As a part of retirement planning, a provident fund is often set aside from a person’s annual income over their lifetime. Provident Fund (PF) is a compulsory deduction imposed by most private and public-sector companies. Whereas, National Pension Scheme or NPS is a voluntary deduction which is eligible for multiple tax benefits. The NPS system in India is like the 401(k) plans in the USA. Any contribution to NPS, from your salary, makes you eligible to get tax exemptions under Section 80C, Section 80CC, and Section 80CCD. NPS is recommended as the best tax-saving instrument.
The risk of investing in NPS is relatively low as it is launched by the Government of India. Any applicant between the age group of 18-65 years can apply for NPS scheme. A thorough KYC is undertaken before the NPS account is opened. A minimum contribution of Rs.500/- is required for Tier I account holders. Tier II is a voluntary savings account, that is eligible for withdrawals by the account holder.
The NPS account holder can only claim withdrawal upon reaching the age of retirement.