National Pension Scheme: Plan For A Secured Retirement in 2024?

National Pension Scheme Retirement
National Pension Scheme

Do you worry about how to plan for a secured retirement?

Well, the National Pension Scheme (NPS) is an attractive investment scheme operated by the Government of India through the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA).

I started my NPS journey in January 2018 for the sole purpose of tax saving. At that time, I was working full-time. Considering the benefits it offers, I decided to continue with my installments even after switching to a freelance role.

Table of Contents

What is the National Pension Scheme?

It was introduced to the Indian financial systems in 2004 for any government employee joining after January 1st, 2004. Later, it was extended to all Indian citizens in 2009.

There are considerable variations in NPS benefits for government employees and others. This article focuses on the participation of non-government employees in the scheme.

National Pension Scheme Secured Retirement
National Pension Scheme: Secured Retirement

Is NPS Better Than PPF for Retirement Planning?

Public Provident Fund (PPF) is another government-backed scheme that belongs to the general category and is not specific to retirement. It has been running since 1968 and could be considered outdated from the current economic growth point of view.

PPF is a fixed return scheme where you get a pre-decided percentage of interest on your investments. Thus, it is a low-risk scheme.

Returns from an NPS account are dependent upon stock market positioning, much like those of mutual fund investments. Therefore, the returns vary year on year (YOY). It is a comparably high-risk venture.

Since NPS is a long-term investment scheme and markets tend to give good returns over longer durations, it is a promising retirement planning scheme. To give you a glimpse, the YOY returns of NPS range from 9% to 12%.

Know Your Pension Fund Manager

Fund Managers operate market-based schemes. Much like mutual funds, NPS offers you a choice from 10 fund managers to take care of your long-term investment through NPS if you opt for auto-choice. You can choose your preferred manager based on their past performances and trustworthiness.  Additionally, you can change your fund manager once in any financial year.

(P.S. You can read more about the auto and active choices here.)


Any Indian citizen between 18-70 is eligible to apply for NPS.

How to Apply

There are two options for opening an NPS account.

Option 1: Online through the following link.

It is known as eNPS.

Option 2: Offline through Point of Presence (POP) appointed by the PFRDA. There is a list of 43 banks/entities authorized to open an NPS account.

How to Contribute to Your NPS Account

Option 1: In online mode, you can contribute up to Rs. 20000/—through UPI. Otherwise, you can opt for Bill Desk or RazorPay, where you can pay through Credit/Debit cards or Netbanking.

Option 2: Offline, you can contribute by cash, demand draft, or cheque at any registered POP.

Safety Measures to Follow

As with any other monetary scheme, keep the following points in your mind while benefiting from the NPS scheme:

–Ensure you keep your PRAN- Permanent Retirement Account Number and password secured.

– keep an eye on your returns during relatively stable economic periods. If you feel your fund manager is not performing on par with others, you may want to consider a change.

–Do not panic in case of market instabilities. Long-term investments are the least affected schemes by the volatile price actions.

Tax Benefits

It offers an additional tax benefit of up to INR 50K per year under section 80C, subsection 80CCD (1B) of the Income Tax Act. This is over and above the existing INR 1,50,000/- investment exemption.

When a person turns 60, she can withdraw 40% of the accumulated amount tax-free from her Tier I account. The remaining 40% must go to a taxable annuity plan. This is a good thing, as the annuity provides a secured monthly/quarterly/yearly income.

The remaining 20% is released upon required tax payments.

If you wish, you can continue your investments for 75 years by switching to a Tier II account.

Good News

Now, you can avail yourself of the benefits of NPS through Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs). This takes off the extra burden of arranging and investing a larger amount.

It also helps in utilizing the power of compounding to the fullest.

Smart investment choices are always enthralling. Make a good one now and see your money growing on a wealth tree.

To keep reading more on personal finances, click here.

Disclaimer: This blog is for educational purposes only and is not investment advice. Please consult a certified financial entity before taking any investment steps.


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