PFRDA to have three CRAs to manage NPS
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) will now have three Central Record Keeping Agency (CRAs) to manage the National Pension System – KFin Technologies Private Limited, NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited and CAMS.
CAMS or Computer Age Management Services Ltd. received the Certificate of Registration on 30 March to act as CRA, and will now start its operation between December 2021 and January 2022.
CAMS had been de-registered as a Point of Presence under the PFRDA (Point of Presence) Regulations, 2018, because it was appointed CRA.
According to a PFRDA circular, "CRAs are responsible to build, maintain and operate the NPS infrastructure. They act as an operational interface for intermediaries by setting up the Information Technology(IT) infrastructure. CRA's IT framework is to be scaled up as per evolving needs and adaptive for the record-keeping / administrative facility for future changes. CRAs develop new functionalities or utilities, establish new processes, continue with enhancements and develop modules to address the aspirational requirements of various stakeholders."
PFRDA had appointed multiple CRAs in the public interest and provided the choice to its stakeholders to cater to their specific requirements. Following are the details of the CRAs:
CAMS: A technology-driven financial infrastructure and services provider to mutual funds and other financial institutions, with over twenty-five years of experience. The Company is India's largest registrar and transfer agent of mutual funds serving over ₹22 lakh crore assets representing 69% of the industry's assets under the management of 17 mutual fund houses. CAMS Front offices are across 271 locations covering 263 unique cities, as per the PFRDA circular.
KFin Technologies Private Limited (KFintech): The largest Registrar and Transfer Agency (RTA) and a market leader in the financial sector providing investor servicing. KFintech provides RTA service to mutual fund service, corporate registry, Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) for National Pension System (NPS), Global fund services, Global Business services etc.
NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited (NSDL e-Gov): Was initially set up as a depository in 1995. Over the years, it has used its inherent strengths, project management capabilities which have helped governments identify and clear bottlenecks, promote transparency, reduce service delivery costs and provide public services eciently.
The NSDL CRA's annual PRA Maintenance cost per account has been reduced from ₹84 to ₹69 per annum from October 2021.
Some of the vital services provided by these CRAs to NPS subscribers are: subscriber onboarding with multiple KYC options; offering physical, phyigital and eNPS account opening; issuance of PRAN; contribution management on-going subscriber services during the life-cycle, withdrawal and exit services, facilitate smooth operationalization of Tier II accounts, enable periodical/on-demand statements, core Record-keeping functions, efficient grievance redressal mechanisms, multi-mode CRM facilities – web, mobile app, call centre, etc.
These CRAs also provide unique help desk and proactive engagement with subscribers for friction-less exit process and annuity commencement.
Subscribers will receive notifications and periodic updates, alerts informing them about NPS investment, information on returns generated, corpus created, relative fund performance, portfolio performance, gains, IRR, etc., said the PFRDA circular.
The CRAs will also send emails, SMSs, and reminders to inform subscribers of upcoming events like periodical debits into their bank's accounts to keep sufficient balances.
Besides, some of the essential services provided by these CRAs to NPS intermediaries are provision of platform access and interfaces to intermediaries for a seamless two-way flow of data and information related to them, generating and enabling reports to help intermediaries discharge their deliverables, investment scheme and switch selection management, pension contribution information reporting, etc.