14 October 2016 Current Affairs: The Union Finance Ministry has constituted a high-level committee to consolidate the regulation of pension products that is currently being done by three different watchdogs including insurance and stock market regulators.
The committee would have representatives from all financial sector regulators SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA. Its mandate will be to look into the issue of bringing these companies which are offering pension plans under different regulators under the purview of PFRDA.
The PFRDA Act says that PFRDA will be the pension regulator in the country. Currently, pension products floated by insurance companies and those sold by mutual funds are under purview of IRDA and SEBI respectively.
Thus, there are cases of overlapping functions performed by financial sector regulators SEBI, IRDA, RBI and PFRDA in case of floating different pension products. For instance PFRDA is regulating all pension products in the country. However, insurers and mutual funds continue to sell pension products outside PFRDA’s watch. The PFRDA Act says that PFRDA will be the pension regulator in the country.
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) : PFRDA is a statuary pension regulatory authority established in 2003 under the PFRDA Act. It functions under the aegis of Union Ministry of Finance, Department of Financial Services.
PFRDA promotes old age income security by establishing, developing and regulating pension funds. It also protects interests of subscribers to schemes of pension funds and related matters. It is responsible for appointment of various intermediate agencies such as Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), Custodian, Pension Fund Managers, NPS Trustee Bank, etc.