What is NPS, Structure of NPS, Benefits of NPS

Understanding the National Pension System (NPS): Structure and Benefits

The National Pension System (NPS) is a voluntary, long-term retirement savings scheme designed to enable systematic savings for retirement. Introduced by the Government of India, NPS offers a mix of equity, fixed deposits, liquid funds, and government funds to provide a secure and stable retirement income. In this article, we will delve into the structure of NPS and explore its key features and benefits.

Structure of NPS

Tier I and Tier II Accounts

NPS consists of two tiers:

  1. Tier I Account:
    • Mandatory for all government employees.
    • Compulsory for individuals seeking tax benefits under Section 80CCD.
    • Withdrawals are restricted before retirement, with certain exceptions like critical illness or partial withdrawals after a specific lock-in period.
  2. Tier II Account:
    • Optional and can be opened only if one has an active Tier I account.
    • Provides more flexibility in terms of withdrawals.
    • Primarily meant for short-term goals and does not offer tax benefits as Tier I does.

Contribution Mechanism

  1. Employee Contribution:
    • Employees contribute a percentage of their salary (10% for central government employees, 8% for others) towards NPS.
  2. Employer Contribution:
    • Some employers match the employee’s contribution, enhancing the overall retirement corpus.
  3. Voluntary Contributions:
    • Subscribers have the option to make additional contributions (voluntary) to boost their retirement savings.

Asset Allocation

NPS offers a diversified portfolio through multiple asset classes:

  • Equity (E): Invests in equity-related instruments.
  • Corporate Bonds (C): Invests in fixed-interest instruments issued by companies.
  • Government Securities (G): Invests in government bonds.
  • Alternative Investment Funds (A): Invests in instruments like REITs and InvITs.

Benefits of NPS

  1. Tax Benefits:
    • Contributions towards NPS are eligible for tax deductions under Section 80CCD(1) and Section 80CCD(2).
    • An additional deduction of up to ₹50,000 is available under Section 80CCD(1B).
  2. Flexible Investment Options:
    • Subscribers can choose their asset allocation based on risk appetite.
    • Periodic reviews allow adjustments in asset allocation to align with changing financial goals.
  3. Portability:
    • NPS is portable across jobs and locations, providing flexibility to the subscriber.
  4. Regular Monitoring and Updates:
    • Subscribers receive regular statements and updates on their NPS investments, ensuring transparency and informed decision-making.


The National Pension System offers a structured and efficient way for individuals to plan for their retirement. With its tiered structure, tax benefits, and diversified investment options, NPS stands as a robust choice for those looking to secure their financial future. As with any financial decision, it’s essential for individuals to understand their risk tolerance, financial goals, and the intricacies of NPS before making an informed choice. Consulting with a financial advisor can further enhance one’s understanding and guide them towards a secure and prosperous retirement.

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