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Tax code exempts New Pension Scheme from tax

Last updated on: July 05, 2010 16:29 IST

The revised Direct Taxes Code, which will introduce several changes if implemented, has brought New Pension Scheme under the tax exempt net. This new change will make New Pension Scheme an attractive investment opportunity.

The government has proposed EEE (exempt-exempt-exempt) method of taxation for New Pension Scheme -- exemption at all the three stages of deposit, appreciation and withdrawal. Earlier, the withdrawals from the NPS were taxed.

This brings it at par with the other long term investment avenues. Outlined is a brief snapshot of the product and also the impact of the change announced by the recently revised Direct Taxes Code.

Inspite of New Pension Scheme being launched for the last 2 years, it has not been able to garner attention of the investor fraternity. Hence to promote it, the Government of India has announced that it will add Rs 1,000 co-contribution every year for the next three years for everyone who joins the New Pension Scheme.

Those who invest Rs 1,000-12,000 per annum between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011, will get the additional fund allocation from Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) set aside for this scheme. Thus, any New Pension Scheme subscriber will end up getting Rs 3,000 free from the government.

Charges of NPS

 

Agency

Service

Charge

Mode

CRA

Account opening

Rs 50

Through cancellation of units

 

Annual maintenance charge

Rs 350*

 

Per transaction

Rs 10*

 

PoP (Max allowed)

Registration

Rs 40

Upfront payment

Per transaction

Rs 20

Trustee bank

Per transaction at RBI location

NIL

 

Per transaction at non-RBI location

Rs 15

Through NAV deduction

Custodian (on asset value)

Asset servicing

Electronic segment: 0.0075% a year: Physical segment: 0.05% a year

Through NAV deduction

Fund manager

Investment management

0.0009% a year

Through NAV deduction


* Once there are 1 million CRA accounts the annual maintenance charge will decrease to Rs 280 and per transaction charge to Rs 6. It will go down to Rs 250 and Rs 4 once there are 3 million accounts. Service tax and other levied as applicable
 Source: PFRDA

Charges paid for starting NPS

New Pension Scheme has the lowest administrative charges and fund management charges. The fund management charges are capped at 0.0009 per cent and custodian charges in the range of 0.0075 per cent to 0.05 per cent.

To put this figure in perspective, pension fund managers will charge Rs 9 as fund management fee under New Pension Scheme for managing Rs 10 lakh (Rs 1 million).

However, there are other costs involved like the cost of opening an account (Rs.50), annual maintenance charge (Rs 350) and a per transaction charge of Rs 10. Further one has to pay Rs 40 for registration and Rs 20 per transaction at points of presence.

The charges would come down once number of accounts opened increases. This is still cheaper than charges of mutual find and ULIPS.

NPS versus other investments

NPS

PPF

EPF

Mutual Fund

ULIP

Entry charges

Rs 470

Nil

Nil

No entry load

No entry load

Total charges (Custodian +FMC)

Custodian charges:  0.0075% to 0.05%. FMC: 0.0009%

Nil

Nil

1.75%

1-1.5%

NPS versus other investment avenues

NPS versus PPF: New Pension Scheme last year gave around 14.8 per cent average returns. Public Provident Fund gave returns of about 8 per cent. The lock-in period of PPF is lower compared to NPS. It is 16 years and the chances of the saved money getting used for other purposes is high.

Also being only a debt investment, the returns are lesser than NPS as NPS allows you to invest some part of your savings in stocks which definitely enhances the returns in the long term.

Further, in the case of NPS, at the time of maturity, one has to compulsorily buy a life annuity which will ensure a regular periodic income.

When compared to mutual fund and ULIPs the returns from NPS are higher as the fund management charges and allocation charges being charged by it is lower.

The revised DTC has paved way for  a brand new NPS as with the tax abolishment during withdrawal it is now on par with the other investment avenues.  The monthly/quarterly contribution towards equity in NPS will assure rupee cost averaging and thus earn higher returns.

Also investment up to Rs 1,00,000 is tax deductible under Sec 80C. Hence, as an investor one should look at this investment avenue now to plan your retirement savings.

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