Pension Sector Current Affairs
Union Government is going to launch Rs.500 crore Credit Enhancement Fund (CEF) in July 2018 to facilitate infrastructure investments by insurance and pension funds.
The CEF provides additional source of assaurance or gaurantee that borrower will service their loan. It also helps borrower to raise loans at lower interest rates. The fund was first announced in Union Budget for fiscal year 2016-17.
Credit Enhancement Fund (CEF)
CEF will provide credit enhancement for infrastructure projects which will help in upgrading credit ratings of bonds issued by infrastructure companies and facilitate investment from investors like pension and insurance funds.
The initial corpus of the fund will be Rs 500 crore and will be sponsored by IIFCL (India Infrastructure Finance Company). It will operate as a non-banking finance company (NBFC). IIFCL will hold 22.5% stake in the NBFC, while Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been offered by the Government to pick up 10% stake.
At present, only $110 billion is being invested in infrastructure in India, against requirement of $200 billion, leading many analysts to classify India as infrastructure deficit country. Most of the present infrastructure project financing is done by banking system. But all these lenders are saddled with problem of non-performing assets (NPAs). So there is need for the private sector to be more active on the infrastructure investment front. CEF will serve as alternative for rising of money for infrastructure projects through corporate bonds.
According to Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the subscriber base of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) stood at 97.05 lakh at end of 2017-18 fiscal. It was lower than target of 1 crore set by pension regulator PFRDA.
The scheme saw addition of over 48.21 lakh subscribers in 2017-18. In 2016-17, total number of subscribers under APY reached 48.83 lakh with absolute incremental addition of 23.98 lakh accounts. In 2015-16, as many as 24.84 lakh subscribers were under APY fold.
Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
APY was launched in June 2015 with aim to provide affordable universal access to essential social security protection to unorganized work force of country, which makes major chunk of labour force (88%). It had replaced earlier government-backed pension Swavalamban scheme targeted at the unorganised sector.
It is available to all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years (making minimum period of contribution by subscriber is 20 years). Under scheme, subscriber will receive minimum guaranteed pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 per month, depending on his contribution, from age of 60 years. There is no exit to scheme before age of 60. In case of death of subscriber, spouse of subscriber is entitled for same amount of pension till his or her death.
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)
PFRDA is a statuary pension regulatory authority of India established under PFRDA Act, 2003 enacted by Parliament. It functions under the aegis of Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services. It was established in August 2003 and is headquartered in New Delhi.
PFRDA promotes old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds. It also protects interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and related matters. It is responsible for appointment of various intermediate agencies such as Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), Custodian, Pension Fund Managers, NPS Trustee Bank, etc.