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The National Pension System (NPS) offers a unique retirement opportunity for Non-resident Indians (NRIs). Launched in 2004 by the Government of India, this market linked pension scheme allows NRIs to contribute to their retirement fund while living abroad. NPS offers the flexibility to invest in the Indian markets and potentially benefit from the country's economic growth. Managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), this pension scheme ensures transparency and security.

 

If you are an NRI, don't let your Indian citizenship go to waste. NPS could be your key to a comfortable retirement. NPS offers a balanced approach to post-retirement planning. It uses 60% of the accumulated corpus to purchase an annuity for steady monthly income. The remaining 40% is available as a lump sum. Secure your spot in this scheme as more NRIs discover this opportunity.

Features of an NPS Account for NRIs

Here are some of the features of an NPS Account offered to NRIs:

  • Account Validity

An NPS account for NRIs will remain active until you terminate your Indian citizenship. Once the citizenship status changes, your account will be suspended. 

  • Account Types

An NRI can only open a Tier 1 NPS account which is a pension account. However, a Tier 2 or voluntary NPS account is not applicable to NRIs.

  • Investment Flexibility

NRIs can choose their investment mix, such as equity and government securities, based on their risk appetite. This allows for a certain degree of investment flexibility. 

  • Pension Fund Manager 

You opt for a Pension Fund Manager (PFM) of your choice from the available managers. The PFMs will assist with overseeing your investment in different asset classes. Investors can switch to a fund manager of their choice.  

  • Investment Route

NRIs can choose between Auto and Active investment routes. The Auto option adjusts investments based on age. The Active option lets NRIs select their preferred asset classes and allocation proportions.

  • Nomination Facility 

Investors can appoint up to 3 nominees under the NRI NPS account. They can also decide the shares of each individual. These nominees are eligible to collect the corpus.

  • Pension Payout in Indian Rupees 

The pension amount from this scheme will be paid in Indian currency (INR). There is no limit on the repatriation of the sum. This will be paid either as a lump sum or annuity.

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Eligibility Criteria for an NPS Account for NRIs

NRIs must meet the following criteria to complete their NPS registration:

  • You must be between 18 to 60 years

  • You must hold a valid PAN card

  • You need to submit all the required KYC documents

  • You must have a valid NRO/NRE bank account with one of the empanelled banks

 

Note: Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI)  and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) cannot open an NRI NPS account. No joint account provisions are available under NRI NPS accounts.

How to Open an NPS Account for NRIs?

The process of opening an NPS account for NRIs is straightforward. Visit the governments NSDL website or via one of the empaneled bank websites. Here are the steps to complete your NRI NPS account registration: 

  1. Download the NRI NPS form available on the PFRDA, NPS Trust, and NSDL websites or get it from branches of empaneled banks

  2. Fill up the registration form with the required details

  3. Submit the duly filled form with the necessary documents at your NRI bank branch in India

  4. Wait for your bank to verify NRO/NRE account details and forward the form to the Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA)

  5. Deposit the initial cheque of ₹500 with the bank

  6. Once your application is digitised, your PRAN (Permanent Retirement Account Number) will be generated

  7. You will be notified of your 12-digit PRAN status via email or SMS 

  8. You can proceed to make contributions online

 

Here is how you can open an NPS NRI account online via the e-NPS website with your Aadhaar or PAN Card. 

  1. Visit the PFRDA or NPS Trust website and select ‘e-NPS’

  2. Go to the ‘Registration’ option and click on ‘New Registration’

  3. Pick the 'Non-resident Indian' option. Then select your account type: non-repatriable or repatriable)

  4. Select a preferred verification method (Aadhaar or PAN Card)

  5. If you pick Aadhaar, enter your Passport and Aadhaar number

  6. An OTP will be sent to your registered phone number for verification

  7. Select your bank from the list of empanelled banks and enter your NRO/NRE account details

  8. Specify your country of residence and click on continue

  9. Pick a PFM and preferred investment route and enter your nomination details

  10. Upload your scanned photograph and signature. Ensure they conform to the format and image size limits.

  11. Pay via Net Banking and receive your 12-digit PRAN

Contribution Rules

NRIs are only permitted to contribute to the NPS scheme via NRO/NRE accounts. The applicant must deposit a minimum contribution of ₹500 at the time of opening the account. Once the account has opened the minimum amount per contribution is limited to ₹500. This sets the minimum yearly contribution mandate at ₹6,000.

Partial Withdrawal Rules

While NRIs have some access to their funds before maturity, there are important restrictions to consider. Here are some of the partial withdrawal rules:

1. Partial Withdrawals Allowed

NRIs can make partial withdrawals for specific reasons. This differs from Tier I accounts for residents. Here are some conditions under which withdrawals are permitted for NRIs: 

  • Child's higher education

  • Marriage expenses

  • Medical treatment

  • Building a new home

2. Limited Withdrawal Amount

Only 25% of the self-contributed amount can be withdrawn after 10 years.

3. Limited Withdrawal Frequency

A maximum of three withdrawals are allowed throughout the entire investment period.

4. Withdrawal Gap

There must be a minimum gap of 5 years between consecutive withdrawals.

Exit Rules

If the partial withdrawal limit doesn’t meet your fund requirements, you can exit the NPS scheme for NRIs. You can also use this option when renouncing your Indian citizenship. This applies if you are acquiring a foreign one. Remember, you can only leave NPS if you've been a subscriber for at least 10 years. Make sure to check this before planning your exit. 

 

Here’s a quick rundown of what exiting your NPS account for NRIs means under the following scenarios:

1. Exiting NPS Before the Age of 60 

  • Purchase a compulsory annuity with 80% of the fund

  • Withdraw 20% as a lump sum

  • Complete withdrawal allowed for a corpus value of less than ₹1 Lakh

2. Exiting NPS After Turning 60 Years

If the corpus is more than ₹5 Lakh:

  • Purchase a compulsory annuity with 40% of the fund

  • Withdraw 60% as a lump sum

  • Complete withdrawal allowed for a corpus value of less than ₹2 Lakhs

  • Stay invested until 70, making fresh contributions to the scheme

  • Defer the lump sum withdrawal until 70

  • Postpone annuity purchase for up to 3 years upon exit

3. Exiting NPS Due to Death

  • Your nominee receives 100% of the NPS fund as lump sum if the corpus is less than ₹5 Lakhs

  • If the corpus is exceeds ₹5 Lakhs, only 20% of the fund is available as lump sum, while the remaining 80% is used to purchase annuity

NPS Account Charges for NRIs

Fee Type

Intermediary

Service Fee

Initial Account Registration Charge

Point of Presence (PoP)

₹200-₹400

Charges on Initial and Subsequent Contributions

Point of Presence (PoP) 

0.50% (₹30 - ₹25,000)

Non-financial Transactions

Point of Presence (PoP)

₹30

PRA Opening Charges

Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA)

₹18 - ₹40

PRA Maintenance Charges

Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA)

₹69

Financial and Non-financial Transaction Fee (Per Transaction)

Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA)

₹3.75

Annual Asset Servicing Fee

Custodian

0.0032%

Disclaimer: The charges listed in this table are indicative. They may vary depending on the service provider. Please consult your chosen service providers for their specific fee structure.

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