Decks cleared for passing Pension Bill in Monsoon session
“Govt, BJP agree on assured returns in new pension scheme”
NEW DELHI, AUG. 6:
The Government may propose an investment option for assured returns in the New Pension Scheme (NPS). These proposals will be part of the official amendments to the Pension Bill, which is to be moved during the ongoing Monsoon session of Parliament.
“Apart from the existing investment options, the Government may incorporate more options. One will be for assured returns,” a highly-placed source told Business Line. The second option will not give any assured returns, but give maximum safety, he added.
At present, there are three schemes. The first one provides investment, mainly in equity, the second one in Government securities and the third one provides investment in bonds issued by any entity other than Central and State Government. These bonds include rated bonds/securities of public financial institutions and public sector companies, rated municipal bodies/infrastructure bonds and corporate bonds.
Apart from these three options, there is a default option, which is also called Auto Choice, where pension money is invested in equities, Government securities and corporate bonds in proportions which vary with age.
The option related to assured returns is based on suggestions given by the Standing Committee on Finance. The Committee, in its report, said, “It desires that the Government must devise a mechanism to enable subscribers of NPS to be ensured of such a minimum assured/guaranteed returns for their pensions so that they are not put to any disadvantage vis-à-vis other pensioners.”
The Government has also accepted the committee’s views on foreign direct investment. Accordingly, it will be 26 per cent.
Acceptance of these suggestions has won support from the principal opposition party, BJP.
“Since our concerns are taken on board, we have no objection to the Bill, which was initiated during our time,” senior BJP leader and Chairman of the Standing Committee, Yashwant Sinha, told Business Line.
Sinha said there was no understanding between the Centre and the BJP on the Insurance Bill.
“We have given our suggestions on the Bill. Now the ball is in the Government’s court. We will await their suggestions,” he added.
The Left parties said the Centre had not reached out to them on the Bill. “We have not been approached on the Insurance Bill,” said CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.