nation surpassing China,” the PFRDA Chairperson noted.
“Life expectancy at birth has increased. Today when a man reaches 60 years, he lives for another 18-20 years and this is more in the case of women. This way there is a lot of pressure on the working population as well as the country’s GDP. Therefore, we need to keep gender equality in mind when we plan to provide social security cover to our country’s population,” he said.
India needs to provide distinct care services to its greying populace like specialized bank branches and the technology to maintain productivity.
“We cannot think in isolation. We need to think in totality while providing old-age care services be it insurance, pension or the other to maintain the level of morbidity (quality of life) even after retirement,” Shri Bandyopadhyay noted.
He also highlighted that unlike other pension systems in India, PFRDA has restricted withdrawal from the National Pension System (NPS) up to three times of a subscriber’s contribution so that a large part of the accumulated pension pool is available after retirement.
He also emphasized that pension literacy needs to be widened to enrol more people at an early age. “Our main focus is to increase enrolment under NPS from the corporate and all citizen sectors (retail customers) to create a sustainable pension framework in India.”
The total number of NPS and APY subscribers as of 6th November 2021 is 469.80 lakh and the total assets under management (AUM) is Rs 681,131 crore.