Exploring the National Pension Scheme: Understanding its Benefits, Eligibility, and Returns

Photo of author

By robert

The National Pension Scheme (NPS) is essential to ensuring a secure retirement income. Grasping the nuances of the scheme is essential for leveraging its full potential. This post will explore the National Pension Scheme eligibility criteria, benefits, and features in detail. 

Eligibility Criteria for the National Pension Scheme

Age Limit

The National Pension Scheme is open to Indian citizens and NRIs between 18 and 70 years. Individuals within this age bracket can open an NPS account and contribute to their retirement savings.

Types of National Pension Scheme Accounts

Two types of accounts are available under the National Pension Scheme – Tier-I and Tier-II. The Tier-I account is the primary account for retirement savings, with withdrawal restrictions until 60. 

The Tier-II account, on the other hand, is like a voluntary savings account that allows individuals to withdraw funds at any time. However, opening a Tier-II account is subject to the individual already having a Tier-I account.

Contribution Requirements

The National Pension Scheme requires individuals to make regular contributions towards their retirement savings. The minimum nps contribution amount for Tier-I accounts is Rs. 1,000 per year, with no limit on the maximum contribution. 

The minimum contribution amount for Tier-II accounts is Rs. 250 at the time of account opening and Rs. 1000 for subsequent contributions. The NPS provides flexibility in contribution frequency, and individuals can contribute monthly, quarterly, or annually at their convenience.

Tax Benefits under the National Pension Scheme

Exempt-Exempt-Exempt (EEE) Tax Status

The National Pension Scheme enjoys an Exempt-Exempt-Exempt (EEE) tax status, meaning that the contributions, returns generated, and the maturity amount received are tax-free. 

This tax benefit makes the NPS an attractive retirement savings option, as it helps individuals save on taxes and maximise their retirement savings.

Tax Benefit on Contribution

Contributions to the National Pension Scheme are eligible for income tax deductions under Section 80CCD(1) of the Income Tax Act. Salaried individuals can claim up to 10% of their salary. 

Self-employed individuals can claim deductions of up to 10% of their gross income. 

Moreover, an additional deduction of up to Rs. 50,000 is available under Section 80CCD(1B) for contributions made to the NPS. These deductions help individuals reduce their taxable income and lower their tax liability.

Tax Benefit on Withdrawal

The National Pension Scheme provides tax benefits on withdrawals as well. At retirement, individuals can withdraw up to 60% of their accumulated pension corpus as a lump sum, tax-free. 

The remaining 40% is utilised to purchase an annuity, which provides a regular pension to the individual. 

Features and Flexibility of the National Pension Scheme


The National Pension Scheme offers a user-friendly mobile application that allows individuals to access their NPS accounts on the go. The NPS app provides a range of features, including viewing account details, checking the latest transaction history, making contributions, and updating personal details. 

This app ensures convenience and accessibility for individuals to manage their retirement savings efficiently.

Online Access

The National Pension Scheme provides individuals online access to their NPS accounts through the official website. This online portal enables individuals to track their contributions, view the portfolio allocation, and monitor the performance of their investments. 

It also offers features for making additional contributions, switching between investment options, and updating personal information. The online access enhances the overall convenience and transparency of the NPS for its members.

Auto Choice and Active Choice

The National Pension Scheme offers two investment options – Auto Choice and Active Choice. Under the Auto Choice option, the investments are automatically managed based on the individual’s age, ensuring a suitable asset allocation throughout the investment journey. 

On the other hand, the Active Choice option allows individuals to actively manage their investment portfolio by selecting their preferred asset classes and allocating their contributions accordingly. 

This flexibility ensures that individuals can choose an investment strategy that aligns with their risk appetite and financial goals.

Change in Asset Allocation

The National Pension Scheme allows individuals to change their asset allocation over time. This means that individuals can review and modify the percentage allocation to different asset classes based on changing market conditions and their risk profiles. 

The NPS allows individuals to switch between investment options and adjust their portfolios per their evolving financial requirements. This feature ensures the adaptability and customisation of the NPS to suit the individual’s investment preferences.

You can also use the national pension scheme calculator to evaluate how different asset allocations may impact your future retirement corpus. 

Benefits of NPS

  1. Tax Efficiency

NPS offers tax benefits at various stages. Contributions to the scheme are eligible for deductions under Section 80CCD, reducing your taxable income. Moreover, the maturity amount enjoys partial tax exemption, providing a tax-efficient investment avenue for retirement planning.

  1. Flexible Contributions

NPS allows contributors to adjust their investment amounts as per financial capacity and goals. This flexibility empowers individuals to tailor their contributions to changing life circumstances, ensuring a customisable and adaptable savings plan.

  1. Diverse Investment Options

NPS provides a diverse array of investment choices, including equity, fixed deposits, and government funds. This range allows contributors to construct a well-balanced portfolio that aligns with their risk tolerance, time horizon, and return expectations, enhancing the potential for wealth accumulation.

  1. NPS Calculator for Planning

The National Pension Scheme Calculator is a valuable tool for planning and strategizing contributions. By entering specific details, individuals can estimate potential returns, helping them make informed decisions about the amount and frequency of contributions required to meet their retirement goals.

  1. Dual Contributions

NPS offers a dual contribution feature. Both employers and employees contribute to the scheme, boosting the overall corpus. This collaborative effort ensures a more substantial financial foundation for retirement, with increased resources available for future use.


The National Pension Scheme (NPS) emerges as a tax-efficient, flexible, and diverse retirement planning tool. With its dual contributions, regular income options, and portability features, NPS ensures a comprehensive approach to securing one’s financial future. 

The scheme’s low-cost structure, eligibility for various sectors, and emphasis on long-term wealth accumulation, combined with the convenience of the National Pension Scheme calculator, make it a compelling choice. Embrace NPS for a financially secure and fulfilling retirement journey tailored to your needs and eligibility.

Leave a Comment