PFRDA Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Finance Ministry has constituted a high-level committee to consolidate the regulation of pension products that is currently being done by three different watchdogs including insurance and stock market regulators.
The committee would have representatives from all financial sector regulators SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA. Its mandate will be to look into the issue of bringing these companies which are offering pension plans under different regulators under the purview of PFRDA.
- PFRDA: Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
- SEBI: Securities and Exchange Board of India.
- IRDA: Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.
- RBI: Reserve Bank of India.
Why there is need to consolidate regulation of pension products?
The PFRDA Act says that PFRDA will be the pension regulator in the country. Currently, pension products floated by insurance companies and those sold by mutual funds are under purview of IRDA and SEBI respectively. Thus, there are cases of overlapping functions performed by financial sector regulators SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA in case of floating different pension products. For instance PFRDA is regulating all pension products in the country. However, insurers and mutual funds continue to sell pension products outside PFRDA’s watch. The PFRDA Act says that PFRDA will be the pension regulator in the country.
About Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA)
- PFRDA is a statuary pension regulatory authority established in 2003 under the PFRDA Act.
- It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services.
- 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.
Former SBI Managing Director, Hemant Contractor, has been chosen to head the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The position of Chairman has been vacant for almost a year after the previous Chairman Yogesh Aggarwal resigned over differences with the Finance Ministry regarding the appointment of a member to PFRDA. R.V.Verma, the Finance member, was filling in as Acting Chairman.
Interim PFRDA was established by the government through a bill for the same introduced in Parliament in 2003. Its goal was to promote, develop and regulate pension sector in India. The Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority Act was passed in 2013. PFRDA is authorized by Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services.
PFRDA must consist of a Chairperson and maximum of five members, out of which a maximum of three can be full time members. Members are appointed by the central government.
One of the major roles of the PFRDA today is to oversee NPS (National Pension System). NPS is a pension scheme run by the Government of India. It has been mandatory for central government employees from 2004 and voluntary for unorganized sector workers since 2009.