NPS Returns for 2019 – Who is best NPS Fund Manager?

Many of us investing in NPS (National Pension Scheme). But have you ever checked NPS Returns for 2019? Whether you analyzed who is the best NPS Fund Manager for 2019 or which is the best NPS Scheme for 2019?

NPS now slowly turning to be one of the major investment choices for many of us. It may be due to default option provided to Government employees, tax benefits at the time of investment or to create a retirement corpus.

What is Scheme Preference in NPS Account

In NPS, there are two types of options available to create your portfolio. They are as below. Remember this scheme preference is not available for Government Employees Tier 1 Account Type. However, they have the freedom to choose scheme preference in their Tier 2 account. For rest of all investors, you have an option to choose scheme preference.

# Active choice – You will decide on the asset classes in which the contributed funds are to be invested and their percentages (Asset class E-Maximum of 50%, Asset Class C, and Asset Class G ).

Auto choice – Lifecycle Fund– This is the default option under NPS and wherein the management of investment of funds is done automatically based on the age profile of the subscriber. At the age of 18 years, the auto choice will invest 50% of pension wealth in E Class, 30% in C Class and 20% in G-Class. These ratios of investment will remain fixed for all contributions until the participant reaches the age of 36 yrs. From age 36 yrs onwards, the weight in E and C asset class will decrease annually and the weight in G class will increase annually till it reaches 10% in E, 10% in C and 80% in G class at age 55 yrs.

At the age of 18 years, the auto choice will invest 50% of pension wealth in E Class, 30% in C Class and 20% in G-Class. These ratios of investment will remain fixed for all contributions until the participant reaches the age of 36 yrs. From age 36 yrs onwards, the weight in E and C asset class will decrease annually and the weight in G class will increase annually till it reaches 10% in E, 10% in C and 80% in G class at age 55 yrs.

Such changes will be done on the birth date of the subscriber. Such changes can be done once in a financial year.

What are the types of funds available in NPS?

There are three types of NPS funds available. They are as below.

  1. Asset Class E : Invest in equity market instruments. This is the riskier asset class among all three.
  2. Asset Class G : Invest in fixed income instruments. The best example of this is the central government bond. This is secured among all three.
  3. Asset Class C : Invest in fixed income instruments. Examples of these are bonds issued by firms or companies. this neither risky like Asset Class E nor safe like Asset Class G.

Recently a new fund category by name Alternate investment has been introduced.

List of NPS Fund Managers

Currently, there are 8 Fund Managers who are managing our NPS corpus and they are as below.

  1. Birla Sun Life Pension Scheme
  2. HDFC Pension Fund
  3. ICICI Prudential Pension Fund
  4. Kotak Pension Fund
  5. LIC Pension Fund
  6. Reliance Capital Pension Fund
  7. SBI Pension Fund
  8. UTI Retirement Solutions

The Government employees NPS accounts and contributions are managed by LIC Pension Fund, SBI Pension Fund and UTI.

Under this category, up to 15% of the corpus can only be invested in Equity Fund. The remaining corpus is allocated to Corporate Bonds and Govt securities.

The private sector employees and other individuals can also invest in NPS. The Equity fund threshold limit is 75% in this case. These individuals can select any of the two investment options to select scheme preferences.

NPS Tax Benefits 2019

Many of us invest in NPS mainly because of tax saving options. But sadly many fail to understand the different sections one can avail by investing in NPS.

I am explaining the same from the below image.

NPS Tax Benefits 2019 - Sec.80CCD(1), 80CCD(2) and 80CCD(1B)

I have written a detailed post on this. You can refer the same at “NPS Tax Benefits 2019 – Sec.80CCD(1), 80CCD(2) and 80CCD(1B)“.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Who is best NPS Fund Manager?

Now let us concentrate on NPS Returns for 2019 and try to find who is the best NPS Fund Manager for 2019 or which is the best NPS fund for 2019.

NPS Returns for 2019- Best NPS Fund under Central Government Scheme

As I said above, this scheme is meant for Central Government Employees only. Here, we can find only three fund managers and the returns are as below.

NPS Returns for 2019- Best NPS Fund under Central Government Scheme

# Fund Managers managing the scheme since 1st April 2008.

# SBI Manages the highest AUM (38,804.26 Cr) followed by UTI (36,894.41 Cr) and LIC (34,357.17 Cr).

# When you compare 10 years returns, SBI tops with almost 10% returns (9.86%) and then LIC and UTI almost generated around 9.5% returns.

#All Fund Managers debt portfolio hold Govt Bonds which maturing from 2030 to around 2045. Hence, any interest rate fluctuation will impact the return badly. Because of longer the maturity period higher the interest rate impact on bond.

# Top 3 holdings of SBI Fund Manager is G-Sec, Banking and Financial Institutions. LIC Fund Manager holding is Govt. Sec, Finance, Banks. However, with UTI, it is Banks, Other credit granting, Housing credit Institutions.

# Benchmark return for 5 years is 10.05%, 3 years is 8.27%, 2 years is 6.65% and for 1 year it is 9.07%. Hence, all three fund managers have beaten the benchmark consistently for 5 years.

NPS Returns for 2019- Best NPS Fund under State Government Scheme

Now let us go with NPS Returns for 2019 under State Government Scheme. Here also you will find 3 fund managers like central government NPS. Let us see the performance.

NPS Returns for 2019- Best NPS Fund under State Government Scheme

# Fund Managers managing the scheme since 25th June 2009.

# SBI Manages the highest AUM (54,585.94 Cr) followed by UTI (53,521.21 Cr) and LIC (52,644.86 Cr).

# When you compare 9 years returns, LIC tops with 9.56% returns and then UTI (9.5%) and SBI (9.46%).

#All Fund Managers debt portfolio hold Govt Bonds which maturing from 2030 (UTI holding bond maturing in the year of 2029) to around 2045. Hence, any interest rate fluctuation will impact the return badly. Because of longer the maturity period higher the interest rate impact on bond.

# Top 3 holdings of SBI Fund Manager is G-Sec, Banking, and Financial Institutions. LIC Fund Manager holding is Govt. Sec, Finance, and Banks. However, with UTI, it is Banks, Other credit granting, Housing credit Institutions.

# Benchmark return for 5 years is 10.05%, 3 years is 8.27%, 2 years is 6.65% and for 1 year it is 9.07%. Hence, all three fund managers have beaten the benchmark consistently for 5 years.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Best Performing NPS Tier 1 – Scheme E Fund Returns

Now let us concentrate on NPS Returns for 2019 in Tier 1 Scheme E. The returns are as below.

NPS Returns for 2019- Tier 1 E Scheme

# The best performing NPS Pension Fund manager under NPS Tier-1 Scheme E is HDFC PF. This scheme has generated returns of around 13.22% in the last 5 years. Also, since inception, it is 15.02%.

# Also, weightage of top 5 holdings is less in case of UTI. It constitutes 27.52% of the overall portfolio.

# Last year Kotak Fund was holding Mutual Funds like Birla Sunlife Top 100, Birla Sunlife Frontline Equity and SBI Magnum Multiplier. Seems strange to me as how they managing the expenses. Because there will be double expenses like Kotak expenses and also the Mutual Fund Expenses. But this time, I think they reduced their exposure or not holding. Hence, I have not seen this in the NPS report.

# The clear winner in this category is HDFC followed by UTI.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Best Performing NPS Tier 1 – Scheme C (Corporate) Fund Returns

Now let us concentrate on NPS Returns for 2019 in Tier 1 Scheme C. The returns are as below.

NPS Returns for 2019- Tier 1 C Scheme

# The best performing NPS Pension Fund manager under NPS Tier-1 Scheme C is ICICI. This scheme has generated returns of around 10.10% in the last 5 years. Also, since inception, it is 10.33%.

# SBI’s AUM is highest here with around 1,572.49 Cr followed by HDFC (1,232.35 Cr) and ICICI (834.05 Cr).

# The clear winner in this category is ICICI followed by SBI.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Best Performing NPS Tier 1 – Scheme G (Govt Securities) Fund Returns

Now let us look for NPS Returns for 2019 in NPS Tier 1 and Scheme G (Govt Securities).

NPS Returns for 2019- Tier 1 G Scheme

# In this category, the higher and consistent performer is LIC.

# Have you noticed the higher returns of all these funds for a year? The reason for underperformance by all these funds is that easing interest rate since a year or so. Due to this, the fund performance increased drastically. Because these funds holding longer maturity Government bonds which are prone to interest rate movement.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Best Performing NPS Tier 2 – Scheme E Fund Returns

Let us now move to Tier 2 performance of NPS Returns 2019.

NPS Returns for 2019- Tier 2 E Scheme

# The best performing NPS Pension Fund manager under NPS Tier-1 Scheme E is SBI. This scheme has generated returns of around 12.81% in the last 5 years. Also, since inception, it is 9.7%%.

# The clear winner in this category is SBI followed by UTI.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Best Performing NPS Tier 2 – Scheme C (Corporate) Fund Returns

Now let us concentrate on NPS Returns for 2019 in Tier 2 Scheme C. The returns are as below.

NPS Returns for 2019- Tier 2 C Scheme

# In this Scheme the winner is ICICI pension fund with 5 years return 9.98% and followed by Reliance Pension Fund.

# The highest AUM is managed by SBI Pension Fund and followed by ICICI Pension Fund.

NPS Returns for 2019 – Best Performing NPS Tier 2 – Scheme G (Govt Securities) Fund Returns

Let us not check the NPS Returns for 2019 for Tier 2-Scheme G (Government Securities).

NPS Returns for 2019- Tier 2 G Scheme

# In this category the winner is LIC.

Who is the best NPS Fund Manager for 2019?

In the above charts we the NPS Returns for 2019. Now based on those performance returns, who is the best NPS Fund Manager? To identify the best NPS fund manager, I considered the last 5 years returns of each scheme.

In the below chart, I show you the highest return generated fund manager for each asset class for a different time period of 1 year, 3 years and 5 Yrs returns. The data looks like below.

NPS Returns for 2019 - Who is the best NPS Fund Manager?

Hope this much information is enough for you to judge how your NPS is performing. Do remember that NPS comes with lock-in, annuity you buy will be taxable and you have to stick to limited fund managers. Never invest in NPS with the sole intention of tax saving.

Refer our other posts related to NPS:-

53 Comments

  1. i am about to invest in NPS. I will opt for Auto choice with weightage 50- E , 30 – Cand 20 – G .
    Please could you suggest what scheme/fund manager to select for this option
    As a long term outlook, should i look what total corpus has any fund management company accumulated like SBI and HDFC
    or going through return since inception would really be other factor which we should look for long term returns Ex. ICICI , SBI or HDFC

    Reply
      • Hi Basavaraj,

        I was looking for a long term retirement investment. It attracted my attention somewhat and looks like some ELSS scheme with additional tax benefits as of today.

        And also the current trend of absolute return i see in such tax saving instrument is also what attracted towards NPS

        Reply
        • Dear Raj,
          Never invest in an instrument just because there are tax benefits.

          Reply
          • Hi Basu,

            I took your recommendation from other replies that not to invest just because of tax benefits.

            I am thinking to invest for long term in this instrument.

            Can you please advise to my original question if total corpus managed by fund management company matters when it comes to giving return is long term

            I see SBI, HDFC and ICICI some potential to start my investment with. What will you suggest ?

            Reply
            • Dear Raj,
              Now you have decided that you are not going to invest for the sake of tax saving, then why to invest in such a huge ILLIQUID product?

              Reply
              • Hi Basu, I wont say it is highly illiquid. I still have way to premature exit in 3 years if i want. I still know the fact i can only get 20% of the amount on maturity and 80% will still be allocated to annutiy plan which i can clear off in 5 years ( minimum ) plan if i want.
                But thats not the idea i am even thinking off. In any case if i am thining 15 years down the line, is there any product as compared to NPS that can offer as good return as NPS ?

                P.S i already have investments in mutual funds with such long term goals and high anticipated returns

                Reply
                • Dear Raj,
                  Betting either on NPR or on any other product depends on your gut feeling. I will not suggest any product which LOCKS my money. Also, your performance with NPS is like marriage between you and fund manager where there is no freedom.

                  Reply
                  • Thanks a lot Basu. This explains a lot 🙂

                    Reply
  2. Hello Sir,

    I am 27 years old and work in private sector. I want to start NPS account of Tier-1.
    I am thinking to opt for SBI pension fund for this. Can you tell if this is the best fund manager for highest returns. Also how should I distribute the percentage among E,G and C

    Reply
  3. Sir please suggest how to move from Karvy to others such as NSDL.
    Also i am not happy with HDFC Pension Fund please suggest how to move to SBI/etc..

    Reply
    • Dear Vineet,
      What is an issue with Karvy? Regarding fund managers, you can change it.

      Reply
  4. Hi,
    I am a software professional, I am looking for NPS option under 80CCD, for additional 50 thousand rupees over 80c section.

    Please suggest the best fund manager and options to be opted.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dear Guruhema,
      Never invest in a product just because of tax saving.

      Reply
  5. Hi Basu,

    Could you please suggest, if i want to activate tier ii , which is the best fund manager for tier two, and in which category i have to contribute the % as i did for tier 1. Please suggest

    for tier 1 i have selected sbi pension fund with % 50, 30, 20 in E, G, C respectively. is it the best fund manager or i can select diff one which returns more interest for tier 1.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dear Aurobindo,
      Refer the Tier 2 performer list and accordingly you can select.

      Reply
  6. Dear Sir,

    I have invested 98000 in NPS time 1.

    Currently the distribution structure is SBI Pension fund scheme

    1. 50 % in scheme E

    2. 20% in scheme G

    3. 30% in scheme C

    Could you please suggest if I can change my scheme and it’s percentage so that I can get best return

    Thanks
    Aurobindo Nayak

    My age is 35 years. Could you please suggest

    Reply
    • Dear Aurobindo,
      Enough. Instead, I suggest you 30% in G and 20% in C.

      Reply
      • Thanks for replying.

        you mean, I will keep 50% as it is and change 30% to G and 20% to C.

        Normally how many years I have to invest this, and what is the rate of interest I will get finally.

        diff % form diff schemes like E, G, C or a single % I will get..

        could you please suggest, please let me know the exact figure

        Reply
        • Dear Aurobindo,
          you mean, I will keep 50% as it is and change 30% to G and 20% to C.-YES.
          How many years I have to invest?-It is a Retirement product and hence you have to invest for your retirement. It is a market linked product and hence no such kind of interest (like bank FDs).

          Reply
          • Thanks for your suggestion. based on your previous estimation, normally what will be the interest rate as we are getting 7% as FD in SBI like what will be the rate amount in NPS SBI pension found

            Reply
            • Dear Aurobindo,
              NPS will not provide you interest. Because it is a market linked product.

              Reply
  7. Hi Basu,

    I have opened my NPS amount with Karvy, what is the difference between owing an NPS amount through Karvy or NSDL?
    Just heard about the issue with Karvy fintech and was a little worried.

    Regards
    Sandip

    Reply
    • Dear Sandip,
      Karvy just act like a facilitator. You no need to worry as your money is with fund managers but not with Karvy.

      Reply
  8. I am a self-employed person and 36 years old. I want to invest in NPS for retirement corpus. Which NPS should I choose?

    Reply
  9. pl suggest the best NPS for a retired employee like me who has never invested in NPS schemes.

    Reply
    • Dear Kamalkar,
      For retired employee, NPS is not suitable. NPS is a product to accumulate retirement corpus.

      Reply
  10. As per valueresearchonline.com research report HDFC Pension Fund is topper in NPS Tier-1 and Tier-2 both. Your report differs whereas your graph shows HDFC is topper. Why this disparity in reseach reports of valueresearchonline and basunivesh, which is correct?

    Reply
    • Dear Tapas,
      Check the date I have written to the date you have checked.

      Reply
  11. Whether we can exit before 60 year of age and opt all amount to buy annuity, suppose i am 36 year and want to invest till 55 and opt out at 60, will i get all tax benefits in that case?

    Reply
  12. Dear sir,
    I am a Bank employee. N NPS us mandatory. My contribution to NPS including employers is 15000 per month. Should I opt for Active Choice? If yes, what should be my allocation in E G and C and in which funds? My age is 31.

    Reply
    • Dear Aniket,
      Choosing which option best suitable to you depends on your requirement. It is hard for me to suggest BLINDLY.

      Reply
  13. Sir,
    Can NPS be considered as a good scheme for private sector employees ? As we mainly think for tax relaxation over it and neither for the long term investment of our fund nor the maturity part.

    Reply
    • Dear Chirag,
      Better to stay away and never invest or choose any product just for tax saving purpose.

      Reply
  14. Some portion of fund should be provided to the employee so that they can directly buy equity and generate higher return

    Reply
    • Dear Hemant,
      How many of NPS contributors aware about equity volatility? Majority of NPS investors are tax savers.

      Reply
  15. Yes sir I believe NPS is best product when you plan this along with rest like equity ppf VPF EPF and fixed deposit.

    Reply
      • If we consider the tax benefit(both 80CCD(2) and 1(B) and we are in 30% tax slab then straight away we are getting 30% return which would have in the tax, apart from this the average return on NPS is ~10% which is very good compared to other investment option.
        Additionally at the time of retirement 60% of the corpse is tax free and remaining 40% will be used to buy annuity which will provide regular income in the old age.
        Considering all these points I think this is one of the best product for retirement planning.
        As always advisable never keep all the eggs in one basket so individual should invest in other available avenues like mutual funds, PPF, FDs, GSB etc.

        Reply
        • Dear Abhishek,
          If taxation is a major reason for investing in NPS and you are comfortable with product feature, then please go ahead.

          Reply
          • Hi Basu, Thanks for your reply.
            Its not just taxation but other aspects as well like return, safety etc. for someone in 30% tax bracket , when he/she gets an opportunity to save over and above 80C then it becomes attractive as just by investing in this product he/she is getting 30% return straight away which he would have paid in taxes.
            I am interested to know and appreciate if you can write some blog and provide the unique insight that why people who fall in 30% tax brackets should not invest in NPS and what are other comparable investment options on the parameters of taxation(EEE), safety, return etc.

            Reply
            • Dear Abhishek,
              NPS gives you SAFETY? Check your facts. Forget about their equity part, check how volatile the debt part of NPS due to their holding in long term bonds. You are concentrating on TAX and IMMEDIATE tax saving. However, I am concerned with other aspects more. I have written an article about the disadvantages of NPS. You can refer the same. National Pension Scheme (NPS) – 5 Biggest Disadvantages

              Reply
  16. sir could you suggest which fund manager is good for T2. i set E-50%, C-30% and G-20% when it comes to T1 i set opposite where G-50%,C 30% and E20%. currently im using LIC as T1 fund manager where as choosen kotak as T2 manager. since my exposure to G is more in T1 want to stick with LIC but thinking to change my T2 fund manager to SBI/HDFC. your suggestion please. my plan is invest 50,000 in T1 and 1 lakh in T2 would like to continue for long term retirement.no plans of withdrawing money from T1/T2 till retirment as i already planned for emergency fund of 20lakh in bank deposit

    Reply
    • Dear Ram,
      I have already shared who is best. It is you who has to take a call. Do you feel NPS is a right product?

      Reply
  17. Sir, I have some savings in LIC T2 Govt bonds(72%) and in T2 Corp bonds (28%). Considering interest rate cur is ahead, is it the time to rebalance or suggest where to invest this savings. Last 1 year, I got 15% returns from nos t2 account

    Reply
    • Dear Murali,
      Sadly their debt part holding long term bonds which are highly sensitive to interest rate movements.

      Reply
  18. Great post. Is it not equity share now increased to 75% under active choice recently?

    Reply
  19. sir, can you throw a light on nps corporate scheme for bank employees

    Reply

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