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Digital Advances India’s National Pension System

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The National Pension System (NPS) is a savings option for individuals seeking to safeguard their financial futures. Within the NPS framework, subscribers voluntarily contribute to their NPS Tier I and II accounts. Now, the method of depositing these contributions directly, referred to as D-Remit or Direct Remittance, has been enhanced to offer a more user-friendly experience. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) is allowing subscribers to deposit their contributions conveniently using Unified Payments Interface (UPI) QR codes.

UPI, the country’s instant payment system, was developed under the Digital India initiative and is run by the Reserve Bank of India. It powers several bank accounts into a single mobile application (of any participating bank), merging several banking features.

In this updated mechanism, subscribers will use the UPI QR Code to transfer their contributions. Users must have an activated 15-digit unique D-Remit ID number to avail themselves of this facility. A virtual D-Remit ID is associated with the Trustee Bank (TB) and exclusively designated for remitting NPS contributions.

The D-Remit virtual account is separate from the Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN). Additionally, the virtual account numbers differ for Tier I and Tier II NPS accounts and so do the QR codes. These personalised QR codes can be saved offline for future transactions. Tier I serves as a compulsory retirement account, while Tier II functions as an optional savings account associated with PRAN.

The incorporation of QR code-UPI for D-Remit marks a positive stride in making NPS contributions more accessible, efficient, and flexible. The initiative empowers NPS subscribers, enabling them to assert control over their retirement savings and reap the benefits of systematic investment planning, a press release claimed.

The D-Remit process brings forth a range of benefits for NPS subscribers. Notably, it facilitates same-day investments, ensuring that contributions received by the TB before 9:30 AM are invested on the same day, optimising returns.

Subscribers can also set up periodical auto-debit payments, be it on a monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly basis, offering a hassle-free way to steadily build their retirement corpus. Moreover, the flexibility of choosing between one-time or regular contributions accommodates individual preferences and aligns with diverse financial goals. The D-Remit process leverages standing instructions and rupee cost averaging, contributing to long-term wealth creation for retirement.

For NPS account holders possessing a PRAN, the D-Remit process allows them to initiate a systematic investment plan (SIP). This can be done online through D-Remit, providing subscribers with the ability to establish standing instructions for SIP payments directly into their NPS accounts. SIPs in NPS provide subscribers with the convenience of making regular contributions, fostering a disciplined and convenient approach to retirement savings without needing to time the market.

To encourage the widespread adoption of digital payments, the government is consistently upgrading the UPI ecosystem. Last month, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) introduced a voice command feature called Hello! UPI. Users can navigate the UPI app in regional Indian languages through voice commands.

The feature applies to a wide range of functionalities, including the initiation of UPI transactions, providing alerts to users about suspicious or potentially fraudulent transactions, offering smart prompts for enhanced user experiences, and enabling user-consented actions through voice prompts for various features. Users can also make payments on call by conversing in their preferred language.


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