The Centre has launched Atal Pension Yojana (APY) targeted at people in the unorganised sector who wish to join NPS and are not a member of any other social security plan.
Assets under management (AUM) of NPS currently stands at around Rs 89,000 crore. The NPS corpus grew by 38 per cent over 2013-14 to around Rs 25,000 crore in 2014-15.
"We expect the AUM of NPS to grow by Rs 40,000-50,000 crore by the fiscal-end, which will be driven by the newly launched social security scheme Atal Pension Yojana," Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) Chairman Hemant Contractor said this evening.
"Right now we have around 85 lakh accounts under NPS of which 17-18 lakh accounts were opened last year. The last one year's return for NPS was around 11.5 per cent," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event at BSE here.
Three social security schemes, including APY, were launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata in May.
However, unlike two of them - Pradhan Mantri Jeewan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana - which have seen issuance of 10 crore insurance policies, APY has received lukewarm response (2.15 lakh accounts so far).
Elaborating on it, Contractor said, "We have been able to open 2.15 lakh accounts under APY within a period of 20 days since its launch."
Citing the reason for slow pace of subscription, he said, "Actually what happened was that the two insurance schemes were launched first and the Atal Pension Yojana was launched after 10 days.
"So, the initial momentum was towards the insurance schemes. And insurance, all said and done, is a simple product. In comparison to that, pension is a little expensive and also complicated product which needs to be explained to the customers," said Contractor, a former State Bank of India Managing Director.
"However, we are ambitious on APY now as we are hopeful of opening two crore accounts under the scheme by the fiscal-end," he said, adding "with all tax breaks (announced in the Budget 2015-16), we expect to get more NPS subscribers too."