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Introduction: The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) introduced significant amendments to the Retirement Adviser Regulations in February 2024. These changes aim to refine the regulatory framework governing retirement advisers, enhancing the transparency, efficiency, and reliability of pension advisory services in India. This article delves into the key amendments made to the PFRDA (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016, underscoring their implications for retirement advisers, stakeholders, and the broader pension landscape.

Detailed Analysis

Compliance and Qualification Enhancements: One of the standout features of the 2023 amendments is the heightened emphasis on compliance and qualification criteria for retirement advisers. The introduction of a designated compliance officer role underscores the PFRDA’s commitment to ensuring that retirement advisers adhere strictly to regulatory mandates. This move not only bolsters the regulatory compliance framework but also instills greater confidence among subscribers in the integrity and professionalism of retirement advisory services.

Furthermore, the amendments delineate clear qualification requirements for individual and non-individual retirement advisers. By mandating a minimum educational and professional experience threshold, along with specific certifications, the PFRDA ensures that only qualified professionals can offer retirement advice. This is pivotal in safeguarding the interests of subscribers and enhancing the quality of retirement planning and advice provided.

Refined Advisory and Charge Structures: The amendments provide a comprehensive definition of retirement advice, encompassing a broad spectrum of services including pension fund selection, investment allocation, and retirement planning. This inclusive definition ensures that subscribers receive holistic advice tailored to their retirement needs. Moreover, the introduction of clauses related to charges and remuneration clarifies the financial aspects of retirement advisory services, promoting transparency and fairness in the charging of advisory fees.

Strengthened Regulatory Oversight: The 2023 amendments empower the PFRDA with enhanced regulatory oversight mechanisms, including the authority to inspect retirement advisers and enforce compliance with the Act and regulations. This includes the appointment of compliance officers by non-individual retirement advisers and the establishment of robust internal controls. Such measures are crucial for preventing fraud, ensuring the protection of subscriber interests, and maintaining the integrity of the pension advisory ecosystem.

Legal and Professional Exemptions: Recognizing the diverse landscape of professional services, the amendments exempt certain professionals, such as advocates and chartered accountants, from obtaining a retirement adviser certificate when providing incidental retirement advice. This provision acknowledges the multifaceted nature of professional advisory services, while still ensuring that retirement advice is regulated and aligned with the best interests of subscribers.

Conclusion: The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority’s 2023 amendments to the Retirement Adviser Regulations mark a significant step forward in enhancing the regulatory framework for retirement advisory services in India. By tightening compliance requirements, defining clear qualification criteria, and strengthening regulatory oversight, the PFRDA aims to elevate the standards of retirement advisory services, ensuring that they are in the best interests of subscribers. These amendments reflect the authority’s proactive approach to safeguarding the financial well-being of India’s retirees, fostering a more robust, transparent, and efficient pension advisory ecosystem.

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PENSION FUND REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

NOTIFICATION

New Delhi, the 20th February, 2024

PENSION FUND REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY (RETIRMENT ADVISER) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS, 2023

F. No. (PFRDA/16/13/13/0017/2022-REG-RA).In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (1) of section 52 read with clause (w) of sub-section (2) thereof and clause (d) of sub-section (2) of section 14 of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act,2013 (23 of 2013), the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority hereby makes the following regulations to amend the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016, namely:-

1. These regulations may be called the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023.

2. These shall come into force on the date of their publication in the official gazette.

3. In the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016, as amended from time to time (hereinafter referred to as ‘the principal regulations’), the following amendments are made.

I. In regulation 2 of the principal regulations,

(i) Clause (vi) shall be deleted;

(ii) Clause (vii) shall be substituted as follows:

“(vii) “compliance Officer” shall mean a designated director or designated partner of a non-individual retirement adviser, duly responsible for monitoring compliance of the provisions of the Act, rules, regulations, notifications, guidelines, circulars, directions and instructions issued by the Authority;”

(iii) Clause (viii) shall be substituted as follows:

“(viii) “charges” means remuneration along with applicable taxes for services rendered by the retirement adviser under National Pension System or any other pension scheme covered under the Act;”

(iv) New clause (viiia) shall be inserted immediately after clause (viii) as follows:

“(viiia) “key personnel” shall include compliance officer and any other person who provides retirement advice on behalf of the non-individual retirement adviser;”

(v) New clause (ixa) shall be inserted immediately after clause (ix) as follows:

“(ixa) “non-individual retirement adviser” means a company under section 2(20) of the Companies Act, 2013, or limited liability partnership registered under Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008, and registered as retirement adviser with the Authority.

(vi) New clause (xa) shall be inserted immediately after clause (x) as follows:

“(xa) “retirement advice” means activity relating to onboarding of prospects, advice on pension fund selection, investment allocation, portfolio management or risk profiling, which are properly recorded by the retirement adviser and has been undertaken for the benefit of the prospect or subscriber and shall include retirement planning.

Explanation:- Retirement advice given through newspaper, magazines, any electronic, broadcasting or telecommunications medium, which is widely available to the public, shall not be considered as retirement advice for the purpose of these regulations;”

(vii) clause (xi) shall be substituted as follows:

“(xi) “retirement adviser” means any person being an individual or non-individual, who for consideration, is engaged in the activity of providing retirement advice on National Pension System or any other pension scheme covered under the Act, to prospect or subscriber or other persons or group of persons and includes any person who holds out himself as a retirement adviser, by whatever name called.”

II        Sub-regulation (2) of regulation 2 of the principal regulations shall be deleted;

III      Sub-regulation (1) of regulation 3 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

3. Application for grant of certificate of registration.- (1) An individual or non-individual desirous to provide retirement advice on National Pension System or any other pension scheme covered under the Act, shall obtain a certificate of registration from the Authority, to act as a retirement adviser, as provided under these regulations.”

IV       Regulation 4 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“4. Exemption from registration. – (1) The following persons or entities shall not be required to obtain a certificate of registration under regulation 3 subject to the fulfilment of the conditions stipulated therefor, —

(a) An advocate, solicitor or law firm, who provides retirement advice to their clients, incidental to their legal practice.

(b) A member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Institute of Actuaries of India or any other professional body as may be determined by the Authority, who provides retirement advice to his clients, incidental to his professional service.

(c) Any other entity as may be determined by the Authority.

Provided that such persons or entities shall comply with the general obligation(s) and responsibilities as specified in these regulations and shall be fully liable for any defaults, as provided under these regulations, notwithstanding that such persons or entities have not obtained or granted any certificate of registration under these regulations.”

V        Regulation 5 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

5. Furnishing and verification of information.- (1) The applicant shall intimate change in any information contained in the application, immediately but not later than three working days of occurrence of such change.

(2) The Authority may require the applicant to furnish any further information or clarification or require to remove any defect(s), within the time granted, in the absence of which, application shall be considered on its merits.

(3) The applicant or key personnel, as the case may be, if so required by the Authority, shall appear in person while considering the application.

(4) While processing the application, the Authority may seek report from any agency, which may have a bearing on the application.”

VI. Regulation 6 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

6.   Eligibility criteria.- The eligibility criteria required to be fulfilled by an applicant under these regulations for grant of certificate of registration shall be the following, namely, —

(1) In case of non-individual applicant:

(a) registered with and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, or the Securities and Exchange Board of India, or the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India;

(b) registered under Goods and Services Tax Act;

(c) fulfils the ‘fit and proper person’ criteria as specified in Fifth Schedule; and

(d) its key personnel fulfil(s) the qualification and other requirements under regulation 7 and also the ‘fit and proper person’ criteria as specified in Fifth Schedule.

(2) In case of individual applicant:

(a) fulfils the qualification and other requirements specified in regulation 7;

(b) fulfils the ‘fit and proper person’ criteria specified in Fifth Schedule; and

(c) possess a minimum tangible net assets of rupees one lakh, as on the last day of immediately preceding quarter.

(3) An intermediary registered with the Authority shall not be eligible to be registered as a retirement adviser and vice-versa.

(4) The applicant has the necessary infrastructure to effectively discharge the activities of a retirement adviser.

(5) Any other criteria that may be laid down by the Authority, in the interest of the subscribers.”

VII Regulation 7 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

7. Qualification and other requirements.- An individual retirement adviser and key personnel of non-individual retirement adviser, shall possess the following minimum qualifications, at all times:

(1) be a graduate in any discipline or have professional qualification and post qualification experience of at least three years, in activities relating to provision of advice in financial products, securities, fund, asset or portfolio management;

(2) possess certification on retirement advisory services from:

(a) National Institute of Securities Market; or

(b) any other organization or institution as may be determined by the Authority.

Provided that certification under sub-regulation (2) shall not be required in respect of:

(i) an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India;

(ii) an advocate, solicitor or law firm;

(iii) a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India, Institute of Actuaries of India or any other professional body, as may be determined by the Authority; or

(iv) any other person as may be determined by Authority.

Provided further that fresh certification, or renewal of the existing certificate through continuing professional education shall be obtained from the accredited institute before expiry of the validity of the existing certificate to ensure continuity in compliance with certification requirements.

(6) Retirement adviser registered prior to notification of these amendments, shall be required to fulfil the requirement specified under these regulations at the time of submission of his application for renewal.”

VIII Regulation 8 of the principal regulations shall be deleted;

IX Regulation 9 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“9. Grant of certificate of registration. – (1) An application for grant of certificate of registration under regulation 3 shall be disposed of by the Authority within thirty days of:

(a) receipt of complete information, if any, from the applicant;

(b) expiry of the time granted for submission of further information under sub-regulation (2) of regulation 5; or

(c) the explanation, if any, received under sub-regulation (1) of regulation 12 from the applicant or upon expiry of the time granted for giving such explanation.

(2) The Authority on being satisfied that the applicant fulfils the requirements specified in regulation 6 and regulation 7 shall send intimation conveying acceptance of his application.

(3) The applicant shall pay the registration fees along with applicable taxes and levies thereon, as determined by the Authority, in the manner specified under Second Schedule.

(4) The Authority may grant a certificate of registration to the applicant in Form B as specified under First Schedule and subject to observance of such terms and conditions accompanying such certificate.

X Regulation 11 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

11. Renewal of certificate.- (1) Three months before the expiry of the period of validity of the certificate of registration, the retirement adviser may, if he so desires, make an application in Form A for grant of renewal of certificate of registration, along with the fee plus taxes and levies thereon.

(2) The application for renewal shall be accompanied by such additional information and documents as are required for the retirement adviser to fulfill the eligibility criteria specified under these regulations as on the date of submission of application for renewal.

Provided however that the authority shall take into consideration, the performance of retirement adviser during the original period of registration including the number of new accounts opened.

(3) An existing Retirement Adviser shall have no special rights or privilege for grant of such renewal by the Authority.

XI      Sub-regulation (1) of regulation 12 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

12. Procedure where registration is refused.- (1) Before rejecting an application, the Authority shall give a notice to the applicant to remove the defects or deficiencies, if any, in its application within fifteen days of receipt of such notice from the Authority.

Provided where the Authority is prima facie of the opinion that registration ought not be granted, it shall communicate the reasons for forming such an opinion and give the opportunity to explain why the application should be accepted, within fifteen days of receipt of the communication from the Authority, to enable it to form a final opinion.

Provided further that where an application has been rejected on the grounds of being incorrect, false or misleading in nature or has omitted to disclose material facts, no fresh application for grant of certificate of registration shall be considered for a period of one year from the date of rejection.”

XII Regulation 13 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

13. Conditions of certificate of registration.- (1) The certificate of registration granted under regulation 9 shall be subject to the following conditions:-

(a) the retirement adviser shall abide by the provisions of the Act, rules, regulations, guidelines, circulars, directions, and instructions issued by the Authority;

(b) the retirement adviser shall inform any change in material information to the Authority within seven days; and

(c) the retirement adviser shall include the words ‘retirement adviser’ in its name.”

XIII Regulation 14 of the principal regulations shall be deleted;

XIV Regulation 15 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

15. Charges to be collected by Retirement Adviser.- (1) The charges to be collected for providing retirement advice shall be in accordance with guidelines or circulars issued by the Authority.

(2) All charges collected by the retirement adviser shall be duly acknowledged by issuance of appropriate receipts for the service provided to subscriber or prospect, as the case may be.”

XV Clause (l) of regulation 17 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“(l) A retirement adviser shall follow ‘Know Your Customer’(KYC), Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) procedure as determined by the Authority, from time to time and ensure that due diligence procedure is conducted through effective use of KYC verification process as required under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (17 of 2003) and the rules notified thereunder or any other law, besides relevant regulations, guidelines, circulars, and directions issued by the Authority in that behalf;”

XVI New clause (q) shall be inserted after clause (p) of regulation 17 of the principal regulations as follows:

“(q) take all measures necessary for prevention of fraud and develop and implement a fraud prevention and mitigation policy in accordance with guidelines issued by Authority;”

XVII New clause (r) shall be inserted after newly inserted clause (q) of regulation 17 of the principal regulations as follows:

“(r) lay down internal controls to be followed and ensure that such controls are adequate and operating effectively; and”

XVIII New clause (s) shall be inserted after newly inserted clause (r) of regulation 17 of the principal regulations as follows:

“(s) make provision for indemnifying the subscriber for any loss on account of fraud or negligence on the part of the retirement adviser, which has been established.

Explanation: For the purpose of this regulation, the term internal control means the policies and procedures adopted by the Retirement Adviser for ensuring the orderly and efficient conduct of its functions, including prevention and detection of frauds and errors, the accuracy and completeness of the records, and the timely preparation and submission of compliance reports.”

XIX     In regulation 18 of the principal regulations, the terms ‘advisor’ and ‘advisors’ wherever appearing, shall be substituted with ‘adviser’ and ‘advisers’ respectively;

XX      Regulation 22 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“22. Appointment of compliance officer.- (1) Non-individual retirement adviser shall appoint a compliance officer who shall be responsible for monitoring the compliance by the retirement adviser of the Act, rules, regulations, guidelines, circulars, directions and instructions issued by the Authority.

(2) Any change in the compliance officer should be intimated to the Authority within seven days.”

XXI     Regulation 25 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

25. Inspection.- (1) The Authority shall inspect the retirement adviser at regular intervals as it deems fit.

Notwithstanding the above, the Authority may at any time as it deems fit, undertake directly or through its authorized representative, or appoint an auditor, to conduct an inspection or audit of the books, accounts, records, including the call records and electronic records and documents of the retirement adviser for the purposes as specified under this regulation.

(2) The purposes referred to in sub-regulation (1) shall include, –

(a) to ensure that the books of account, records and documents are being maintained by the retirement adviser in the manner specified in these regulations;

(b) to inspect into complaints received from subscribers or any other person, on any matter having a bearing on the activities of the retirement adviser;

(c) to ascertain whether the provisions of the Act and these regulations are being complied with by the retirement adviser; and

(d) to inspect into the affairs of a retirement adviser, in the interest of the subscribers and for ensuring the orderly growth of pension schemes covered under the Act.

(3) In respect of banks offering services of retirement adviser, without prejudice to the powers of inspection as contained under sub-regulation (1), the Authority may request the Reserve Bank of India to exercise such powers, as may be required.”

XXII Regulation 27 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

27. Obligation of retirement adviser on inspection.- (1) It shall be the duty of every retirement adviser in respect of whom an inspection has been ordered under the regulation 25 and any other associated person who is in possession of relevant information pertaining to conduct and affairs of such retirement adviser, including representative of retirement adviser, if any, to produce to the Authority or its representative such books, accounts and other documents in his custody or control and furnish him with such statements and information as the Authority or its representative may require for the purpose of inspection.

(2) It shall be the duty of every retirement adviser and any other associate person who is in possession of relevant information pertaining to conduct and affairs of the retirement adviser to give to the Authority or its representative, any information or all such assistance and co-operation, as may be required in connection with the inspection.

(3) The Authority or its representative shall, for the purpose of inspection, have power to examine on oath and record the statement of any employee, director, partner or person responsible for or connected with the activities of retirement adviser or any other associated person having relevant information pertaining to such retirement adviser.

(4) The Authority or its representative shall, for the purpose of inspection, have power to obtain authenticated copies of documents, books, accounts of retirement adviser, from any person having control or custody of such documents, books or accounts.”

XXIII Regulation 28 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

28. Submission of report to the Authority.- (1) The person conducting inspection shall, as soon as possible, on completion of the inspection, submit an inspection report to the Authority.

Provided that if directed to do so by the Authority, such person may submit an interim report.

(2) The report submitted by the authorized person or any documents or information so collected by such person, during the course of inspection or audit, would be admissible in any investigation, inquiry or any other proceedings before the Authority.”

XXIV Regulation 29 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“29. Action on the inspection report.- The Authority may after consideration of the inspection report and after giving reasonable opportunity of hearing to the retirement adviser or its authorized representatives, issue such directions as it deems fit for the orderly growth of National Pension System or any other pension scheme covered under the Act or for the benefit of the subscribers including,-

(a) restraining a retirement adviser from providing retirement advice, for a particular period;

(b) requiring the retirement adviser to refund any money collected as charges or any other collections made, to the concerned subscriber(s) along with interest and compensation, for loss, if any, caused to the subscriber(s) by an act of commission or omission on the part of retirement adviser.”

XXV      Sub-clause (i) of clause (e) of sub-regulation 1 of regulation 30 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“(i) becomes insolvent or goes into bankruptcy or liquidation (other than for the purposes of a reconstruction or amalgamation on terms previously approved in writing by the Authority);”

XXVI Clause (f) of sub-regulation (1) of regulation 30 of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“(f) fails to fulfil the ‘fit and proper person’ criteria as specified in Fifth Schedule;”

XXVII In sub-regulation (1) of regulation 32 of the principal regulations, the words and numbers ‘regulation 32’ appearing inside such sub-regulation, shall be substituted with ‘regulation 30’;

XXVIII First Schedule of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

FIRST SCHEDULE

FORM A

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016

[See regulations 3 and 11]

Application for grant of certificate of registration / renewal as retirement adviser

INSTRUCTIONS

1. This form is meant for use by the applicant for grant of certificate of registration as a retirement adviser.

2. The applicant should complete this form, and submit it, along with all supporting documents to the Authority at its head office at New Delhi.

3. This application form should be filled in accordance with these regulations.

4. The application shall be considered by the Authority provided it is complete in all respects.

5. All information must be legible and all the pages must be numbered with signature/ stamp on each page of the form.

6. Information which needs to be supplied in more detail may be given on separate sheets which should be attached to the application form and appropriately numbered.

7. The application must be signed.

8. The application must be accompanied by an application fee along with applicable taxes and levies thereon as specified in the Second Schedule to these regulations.

9. The application form for retirement adviser with all required documents can also be submitted online with e-signature. Provided that the Authority may seek submission of physical copy of any document (already submitted), at any time, including after issuance of registration certificate and if it is found thereupon, that the information or document so submitted online, is at variance with the physical copy since submitted, suitable action may be taken by the Authority, which may also entail cancellation of registration.

1. GENERAL INFORMATION

(a) Name, address of the registered office, address for correspondence and principal place of business, telephone number(s), e-mail address of the applicant along with the documents.

(b) Whether application is for registration or renewal. Provide registration number if the application is for renewal of certificate.

(c) Name, direct line number, mobile number and e-mail of the contact person(s).

(d) Legal structure of applicant – Whether the applicant is an individual or non-individual.

(e) Whether the applicant is registered under Goods and Services Tax Act. If yes, details along with supporting documents to be furnished.

(f) Date and place of incorporation/ establishment, if any. If the applicant is incorporated outside India, details of such incorporation.

(g) Whether the applicant is engaged in retirement advisery services prior to making application under these regulations.

(h) Whether the applicant is registered with RBI, SEBI, or IRDAI in any capacity. If so, details of such registration.

(i) Write-up on the activities of the applicant.

(For renewal application, provide details of existing retirement advisory services including number and type of subscribers, assets under advice, revenue, profitability, products/ retirement products on which retirement advice was provided, etc.)

(j) Details of the qualification and other requirements of individual retirement adviser or key personnel of non-individual retirement adviser as specified in regulation 7.

(Individual retirement adviser or key personnel of non-individual retirement adviser shall provide post qualification experience certificate like Insurance agency license, Mutual Fund – ARN, stock broker)

(Provide self-certified copies of supporting documents)

2. DETAILS OF APPLICANT (besides general information sought above provide details of only the section applicable to you)

I. In case applicant is a company:

1. Shareholding pattern and profile of the directors (Enclose identity proof and address proof of the directors).

2. Number of key personnel of the applicant (Enclose identity proof and address proof of the Key personnel)

3. List of associated companies registered with RBI, SEBI, IRDAI or PFRDA along with the registration number.

4. If applicant is a bank or NBFC, then copy of approval from RBI for undertaking retirement advisory services.

5. Copy of registration certificate issued by RBI, SEBI or IRDAI.

II. In case applicant is a limited liability partnership:

1. Names and beneficial ownership pattern of the partners engaged/proposed to engage in retirement advice (Enclose identity proof and address proof of the partners).

2. Number of key personnel of the applicant (Enclose identity proof and address proof of the Key personnel)

III. In case applicant is an individual

1. Self-declaration of tangible net assets of the applicants as on the last day of immediately preceding quarter as specified in regulation 6.

3. BUSINESS PLAN

1. Proposed business plan and means of achieving the same.

4. DETAILS OF INFRASTRUCTURE

1. Declaration that the applicant has the necessary infrastructure to effectively discharge the activities of a retirement adviser.

5. OTHER INFORMATION / DECLARATIONS / REGULATORY ACTIONS.-

1. Whether any previous application for grant of certificate made by any person directly or indirectly connected with the applicant has been rejected by the Authority; If yes, provide details of the same.

2. A credit report/ score from CIBIL for the applicant. (For applicants other than financial institutions & banking companies)

3. Declaration that the applicant shall not obtain any consideration by way of remuneration or compensation or any other form whatsoever, from any person other than the subscriber being advised, in respect of the underlying products or securities for which advice is provided to the subscriber.

4. Declaration by the individual applicant, or non-individual applicant that its key personnel shall always ensure to fulfil qualification and other requirements under regulation 7 and ‘fit and proper person’ criteria as specified in Fifth Schedule;

5. Any other information considered relevant to the nature of services to be rendered by the applicant.

6. DECLARATION STATEMENT

I/We hereby agree and declare that the information supplied in the application, including the attachment sheets, is complete and true. AND I/ we further agree that, I/we shall notify the Authority immediately of any change in the information provided in the application. I/ We further agree that I/ we shall comply with, and be bound by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority Act, 2013 and the rules and regulations made thereunder including the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Advisers) Regulations, 2016, and any guidelines, circulars, notifications, directions and instructions as may be issued by the Authority from time to time.

I/ We further agree that as a condition of registration, I/ we shall abide by such operational instructions/directives as may be issued by the Authority from time to time.

For and on behalf of
(Name of the applicant)
Authorized signatory/ Applicant
(Signature)
(Date and Place)

FORM B

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016

[See regulation 9]

Certificate of registration as retirement adviser

In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section 3 of section 27 of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development authority Act, 2013 (23 of 2013), read with the regulations made thereunder, the Authority hereby

grants a certificate of registration to_____________________ act as a retirement adviser subject to the conditions specified hereunder and in the Act and in the regulations made thereunder.

II. The registration number of the retirement adviser is _______ and shall remain valid until……………

Date :

Place : New Delhi

For and on behalf of
Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority”

XXIX Second Schedule of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“SECOND SCHEDULE

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016

[See regulation 9]

FEES

1. An applicant shall pay non-refundable application fees as may be determined by the Authority through issuance of guidelines, circular, instructions or directions, along with the application for grant or renewal of certificate of registration.

2. An applicant shall pay registration / renewal fee at the time of grant of or renewal of certificate by the Authority, as may be determined by the Authority, through issuance of guidelines, circular, instructions or directions.

3. The fee shall be paid by the applicant within fifteen days from the date of receipt of intimation from the Authority by a demand draft / online mode in favour of ‘PENSION FUND REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY’ payable at New Delhi or in such other manners of payment as may be determined by the Authority, from time to time.

4. The quantum of fee payable under this schedule may be revised by the Authority from time to time, by issuance of appropriate circulars, guidelines, directions or notifications. The applicant shall be required to pay the applicable fee as determined by the Authority failing which it shall not be entitled to grant of registration or renewal thereof, as the case may be.”

XXX      Clause 9 of third schedule of the principal regulations shall be substituted as follows:

“9. Responsibility of senior management

The key personnel of a non-individual retirement adviser shall have the primary responsibility for ensuring the

maintenance of appropriate standards of conduct and adherence to proper procedures by the body corporate.

A retirement adviser shall place the interest of the subscribers over personal interest in conducting the activities under the National Pension System or any pension scheme covered under this Act.

A retirement adviser shall refrain from making any derogatory, disparaging remarks or statements against the National Pension System or any other pension scheme or the Authority or other intermediaries.”

XXXI Fourth schedule of the principal regulations shall be titled as follows:

FOURTH SCHEDULE

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016

[See regulation 19]”

XXXII New schedule shall be inserted after ‘FOURTH SCHEDULE’ in the principal regulations as follows:

FIFTH SCHEDULE

Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016

[See regulation 6]

Criteria for determining a ‘Fit and proper person’

(1) For determining whether any person is a ‘fit and proper person’, the Authority may take into account any factors as it deems fit, including but not limited to the following criteria:

Part-A

(a) financial integrity;

(b) absence of convictions or civil liabilities;

(c) competence;

(d) good reputation and character;

(e) efficiency and honesty; and

(f) financial solvency and net worth.

Part-B

A person shall not be considered as a ‘fit and proper person’ if any of the following disqualifications are incurred:-

(a) criminal complaint or information under section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) has been filed against such person by the Authority and which is pending;

(b) charge sheet has been filed against such person by any enforcement agency in matters concerning economic offences and is pending;

(c) an order of restraint, prohibition or debarment has been passed against such person by the Authority, or any financial regulator or enforcement agency in any matter concerning securities laws or financial markets or insurance law and such order is in force;

(d) recovery proceedings have been initiated by the Authority against such person and are pending;

(e) an order of conviction has been passed against such person by a court for any offence involving moral turpitude or involving economic offences or fraud;

(f) any winding up proceedings have been initiated or an order for winding up has been passed against such person;

(g) such person has been declared insolvent and not discharged;

(h) such person has been found to be of unsound mind by a court of competent jurisdiction and the finding is in force;

(i) such person has been categorized as a willful defaulter;

(j) such person has been declared a fugitive economic offender; or

(k) any other disqualification as may be determined by the Authority.

(2) Where a person has been declared as not fit and proper person by an order of the Authority, such a person shall not be eligible to apply for any registration during the period provided in the said order or for a period of five years from the date of effect of the order, if no such period is specified in the order.

(3) In the opinion of the Authority, where an intermediary or any its key personnel, at any point of time ceases to satisfy the criteria under Part-A of clause (1) or incurs any disqualification or disability under Part-B of clause (1), its certificate of registration is liable to be suspended or cancelled, in accordance with the provision of these regulations.

Provided that an intermediary shall remove its key personnel, ceasing to satisfy the criteria, under clause (1) within thirty days, from such cessation and inform the Authority of the action taken.”

Dr. DEEPAK MOHANTY, Chairperson
[ADVT.-III/4/Exty./760/2023-24]

Note : The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) Regulations, 2016 were published vide Notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/1, on the 17th June, 2016 in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, No. 261, and were subsequently amended by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) (First Amendment) Regulations, 2017 published vide Notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/10, on the 05th May, 2017 in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, No. 185, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2017 published vide Notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/10, on the 01st June, 2017 in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, No. 228, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) (Third Amendment) Regulations, 2017 published vide Notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/10, on the 11th September, 2017 in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, No. 345, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) (Fourth Amendment) Regulations, 2017 published vide Notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/10, on the 28th December, 2017 in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, No. 496 and the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Retirement Adviser) (Fifth Amendment) Regulations, 2017 published vide Notification No. PFRDA/12/RGL/139/10, on the 03rd December, 2019 in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part III, Section 4, No. 442.

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