NPS architecture consists of NPS Trust which is entrusted with safeguarding subscribers interests, a Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) which maintains the data and records, Point of Presence (POP) and aggregators as collection and distribution arms, competing pension fund managers for generating and maximizing returns on investments of subscribers, custodian to take care of the assets purchased by the Fund managers and Trustee bank to manage the banking operations. The entities involved in NPS are as follows:
- NPS Trust : The National Pension System Trust (NPS Trust) was established by PFRDA on27th February, 2008 with the execution of the NPS Trust Deed. The NPS Trust has been set up and constituted for taking care of the assets and funds under the National Pension System (NPS) in the interest of the beneficiaries (subscribers). Individual NPS subscribers shall be the beneficiaries of the NPS Trust. The NPS fund are managed by the Board of Trustees to realize and fulfill the objectives of the NPS Trust in the exclusive interest of the Subscribers.
- Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA): The recordkeeping, administration and customer service functions for all subscribers of the NPS are being handled by NSDL e-Governance Infrastructure Limited, which is acting as the Central Record-keeper for the NPS.
- Pension Fund Managers (PFMs): The Pension Fund Managers (PFMs) means an intermediary which has been granted a Certificate Of Registration by the Authority as a Pension Fund for receiving contributions, accumulating them and making payments to the subscriber in the manner as may be specified by the Authority.
- Trustee Bank : Axis Bank Ltd has been appointed by PFRDA as the Trustee Bank for National Pension System (NPS) effective from 1st July, 2013. Trustee Bank as an intermediary is responsible for the day-to-day flow of funds and banking facilities in accordance with the guidelines/ directions issued by the Authority under NPS. It receives NPS funds from all Nodal Offices and transfers the same to the Pension Funds / Annuity Service Providers/other intermediaries as per the operational guidelines.
- Annuity Service Providers (ASPs): ASPs would be responsible for delivering a regular monthly pension to the subscriber after he/she exit from the NPS. ASP have been appointed by PFRDA.
- Point of Presence (POP): Points of Presence (POPs) are different financial Institutions who acts as the first points of interaction of the NPS subscriber with the NPS architecture. The authorized branches of a POP, called Point of Presence Service Providers (POP-SPs), will act as collection points and extend a number of customer services to NPS subscribers.
Central Recordkeeping Agency Facilitation Center (CRA-FC): CRA-FC is the entity appointed by NSDL to extend various services under NPS, to its users across the country. The entities who have been appointed as CRA-FC shall establish multiple branches across the country to provide services to the POPs and POP-SPs.
- Corporate Head Office (CHO): A Corporate wishing to provide NPS to its employees under the Employer - Employee relation, can join NPS by registering as a Corporate Head Office through a POP. The different branches of the corporate can be registered as a Corporate Branch Office (CBO).