The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has eased National Pension System (NPS) withdrawal or exit norms. In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, the pension fund regulator has allowed Point of Presence (PoPs) with the special dispensation to accept the scanned and self-certified images of exit documents through digital means to process the withdrawal requests of the subscribers. The NPS withdrawal relaxation is permitted till 30th June 2021 by which time the ‘online paperless exit process’ based on OTP/ e-sign is expected to be rolled out by CRA for the benefit of NPS subscribers.
PFRDA issued a circular in this regard and said, “PoPs are now permitted to process the exit /withdrawal applications based on the soft copies after ensuring that the regulations on processing exits as mentioned in Chapter III 15 (2c) of POP Regulations are complied with .The beneficiary bank details have to be necessarily verified and matched as part of additional due diligence, before authorizing the request of withdrawal based on soft copies. Further all such records have to be simultaneously and compulsorily transmitted to CRA through soft copy. be noted that the POPs would be solely responsible should any dispute arise out of such transactions at a later date.”
On reason for easing the NPS withdrawal or exit process the PFRDA said, “Covid induced hardships continue unabated and in order to alleviate the difficulties being faced by the Subscribers in submitting physical applications for exit/withdrawal and the logistical challenges faced by POPs in collecting those applications to process and dispatch the same to CRA, it has been decided to relax the process of handling withdrawal applications by POPs in the interest of Subscribers.”
The PFRDA went on to add that it is also observed, that in several cases no records have been forwarded by POPs to CRA in respect of exit/withdrawals cases executed for Subscribers in terms of circulars mentioned in circular dated 21st July 2020. In all such cases, it is urged that the hard or soft copies, as the case may be, have to be shared by POPs with the respective CRA by 30th June 2021 without fail for record keeping and control purpose.
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