Review of progress of National Pension System (NPS) by Railway Board

Meetings of Departmental / Office Council are essential: DOPT

Minutes of meeting with Dy. CAOs and Dy. CPOs of all Zonal Railways and Production Units was held on 04.09.2019 and 05.09.2019 in Railway Board to review the progress of National Pension System (NPS)

रेलवे बोर्ड (RAILWAY BOARD)

RBA No. 82/2019

No. 2018/AC-II/21/3

New Delhi, dated: 12.09.2019

PFAs and PCPOs,
All Indian Railways and PUs

Sub: Minutes of meeting of Board (FC & MS) with Dy. CAOs and Dy. CPOs of all Zonal Railways and Production Units held on 04.09.2019 and 05.09.2019 in Board’s office.

Minutes of the meeting held on 4th and 5th September, 2019 in Railway Board’s office is enclosed for in formation and necessary action.

DA: As above

(Anjali Goyal)
Pr. Executive Director/ Accounts
Railway Board

Minutes of meeting of Board (FC & MS) with Dy. CAOs and Dy. CPOs of all Zonal Railways and Production Units held on 04.09.2019 and 05.09.2019 in Board’s office

A meeting of Dy. CAOs and Dy. CPOs of all Zonal Railways and Production Units was held on 04.09.2019 and 05.09.2019 in Railway Board to review the progress of National Pension System (NPS). The list of participants is at Annexure -I. The minutes of the meeting are as under:

1.0 Opening Address:

1.1 Welcome Address by PED/A:

  • PED/A welcomed all the participants and mentioned that review Reports received from NSDL and PFRDA on functioning of NPS on Railways have revealed that there are several areas requiring improvement and constant monitoring by both Personnel and Accounts Department. Therefore, it was felt necessary to hold this meeting of Dy. CAOs and Dy. CPOs to convey Board’s concern on these issues and discuss the same with officers in charge of NPS on Railways.

1.2 Keynote Address by FC(Railways):

  • FC welcomed the participants and stated that National Pension System is in the 16th year of its inception.
  • He recalled the challenges their Railways had faced on introduction of the scheme and the way they were addressed successfully.
  • However, continuous monitoring is required to address the delays and deficiencies in in registration and remittance of funds.
  • Registration process of the new appointees should be completed within one month of joining service and old cases of non-IRA compliance should be cleared in a time bound manner
  • The Contributions of the subscribers which have not been transferred to Trustee Bank and are lying in Suspense should be tracked at the earliest and transferred as they are the legitimate contributions of the employees.
  • The delays in remittance of these funds shall attract penal interest for which responsibility will be fixed.
  • FC desired the Railways/PUs to set right all the prevailing deficiencies of the system in close coordination with Personnel Branch.

1.3 Address by MS

  • MS welcomed the participants and thanked Accounts Dte for conducting such an important meeting with officials of Accounts and Personnel Department.
  • He mentioned that the no. of subscribers to the system have already crossed 7 lakhs and are increasing day by day. Therefore, it is joint responsibility of both Accounts and Personnel to work together to remove the deficiencies of the system.
  • He mentioned that considering the importance of this area of work, ED/EG has been nominated as nodal officer in Establishment Dte in Railway Board to address the NPS issues.
  • He desired that PCPOs should also nominate a Nodal officer in Personnel Dept in HQ and other Unit for the NPS work. NPS Cells/Sections should be formed for dealing with NPS work.
  • Referring to FC’s letter for setting up of monitoring Committees of Dy. CPO and Dy. CAO under FA&CAO, he desired PCPOs to immediately nominate officer from Personnel Deptt, if not already done. The Committee should hold meeting atleast once a month.
  • There should be no delay in registration of new employee. The Subscriber Registration form should be got filled at the time of joining report itself.
  • In case the employee already has as a PRAN from his previous establishment, the same should be brought under Government Sector NPS Scheme by filling stipulated form instead of generating new PRANs.
  • He wished all success to the meeting.

2.0 Agenda Items:

Director Finance Accounts made a presentation on the Railway wise performance during Aug., 2018 to July 2019 on important parameters as under:

2.1 Delay in Subscriber Registration:

Registrations of only 4% subscribers was done within one month of joining and remaining 96% were done after one month. Substantial delay in Subscriber Registration noticed in CR (3913 cases), ER (3011 cases), NR (3444 cases), CLW (364 cases), ICF (387 cases), CORE (113 cases) and (168 cases).

  • Action:

– PED/A mentioned that as already directed by Board (FC), it should be made mandatory for new entrants to submit PAN, Bank Account details and CRSF-1 form duly filled along with joining report.

– The Railways/PUs should explore feasibility of online PRAN Registration in consultation with NSDL. A few units have already started the process and are getting PRAN immediately. But the same should be done with due validation so that only bonafied employees are entered.

– Old legacy cases where PRAN was generated without filling up of Registration form on request of Railways, should be reviewed and Registration forms of those still in service should be got filled at the earliest. For the cases where the employees are not in service, the details should be located from PRAN registers and other office/service record for contacting them to arrange necessary action for clearance of these cases.

– CR, ER, NR mentioned that the delays are mainly due to Bungalow peons, substitutes and apprentices where the registration takes place after regularisation.

– Western Railway pointed out that delay in PRAN generation is also because of non-availability of Facilitation Centre at the city where PAO is located. NSDL advised the office to send such forms directly to Mumbai office along with the tracking no. Additionally, NSDL can map the Railway office with the concerned CRA-FC for better control.

– Further implementation of online generation of PRAN shall obviate these delays altogether.

2.2 Rejection of forms submitted:

Review of the position of rejected cases revealed that in 898 cases, registration forms were rejected by CRA – Facilitation Centres. Further, in ECR out of 130 rejected application 71 were from Dhanbad Div; in NCR out of 105 rejections 91 were from of ALD Div.; in NR out of 99 rejected cases, 45 were from LKO Div, in SECR out of 55 rejections, 43 were from BSP Div and in SWR out of 57 rejections, 48 were from Hubli Div. In case of PUs, maximum rejections were in MCF/RBL (8), CLW (5) and RCF (4).

  • Action:

– PED/A desired to streamline the system in both Personnel and Accounts branches to ensure completeness of forms w.r.t employment details, mandatory details and required documents, before submission to CRA – Facilitation Centres.

– PAOs should ensure authorisation/attestation of the forms before forwarding to CRA-FC

– The status of forms submitted should be tracked in the CRA website where the same is available along with reasons of rejection.

– Rejected forms, if any, should be resubmitted in quickest possible time with complete details/corrections.

– NSDL shall share a list of check points for the acceptance of CSRF.

– SECR brought out that the Railways are not getting any updates on changes in the version of the CSRF.

– NSDL stated that such intimations are sent to Nodal offices. Further the updated forms are available on NSDL site. Henceforth, such communication will also be advised to Railway Board for circulation.

2.3 NPS contribution being deducted from salary without PRAN:

As per information obtained from IPAS, there were 1024 employees without PRAN from whom NPS deductions were made from salary in the month of July, 2019. Of these, 415 cases were in SCR, 404 cases in SWR and 119 cases in CR. This implies that the NPS recoveries in these cases would lie in the suspense and will lead to loss of interest to subscribers, which will have to be borne by the Railways. This position is available to the Railways

  • Action:

– PED/A desired that IPAS exception reports should be viewed and acted upon by all Railways

– All these cases may be reviewed, PRAN generated at the earliest, subscription remitted to the Trustee Bank forthwith.

2.4 Non-IRA PRANs:

There are 13,996 non-IRA compliant subscribers on Railways of which 46 are still active (where subscription is being received.) These include NR(14), SCR(10), CR (6), NCR (3), WR (3).

  • Action:

– 13950 PRANs of IR having balance, have been deactivated which need to be investigated to rule out irregularity.

– The Railways should immediately complete the procedure of registration of 46 Active PRANs and make them IRA compliant.

– For hard core cases where the employee are not traceable, the details can be located from PPAN Register and other office records and the subscriber should be contacted by deputing the Welfare Inspectors, wherever necessary, so these cases can be cleared.

– The nominated officials for the ‘oversight mechanism’ should check the MIS of IPAS and NSDL Dashboard on regular basis for needful action.

2.5 NIL credit PRANs:

In 11,148 cases the credits were not received for period from 1 month to over 5 years after generation of PRAN. These include CR 1689 (876 cases in Mumbai Div), ECR – 1596 (535 cases in Dhanbad) and NR – 2041 (598 cases in LKO Div, 555 in MB Div and 520 in DLI Div). As regard PU, there were 50 such cases in MCF/RBL, 26 cases in CORE and 15 in CLW.

  • Action:

– Railways need to investigate these cases and upload the contribution at the earliest.

– ER asked for the PRAN wise details of such cases. CRA informed that this report is sent to them on regular basis and also available on the Dashboards. CRA gave a demo of various reports available on the dashboard. The process for requesting non-standardized report was also explained.

2.6 Number of PRANs without Nomination and Mobile details

There are 35025 PRANs with nomination details and 44553 PRANS without Mobile No. Non-availability of Nomination details will delay settlement in case of Death of a Subscriber.

  • Action:

– Mobile number has been made mandatory in CSR Form. For old cases, DDO/PAO should insist on providing the same with the help of WLI. Subscribers should be educated about importance of having nomination and mobile no. in their PRANs.

– Nomination and Mobile no. should be collected from every subscriber and updated immediately.

– As a onetime effort, the Mobile numbers and email ids of these subscribers can be forwarded to NSDL for back end updation.

2.7 Subscribers flagged in the system:

Railways have flagged 9948 subscribers as deserters in the system. However, 769 of them are receiving NPS credits. These include 155 over CR, 115 on ECR, 89 on NR, 66 on SER and 15 on MCF/RBL in PUs

  • Action:

– Railways may review position, as each Railways have subscribers receiving credits after flagging

– To remove flagging, PAO can select the option “not applicable” available under the ‘current status’ field.

2.8 Subscriber Coverage:

There is substantial gap in no. of registered subscribers and those receiving credits viz. ECR – 83.06%, NR – 87.56% and NER and SCR 89%.

  • Action:

– DDOs/PAOs should ensure all the registered subscribers are receiving regular contribution credits

– SCFs uploaded should get matched and booked in the CRA system. Cancelled SCFs need to be re-uploaded on time.

– The regular monthly contributions should be uploaded as “regular” and arrear contributions as “arrear”.

2.9 Gap in PAOs registered and PAOs uploading contribution:

There are 199 registered PAOs on Railways. 7 to 17 PAOs are not uploading contribution every month.

  • Action:

– Such PAOs may be identified. In case there is no subscribers under them or the unit has closed they may be deactivated from system.

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