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Finance Ministry mulls allowing more pension funds in equities

The Finance Ministry is considering a proposal to raise investment limit of pension funds in stock markets to 50 per cent and a decision is expected in a short time, PFRDA Chairman Hemant G Contractor has said.

“… We are engaging with them (the Finance Ministry). It is receiving their active consideration. We expect to hear from them in a short time but I can’t say when exactly it will come,” said Contractor.

At present, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA) is allowed to invest up to 15 per cent of the corpus into stock market.

The hike in investment limit into equity market is one of the recommendations of the G N Bajpai committee. The expert panel under ex-Sebi Chief was set up by PFRDA to review the investment guidelines for National Pension System (NPS) in the private sector.

At present, NPS funds can be invested in government securities, corporate bonds and equities.

The Centre had introduced the New Pension System (NPS) in January 2004. Total assets managed under NPS are about Rs. 82,000 crore, while the private sector’s contribution is about Rs. 5,000 crore.

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