One needs to know about the NPS account types to accrue benefits. This low-cost structure, tax-efficient, and flexible investment plan acts as an effective financial instrument for people who are looking to save after retirement. The two types of NPS schemes are as follows:
- Tier-I NPS account.
- Tier-II NPS account.
Now let’s delve deeper into the types of National Pension Scheme accounts.
Tier-I NPS Account
This is the basic and mandatory NPS account that is opened to save up for retirement. From this account, one cannot withdraw before 60 years of age.
Nonetheless, upon attaining 60 years of age, the pensioner can withdraw 60% of his investments and utilise the rest to buy an annuity. The annuity plan will enable an individual to get fixed premiums at regular intervals.
Investments under this account are tax deductible up to ₹2 lakhs per annum under Section 80C of Income Tax. An additional ₹50,000 may be deducted per annum under Section 80CCD (1B). However, as per the Union Budget 2019 announcements, 60% of the accumulated corpus withdrawn at the time of retirement would enjoy tax exemption from the Fiscal Year 2020-21.
Therefore, the NPS becomes a reliable saving option like PPF and EPF.
Furthermore, while opening a Tier-I account, an individual will receive a Permanent Retirement Account Number after making a minimum contribution of ₹500. To sustain an NPS Tier-I account, one needs to contribute a minimum of ₹1000 per annum.
However, there is no cap on the maximum amount for this type of NPS account. To open this account, one needs to present identity, address and age proof documents and fill up the respective registration form.
Tier-II NPS Account
This is a voluntary retirement and savings account that may be opened if an individual already has a Tier-I account. Withdrawals or contributions to and from this account can be made at any time at the pensioner’s convenience. The investments on this account have no tax deductions for private-sector or self-employed personnel.
Further, according to the Finance Ministry’s announcement in the Union Budget 2019, one can claim tax benefits on this account within the lock-in period. This makes this scheme at par with the Equity Linked Saving Schemes (ELSS).
To open a Tier-II NPS account, one needs to make a contribution of ₹250. Although there are no tax exemptions related to this kind of account, both the Tier-I and II NPS accounts have similar fund management costs and investment choices.
Also, as opening a Tier-II account requires an individual to have an existing Tier-I account, he does not need to present KYC documents.
To understand the benefits of the different types of NPS accounts, take a look at the table in the following section.