On January 1, 2004, Pension Funds have come into force in India. Government servants will have to subscribe to them. The new pension fund system is primarily drawn from the OASIS report. It proposes a phase-out of the Provident Fund scheme in order to eliminate competition for the new fund to help it grow its corpus. Slowly, the new pension scheme will completely replace all the retirement fund schemes presently available. The new system will be initiated by setting up a Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The immediate job at the authority's hand would be to issue licenses to Pension Fund Managers (PFMs.)
Under the new system, there would be no assured returns to the pensioners. New government employees are expected to part with 10% of their salary and Dearness Allowance (DA) to one of the PFMs. The government too will make a matching contribution. Pensioners can choose from among three pension schemes - safe, balanced and growth.
PFMs, however, would have the freedom to make investments in international markets subject to regulatory restrictions. Subscribers to the new fund will be able to exit at or after the age of 60 years by claiming the lump sum amount. However, a minimum 40% of the accumulated wealth would have to be used compulsorily to buy an annuity from an insurance company.