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Post offices to offer new pension plan.

THOSE who want to subscribe to the new pension scheme can now approach the country's post offices to avail of the facility.

The government announced on Tuesday that the department of posts ( DOP) has been enlisted as a point of presence ( Pop) for distribution of the new pension system ( NPS) by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority ( PFRDA).

Initially, the postal department will make NPS available to citizens across 800 post offices nationwide and then spread it across more branches in a phased manner. NPS is currently being distributed by 21 entities through nearly 800 branches spread all over the country. This will now be expanded to over 1,600 outlets with DOP being included for the purpose.

The NPS, which covers both government and private sector employees, was launched on May 1 this year as part of the government's policy to extend income security to a wider segment of the population.

However, it has managed to get a few accounts from the private sector while the number of government employees who have opted for the scheme now stands at over six lakh.

Currently, the scheme is available only through select branches of 17 banks, including SBI, ICICI Bank, State Bank of Patiala, IDBI Bank and Oriental Bank of Commerce. Reliance Capital and IL& FS Securities are also offering the scheme. In Delhi, there are 43 Pops including the branches of ICICI Bank in Connaught Place, Defence Colony and Greater Kailash and SBI on Parliament Street. There are 731 such Pops nationwide.

The NPS is a system of fund management aimed at providing financial security to individuals in their old age. Anyone in the age group of 18 to 55 years, employed in the government or private sector, can apply for the NPS through these Pops.

Subscribers are given a permanent retirement account number ( PRAN), which enables them to check their funds online or at the Pop.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Dec 16, 2009
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