The National Pension System (NPS) registered 30 per cent growth in subscription numbers in the first quarter of current fiscal year, as 1.03 lakh individual subscribers from the private sector and 206 corporates were enrolled. That took the total number of corporate subscribers to 10.13 lakh in the age group of 18 to 65 years, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Friday. Among the 1.03 lakh subscribers registered during the quarter, nearly 43,000 routed their subscription through their employer while the rest voluntarily enrolled for the scheme.
After the onset of COVID-19, several employers have adopted or are willing to adopt deeper measures to ensure adequate support to employees in terms of their financial well-being.
According to a recent survey by Willis Towers Watson, over 20 per cent of employers in the private sector aim to educate their employees on retirement adequacy and available savings options while some companies are focusing on employees approaching retirement by providing independent, unbiased financial advice.
Besides, about 30 per cent of employers are looking to address the impact of pandemic on employees' financial and emotional well-being due to stress and concerns related to economic conditions and job security.
As retirement benefits are unlikely to be reduced despite short-term actions by employers, employees may be looking for more flexibility concerning contribution schedules, withdrawals and timing of lump-sum payments.
"While financial planning often took a backseat in an individual''s life, this pandemic has brought it to the forefront, creating awareness for financial security at such testing times," said Supratim Bandyopadhyay, Chairman of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
"The role played by private corporates to take charge of educating the employees about the benefits of defined contribution pension scheme is highly appreciable, resulting in an interesting quarter for the pension sector regulator," he said.
In its initiative to educate the citizens and to spread awareness about pensions and NPS, the PFRDA has been organising webinars in association with industry body Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.