Pension scheme for unorganised sector in offing: PFRDA

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Mumbai, Sep 26 (UNI) A Pension Fund Scheme for the Unorganised Sector workers will soon be in place in the country.

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Chief Executive Officer N R Rayulu said at a ''Pension Fund Convention'' here that the Authority had sought an Institutional advisor to come out with the ways and means to cover the workers in the unorganised sector, both agricultural workers and other employees under the ambit of a pension fund. The modalities of their stay in the pension and also the collection of contribution from them through points of presence are issues that need to be addressed, he added.

He expressed confidence that within the next five to six months a Scheme should be ready for these class of workers.

The role of Information Technology would be very crucial in catering to the unorganised sector, Mr Rayulu added.

He said the Deepak Parikh Committee was also looking into introduction of various Pension Fund scheme options that should be available to Pension Fund Managers from June next year. Currently the Fund Managers, SBI, UTI and LIC were following the guidelines of the Authority in investing the Fund pool of around Rs 1,500 crore.

PFRDA had told the Fund Managers to expose 50 per cent of the pool in government securities, 35 per cent in bonds and 15 per cent in equity. In the equity investment 10 per cent would be Mutual Fund linked equity schemes and five per cent direct exposure to the equity market.

Once there were multiple schemes, individual pension scheme member would have the choice of not only changing the scheme annually but could also change the Fund Manager.

Mr Rayalu said that the Authority was also having an open mind on allowing private pension fund operators in the country. ''We know there is enough brain power in the private sector and we will tap it soon,'' he added without specifying the time limit.

He said the availability of the fund was expected to be between 150 to 450 Billion USD with the number of beneficiaries covered estimated at about eight million.

He said out of the 21 states, which had expressed willingness to opt to the New Pension Scheme, made effective from January one 2004, only Chattisgarh had signed with the Authority. Others had expressed willingness to join, and agreements would be signed in due course.

He said the Authority had been functioning under the administrative sanctions only so far, as the Parliament is yet to give its approval. He expressed hope that the coming session of the parliament would approve it.

UNI VK RN SKB1228

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