Why Financial Planning?

Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it NOW.

National Pension Scheme (NPS) is a retirement scheme of the Government of India. It was much hyped when it was launched but year after year the Indian Government has made so many changes that people are confused. NRIs can consider this post as all you want to know kind of article.

We have also added 49 NPS For NRI Faqs at the end of the post – if something is still missing feel free to add in the comment section.

india nps nri

Check – Best NRI Investment Options in India

Can NRI invest in National Pension Scheme?

A very common question that I hear “Can NRI invest in NPS?”

Yes, NRIs can open accounts for NPS or even continue if their status from resident changes to NRI or vice Versa.

NPS for NRI – Key Features

Let us look at the key features, advantages, and disadvantages.

  1. It is a voluntary contribution scheme.
  2. It is a tool to enable savings and investment so that finances for one’s retirement is taken care of.
  3. The contributions of all account holders are collated and invested by fund managers of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
  4. The NRI investor has two investing options:-
    a. Active Choice: The NRI decides the asset classes that the money should be invested in and the allocation percentage in each investment type.
    b. Auto Choice: Investment is done on behalf of the NRI based on his age.
  5. Under the scheme, there are two sub-accounts available:-
    a. Tier – I accounts: Withdrawals are allowed for up to 25% of the account holders’  contribution. There are some rules around withdrawal and exit options.
    b. Tier-II accounts: These are additional to Tier – I accounts. They are like savings accounts. An NRI can withdraw whenever he wants from these accounts.

Must Read: Planning for Retirement in India-5 Easy steps NRI can use.

How NRIs can open NPS account?

  • NRI NPS application form: You can get the form from this website – NPSCRA It is available with many banks and available on their websites as well. There are many authorised entities called Point of Presence – Service Providers (POP-SP). You can get the form from them as well.
  • Complete the form and submit it along with your other documentation to the bank where you have your NRE/NRO accounts. A copy of the passport is also required.
  • You will get a receipt number. Go to this website – NSDL to check the status of your application. Once the documents are verified, you will get a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN).
  • You can then start depositing money, checking your account etc.

nps for nri

What are the rules regarding Contribution and Withdrawal?

  • The minimum contribution at the time of opening the account is Rs. 500(for Tier-I) and Rs. 1000(for Tier-II). The annual contribution should be at least Rs. 1,000. There is no limit on the maximum contribution.
  • At the age of 60,i.e, at the time of maturity, 60% of the accumulated corpus can be withdrawn as a lump sum(tax-free) and the remaining 40% needs to go into the purchase of an annuity product from a PFRDA listed insurance company. The annuity income that you earn from the plan will be taxable at the income tax slab rate of your income.
  • The withdrawal can be deferred till the age of 70. During this time, contributions can be made.
  • If the total amount is less than Rs. 2,00,000, then it has to withdrawn entirely.
  • The annuity purchase can be deferred for up to 3 years.
  • If you are withdrawing before the age of 60, 80% has to be invested in an annuity product and if the corpus is less than Rs. 1,00,000, then it has to be withdrawn completely.
  • Up to 25% of the contribution can be withdrawn if you are a subscriber for at least 10 years and the reason is one of the following –
  • Higher education,
  • Marriage of children,
  • Purchase or construction of residential flat and
  • Treatment of specified illnesses
  • If you are returning back to India, the NPS account should be closed.

What kind of Investment and Returns can be expected?

Investments are made in the following assets based on the choice –

  • Asset class E: “High return, High risk” such as equity-related instruments.
  • Asset class G: “Low return, Low risk” such as Government bonds.
  • Asset class C: “Medium return for credit risk” such as bonds issued by companies.

NPS Returns are market-driven. There is no guaranteed amount of return. The returns generated through investments are accumulated in the corpus.

Are there any Tax Benefits?

You can get a deduction of Rs. 50,000 while calculating taxable income over and above the other 80C deductions, under section 80CCD(1B).

Also Read: Tax Rates for NRI on Indian Income & Investments

Can NRI appoint nominees for my NPS account?

You have to appoint a nominee at the time of opening the account. Three nominees can be appointed for Tier I and Tier II accounts.

[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”wiseNRI”]The annuity market is at a very nascent stage in India + we are not a big fan of the annuity.[/pullquote]

FAQs – India NPS NRI 

I hope these 49 Questions will answer all your queries.

Should NRI Invest in NPS?

NPS is (one of the) pension scheme for NRI in India. On the face of it, it looks like a good product where you can invest as much as you want and can also decide on the allocation across asset classes. It also gives tax benefits and as an NRI, you can invest in it, unlike many other investment schemes.

But it is not the most efficient product – there are still many unresolved issues. Plus, the annuity market is at a very nascent stage in India & we are not a big fan of the annuity.

If the NRI falls in the higher tax slabs, he has to pay 20% or 30% of tax on it. This is much more than the LTCG to be paid. It is illiquid as you cannot withdraw easily.

In case if your citizenship changes NRIs will have to close the account. There are not much details on rules regarding this kind of closure. (UPDATE – OCI can open or continue NPS)

If you are young, you are not sure where you will be living post-retirement, it does not make much sense.
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If you are planning to retire in India & looking for professional help on your investments. Check…

Retirement Planning Service for NRIs

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If you have any questions on National Pension Scheme India for NRI – feel free to add in the comment section. Also, share your experiences while opening or managing an NPS account in India – online or offline.

india nps nri
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Hemant Beniwal

Hemant Beniwal is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and his Company Ark Primary Advisors Pvt Ltd is registered as an Investment Adviser with SEBI. Hemant is also a member of the Financial Planning Association, U.S.A and registered as a life planner with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, U.S.A. He started his Financial Planning Practice in 2009 & is among the first generation of financial planners in India. He also authored Bestseller book "Financial Life Planning". 

  • NRI can invest in NPS but what about Foreign citizen of Indian origin, who have taken foreign passport. They are not classified as NRI, can they invest? Any reliable link or source whether PIO can invest in NPS or not?

  • After the insertion of section 194IB in the finance act, 2017, there is a lot of confusion is arising in the differences between 194I and 194IB.

    • Hi Ankit,

      u/s 194-I, an Individual or HUF is required to deduct TDS on Rent, if tax audit was applicable to him in the immediately preceding financial year. But u/s 194-IB no such criteria is applicable, i.e. those Individual or HUF will deduct TDS who are not subject to tax audit or other than those covered u/s 194-I.

  • I feel it is not worthwhile investing in NPS as 40% amount is locked away in annuity. You only have access to 60% that too after the age of 60. There are better placed products in the market.

  • As per rule NRIs can open Tier-1 account but not Tier 2 account. What happens to an existing Tier-2 account if someone’s status change to NRI?

    • Hi Sanjay,
      In case you already have a Tier 2 account before becoming NRI, you cannot contribute further. You can exit also, as Tier 2 has no withdrawal restrictions.

  • could you please tell me what is the best investment plan for a person of the middle east tax-free country?

    • Hi Mahie,

      Investment plan should be according to financial goals. You should consult with an Investment Advisor in middle east country regarding this.

  • I am 58 years old NRI going to retire at 60. Can I go for NPS and get pension from my retirement time. What is the current interest, profit from NPS?

    • Hi Lamboi,

      You can invest in NPS only if your status is resident or If you already have an NPS account then you can continue your contribution.

  • I have a savings account in sbi india, but not NRE account working in uganda. Can i open & invest in NPS with the savings acc i have in sbi or NRE acc in mandatory fr it. Please reply.

    • Hi Sandhu,
      as per my knowledge
      You can open your NPS account using any of the accounts but it would be advisable to change your residency status in your bank first.

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