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07/05/2010

‘Swavalamban’ initiative to accelerate NPS yet to pick up

Despite government initiatives, the NPS has not generated enough interest among the masses. What needs to be done to prop up this excellent scheme?

Investors have not responded with much enthusiasm to the ‘Swavalamban’ initiative extended by the government under which it will contribute Rs1,000 per year (for a period of four years) to every New Pension Scheme (NPS) account opened this year with at least a matching contribution from the subscriber. Citizens in the non-government segment continue to abstain from investing in the NPS. The number of non-government subscribers to NPS registered as of 30 April 2010 has touched 5,532. Although the figure is more than double that of October 2009 when non-government subscribers were 2,321, the absolute numbers are still small.
The total central government employees registered under the NPS have gone up to 6,09,376 from 5,38,276 in October last year. However, there has been a large increase in numbers from among the state government employees during the same period. The number of subscribers under this category rose to 2,55,903 from the earlier 1,10,024.
An officer from one of the point of presence service providers (PoP-SP) pointed out that there have been no significant additions since the budget announcement. He said, “The momentum has not picked up much despite various initiatives from the government and banks. We have been told that this product should be bought and not sold. So we are not expected to advise customers in any way. The policy is that we wait for the customers to approach us. We are fully equipped and ready to accept subscriptions in the NPS.”
Incidentally, this PoP-SP has commissioned more than 300 of its branches to provide NPS registration facilities to the subscribers. Several other banks have also mobilised a chunk of personnel and designated a part of their infrastructure for catering to the NPS subscriptions. Another PoP service provider confirmed, “Although there is an improvement in the NPS accounts, it is not as much as what was expected.”
Commenting on what needs to be done to popularise the scheme, the official stated, “We need to approach private sector companies and talk to employees about the benefits of the scheme. The government could also probably offer a minimum dividend or guarantee as people may be worried about what they will end up with after so many years. Things will change if the scheme assures a minimum return.”
Speaking about the possible actions being considered to promote the scheme, an official from the Pension Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) said, “The Swavalamban initiative has seen a slow and steady rise from the earlier rate of enrolment. The first phase of implementation is almost over. We are now looking at various promotional and monetary incentives for enrolment. We are considering media campaigns and strengthening the regulatory mechanism through monitoring the PoPs more closely and how to make them promote the scheme better.”
The still lukewarm response to the NPS is unfortunate considering that it is a product that is actually tailor-made for the requirements of the masses. It is among the least expensive balanced investment products in the market and the cheapest pension product in the offing, which would make a huge difference to long-term wealth.
Lack of confidence in the product is also a mitigating factor. Investors are wary about how much they will end up with after the contribution period. Investors should be advised by the PoPs regarding the portfolio allocation to debt and equity before investing. Awareness among the masses still remains a concern for the pension regulator and hence, its plans to promote the scheme need to take shape for the NPS to achieve its true potential.

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25



Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974



Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.



6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:



6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:



6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.



Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.



(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.



(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.



(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.



If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.




Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below



Age Group PME Due



Age 00-45 every 4yrs



Age 45-55 every 2yrs



Age 55-60 every year
Details:-
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you
SMLokhande





6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.