Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA) has allowed partial withdrawal from the National Pension Scheme (NPS) for covering expenses related to the treatment of coronavirus.

"In view of the decision of the Government of India, which has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, it has been decided to declare COVID-19 as a critical illness which is life threatening in nature," the pension fund regulator mentioned in a circular.

These medical expenses could either for the subscriber or for his spouse, parents and children including legally adopted child. Other partial withdrawal rules from NPS remain unchanged, PFRDA said.

Worth mentioning here is that partial withdrawal from NPS is allowed after three years from the date of joining the pension fund under specific circumstances which include higher education/marriage of children, purchase/construction of residential house and for treatment of critical illness.

Under the current rules, the diseases that are covered under critical illness are as follows:

- Cancer
- Kidney Failure (End Stage Renal Failure)
- Primary Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Major Organ Transplant
- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
- Aorta Graft Surgery
- Heart Valve Surgery
- Stroke
- Myocardial Infarction
- Coma
- Total blindness
- Paralysis
- Accident of serious/ life-threatening nature
- Any other critical illness of a life-threatening nature as stipulated in the circulars, guidelines or notifications issued by the Authority from time to time.

Subscribers can make partial withdrawal to the tune of 25% of the contributions made by him as on the date of application for withdrawal. Maximum three partial withdrawals are allowed during the entire tenure of subscription.

Partial withdrawal requests can be made both online and offline. In offline mode, the subscriber has to submit physical partial withdrawal form along with documents to Point of Presence service providers, based on which POP can initiate online request. 

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