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The Central Government had introduced the National Pension System (NPS) with effect from January 1, 2004 (except for armed forces) replacing the existing system of Defined Benefit Pension System vide Government of India, Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs Notification, dated 22nd December 2003. The NPS came into operation with effect from 1st January 2004 and is applicable to all new employees of ‘Central Government service’ (except Armed Forces) and ‘Central Autonomous Bodies’, joining Government service on or after 1st January 2004.

Under the Central Government, three level hierarchy is followed:

  • Princiapal Account Office (PrAO): Pr.AO has a supervisory role and its main function is to monitor the performances of the Nodal Offices under its jurisdiction.
  • Pay and Account Office (PAO): PAO provides the subscriber’s details to CRA and remits the funds to Trustee Bank which in turn transfers the funds to Pension Fund Mangers (PFMs) for investment. Units are allotted to the subscriber’s PRAN based on their contribution amount.
  • Drawing and Disbursement Officer (DDO): DDO is an interface between the PAO and the subscriber. DDO deducts the contribution from employee’s salaries and provides information to PAO about subscriber pension contribution.
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