Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Hemant Contractor, in an exclusive interview to the Mitaan Express, said “It is the right time to invest in NPS”.

Do you think it is the right time to invest in NPS?
Interest rates have started falling now. Real estate and gold prices are also on the falling spree. Keeping it in view, pension and other such financial products will become more attractive now.

When is PFRDA coming up with its regulation for retire-ment advisors?
We are coming out with a scheme for registering retirement advisors who could give a right kind of advice to the retirees where to put their hard-earned money. A concept paper has already been put on our site and we have received very good comments on it so far. We will shortly come up with regulations for retirement advisors.

Unlike in mutual funds or insurance, are the NPS subscribers deprived of EEE benefit?
We have taken up the issue of replacing the currently existing EET regime for investment in pension funds to EEE. However, it is up to the government to take a final call on the issue. We can’t compete with mutual fund, as we don’t have the tax benefit which they are enjoying. We feel it is an unnecessary discrimination against pension funds. Direct Tax Code (DTC) has the provision for EET benefit to be given for NPS, but the only thing that DTC has been put on the backburner.

Can the fund managers invest in Nifty50?
We have allowed fund managers to invest in individual securities too which forms part of Nifty50.

The current year’s Budget has allowed EPFO subscribers to shift to NPS. Is it happening?
A choice has already been given in the current year’s budget early this year to the employees who are currently covered under the EPFO. However there are certain issues involved into it and we are at present working on them.

NPS corpus has already crossed the magical figure of Rs 1,00,000 crore. What is next?
This year we are looking at a slightly higher growth in terms of both NPS corpus and subscriber base by the fiscal-end. We have already crossed 1 crore subscriber base in early October.

Has Swavalamban scheme been phased out now?
A. Even as the existing Swavalamban scheme is not being phased out with the introduction of Atal Pension Yojana early this year, we are not accepting any new application under Swavalamban scheme now.

What is the progress about APY?
We have already got 8.5 lakh subscribers under APY so far and expecting it to grow further by the end of this fiscal. We have selected 55,000 bank officials to train them how to push the sale of APY scheme.

Is PFRDA wants to regulate pension funds which are currently being run by insurers and fund houses?
We have already urged the government to allow us to regulate all the pension funds which are currently being run by the insurers and the fund houses. However, we are yet to hear anything from the government on the issue.

Has the fund managers demanded higher commission?
Soon we are coming out with a revised commission structure for the fund managers. It will be applicable for those existing fund managers too. The only thing they will have to apply for the same.