What happens when you skip NPS contributions?!

By BankBazaar | June 3, 2014
National Pension Scheme

NPS

The National Pension Scheme or NPS has been much talked about. The idea behind pension plans is to provide financial security and stability to individuals during the later stages in life. At the juncture when people do not enjoy a regular and steady source of income, it becomes all the more significant to have a pension plan handy. A standard retirement plan serves to ensure that individuals can sustain their life standards without being dependent and without having to compromise on their standard of life during the years post retirement. A good pension scheme provides a chance to invest as per choice and create savings and later reap the benefits of a lump sum amount in the form of a regular income by means of an annuity plan at retirement.

If a person opens a National Pension System or NPS account, he/she is needed to keep contributing annually to that account. The NPS is viewed as a retirement product that requires you to keep the account locked for the period till you reach the age of 60 years. If you fail to do so, there are possible after effects of not contributing to the pension account. There are, of course, penalties to begin with. However, first and foremost, let us understand the relevance of NPS as a scheme, the guidelines that need to be followed and the penalty that follows if the contribution is stopped anytime before the lock-in period.

 

Understanding NPS

The article on the National Pension Scheme on the respective website of the Government of India states that NPS was launched on the 1st of January, 2004, with the prime objective of providing retirement income to all citizens. NPS aims to institute pension reforms and inculcate a habit of saving for retirement among the citizens. Initially, the NPS was introduced for the new government recruits other than the armed forces recruits. However, from May 2009, it has been provided to all the citizens of India inclusive of the workers in the unorganised sector on a voluntary basis.

The important features of NPD include:

  1. Allotting the subscriber a unique PRAN or Permanent Retirement Account Number
  2. Using this unique PRAN number for all future transactions
  3. Allowing the scheme holders to use the PRAN number from any location in India

The account for Tier I or the Retirement Account for NPS is a relatively long-term financial product that requires regular contributions from the person holding it every year and channelises that money in the investment funds of that person’s choice. As of now, there are three different fund options to opt from:

  1. Equity Fund (It doesn’t allow you to put more than half of your money in this)
  2. Corporate Bond Fund
  3. Government Securities Fund

 

Rules to be followed

An amount of Rs. 6000 is set as the least value of the amount that has to be contributed every year. It is possible to deposit this amount in one go and also have the option of doing the same in instalments. However, instalments prove to be more expensive. Till the age of 60 of the scheme holder, this money remains invested. At the age of 60 years, one can withdraw up to 60 percent of the total collected corpus but one needs to buy an annuity, which is a pension product that pays in the form of a periodic income during one’s retirement days, with at least 40 percent of the corpus.

If the money has to be withdrawn before the age of 60 years, at least 80% of that money is required to be annuitised. However, certain partial withdrawals under the PFRDA Act 2013 are allowed under special circumstances. The notification for this is yet to come.

There is also a Tier-II account offered by the NPS that is completely flexible. The only dissimilarity is that it allows withdrawals. A minimum balance of Rs. 2,000 every year is required, however.

 

Penalty for not adhering to the Rules

If the required Rs. 6,000 is not deposited in instances of skipping the payment of that money or payment of a lesser value than that is made, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) will be bound to freeze the account. No transactions will be allowed until one pays the bare minimum contribution with a penalty amount of Rs. 100 per year of defaulting contributions.

However, even if the account is frozen, the deposited money will remain invested until the fund value does not decrease to zero. The account will be closed and you will have to further reactivate it.

A penalty of Rs. 100 has to be paid, even in the case of the Tier-II Account in case the yearly contribution is skipped or the minimum balance of Rs. 2,000 is not maintained.

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16 thoughts on “What happens when you skip NPS contributions?!

  1. Anuj Seth

    Can contribution to NPS be shown as extra investment while filing ITR apart from specified under section 80C ?

    Reply
    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Anuj, Income Tax laws allow tax deductions for contributions to NPS under three sections. First, the employee’s contribution under Section 80CCD(1). This deduction is under the overall 1.5 lakh limit under Section 80C. Second, up to 10% of the basic salary put into NPS by the company on behalf of the employee is deductible without any limit. The third is the new section 80CCD (1B) under which a taxpayer can claim a deduction for a voluntary contribution of up to Rs. 50,000. Cheers, Team BankBazaar.

      Reply
  2. Sukesh

    It is mentioned, “However, even if the account is frozen, the deposited money will remain invested until the fund value does not decrease to zero. The account will be closed and you will have to further reactivate it”.

    My queries-
    1. How will the fund value decrease to zero??
    2. When i pay the outstanding amount after due dates, i will have to pay My contribution+ 100rs penalty only or will there be any other late payment charges??

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Sukesh,

      Thanks for writing in. Since NPS is a market-linked investment, there are chances of your investment value becoming zero or negative. Also, for Tier I, the penalty will be Rs 6,000 for each year + Rs. 500 for the present financial year + penalty of Rs. 100 for each year the account remained frozen. For Tier 2, it will be the balance in your account when the account was frozen minus Rs. 2,000 + Rs. 250 (minimum contribution) + penalty of Rs. 100. We hope this will help!

      Cheers,
      Team BankBazaar

      Reply
  3. Bipul Barua

    i want to stop my contribution through Government as i resign and doing business ,in that case how i will be do contribution of my NPS acc.

    Reply
    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Bipul,

      Thanks for getting in touch. You can contribute to your NPS account online. Just login to your NPS account and pay the contribution using Credit Card, Debit Card or net banking. We hope this will help!

      Cheers,
      Team BankBazaar

      Reply
  4. KUNJ BIHARI SINGH

    Dear Team BankBazaar,
    Today i have did NPS Registration through SBI Internet Banking. But i am planning to submit the same to CRA. As SBI will get commission in each subscription amount about 0.25 %.

    Now I am planning to open NPS account throgh e-NPS Portal as there is no such POP Service Charges is applicable. Please advice.

    What will happen to my allotted PRAN by SBI Internet banking. ?
    How to cancel my registration in NPS to get back initial deposited money?

    Reply
    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Kunj,

      Thanks for stopping by. A subscriber can change the POP-SP by submission of form UoS-S5 to the POP-SP associated at present or to the new POP-SP. The subscriber may also decide to change his/her POP-SP in case of a change of location. Also, a subscriber may change his/her POP by submitting a UoS – S6 form to the target POP he/she wants to be associated.
      We hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Team BankBazaar

      Reply
  5. sri vatsav

    I was worked in bank for 2 years.Later i shifted to Railways.I want to continue old NPS account.But during a training period of one year there will be no credits from employer.Is there will be any problem if i continue after one year?

    Reply
    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Srivatsav,

      Your NPS account can become inactive or freeze if you do not invest a minimum of Rs. 1,000 during a financial year. To keep your account active, you need to maintain the minimum required balance for the financial year. If you don’t, then you will be informed via email by the National Securities Depositary Limited (NSDL) about your account being frozen. Hope this answers your question.

      Cheers,
      Team BankBazaar

      Reply
  6. prakash

    Is this possible to contribute previous month NPS amount in NPS ACCOUNT ?
    I am doing the Job from july 2018 but due to PRAN NO. not received, my contribution on NPS is zero upto July 2020….
    what is the process to contribute my previous contribution amount in my NPS account.

    Reply
    1. Team BankBazaar

      Hi Prakash,

      You can’t make payments to NPS retrospectively. As per NPS rules, an amount of Rs. 6,000 is set as the least value of the amount that has to be contributed every year. If the required Rs. 6,000 is not deposited in instances of skipping the payment of that money or payment of a lesser value than that is made, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) will be bound to freeze the account. No transactions will be allowed until one pays the bare minimum contribution with a penalty amount of Rs. 100 per year of defaulting contributions. Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Team BankBazaar

      Reply
  7. Harikumar Chanda

    Hi, Actually i am a software engineer, i opened corporate nps account. every month 10% of my basic salary is contributing to my NPS account. I wanted to stop this contribution from my company and make my minimum contribution of 1000rs per year.

    Could you please let me know how to stop contribution from employee? is it possible and how ?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  8. lakshika

    My account has been frozen. How to unfreeze it? Where can i pay the minimum amount plus penalty?

    Reply

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