National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) have entered into a formal agreement on November 26, 2007 relating to the setting up of a Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) for the New Pension System NPS). The NPS was introduced by Government of India for its new recruits (except the Armed Forces) w.e.f. January 1, 2004.
The CRA is a first of its kind venture in India and is critical to the successful operationalization of the NPS. The main functions and responsibilities of the CRA include:
i. Recordkeeping,Administration and customer service functions for all subscribers of the NPS.
ii. Issue of unique Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) to each subscriber, maintaining a database of all PRANs issued and recording transactions relating to each subscriber’s PRAN.
iii. Acting as an operational interface between PFRDA and other NPS intermediaries such as Pension Funds, Annuity Service Providers, Trustee Bank etc.
CRA will monitor member contributions and instructions and transmit the information to the relevant Pension Fund and schemes on a daily basis. CRA will provide periodic, consolidated PRAN statements to each member and discharge such other duties and functions as may be determined by the guidelines, directions and regulations issued by the PFRDA from time to time.
CRA is also providing electronic interconnectivity to the PFRDA, other service providers (like banks, post offices and depository participants, among others), pension funds and annuity providers.
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is an independent body established by the Government of India on 10th October 2003. PFRDA is the Regulator for the New Pension System (NPS) and its regulatory responsibilities include regulating charges, entry and exit, quality and provision of services of NPSCAN, CRA, PFMs, Trustee Bank, Contracting with other service providers under NPS, Conducting systems Audit and other routine audits etc.
Pension Fund Managers are appointed by PFRDA to maintain the Pension contribution of all subscribers through various schemes offered by PFM. Subscribers will have the option to invest their contributions into one or more schemes of the PFMs. The PFMs will responsible for providing the Net Asset Value of the Schemes offered to the CRA. PFMs will allot units based on NAV as applicable.
Annuity Service Providers (ASPs) are be appointed by PFRDA to maintain the annuity contribution of subscribers through their various schemes. Subscribers will have the option to invest their amount into one or more annuity schemes upon retirement/resignation. ASPs would be responsible for delivering a regular monthly pension (annuity) to the subscriber for the rest of his/her life.
YET TO BE APPOINTED
NPS Trust formed by PFRDA would be responsible for taking care of the funds under the NPS. The Trust would hold an account with the Trustee Bank appointed by PFRDA.The Trustee Bank upon receiving credits from Nodal offices would transmit the information to CRA for reconciliation.The Trustee Bank shall remit fund to the entities viz. PFMs, ASPs and subscribers on receipt of instructions from CRA.
CRA-FC is the entity appointed by NSDL to extend various services under NPS, to its users across the country. The entities who have been appointed as CRA-FC shall establish multiple branches across the country to provide services to the nodal offices such as Pay & Accounts Office (PAO) or equivalent office under Central and State Government.
As per present scope of CRA, following services shal l be offered by the CRA-FC
a. Acceptance of Application for allotment of new PRAN
b. Acceptance of Subscriber request for change in signa ture and/or change in photograph.