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Budget 2019: Things to look at for within the new mega pension scheme; will it make Atal Pension Yojana redundant?

The Narendra Modi led NDA-government, in its final funds for its time period, has announced a mammoth pension plan...

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Budget 2019: Things to watch for in the new mega pension scheme; will it make Atal Pension Yojana redundant?


The Narendra Modi led NDA-government, in its final funds for its time period, has announced a mammoth pension plan for the unorganised sector, referred to as the Pradhan Mantri Shram-Yogi Maandhan Mega Pension Yojana” (PMSYM), which Finance Minister Piyush Goyal dubbed it because the mega pension yojana in his Budget speech on Friday. At the second, solely sketchy and naked minimal particulars have been made obtainable, and whereas we look ahead to additional clarification on the scheme, it will likely be instructive to do a fast recap of the erstwhile, and the nonetheless persevering with pension scheme for the unorganised sector, the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), and what to look out for within the PMSYM.

Govt publicizes new pension scheme for senior residents. Image courtesy Thinkstock Thinkstock

  • Age restriction: The APY was largely criticised for its restrictive age necessities of 18 to 40 years, for contributing to the scheme. So far, it looks like the age bracket has been revised to 18-60 yrs within the PMSYM, however there is no such thing as a readability on how lengthy the co-contribution by the federal government will probably be for. In the APY, the federal government’s co-contribution was restricted to 5 years (2015-16 to 2019-20). In the PMSYM, the federal government has introduced co-contribution, and it will likely be attention-grabbing to see if that is made perpetual.
  • Mandatory checking account: Another criticism of the APY was its necessary requirement of getting a checking account. In the PMSYM, the federal government has determined to roll out pensions to the unorganised sector, by the Jan Dhan Yojana. A elementary subject then, and even now, stays the price of entry into this scheme, particularly, a compulsory checking account. However, it’s heartening to see that the main target of the Jan Dhan has lastly been shifted from the ‘household’, to the ‘individual’. This is a much-needed reform for making monetary inclusion extra gendered.
  • Aadhaar: The APY type made Aadhaar compulsory in 2017. Not solely was Aadhaar made obligatory for the subscriber, but additionally for the partner of the subscriber, if married. In spite of the Supreme Court judgment on Aadhaar in 2018, which made Aadhaar non-mandatory for companies similar to banking and telephony, the pensions regulator particularly requested UIDAI to permit Aadhaar seeding, regardless of clear evidence on the exclusionary options of obligatory Aadhaar linkage to social profit schemes like ration, and pensions.
  • Harmonisation of schemes: The PMSYM is meant to run concurrently with the APY. There has been no readability supplied as to why there are two nationwide stage pension schemes operating concurrently for a similar audience, with a waste of regulatory sources, and coordination issues, to not point out confusion amongst subscribers. India already has a plethora of assorted social safety legislations, schemes, each on the Union, and the state stage, inflicting a colossal waste of sources, and ensuing regulatory arbitrage. In 2018, sixty economists had written to the federal government urging it to universalise social safety pensions for the aged, single ladies and individuals with disabilities with the Union contribution pegged at Rs 500 per particular person monthly. It will probably be attention-grabbing to see if the PMSYM will be ultimately transformed into a bigger, all-encompassing social safety programme.
  • NALSA: The APY can also be violative of the NALSA judgment for offering a gender binary type, that’s, choices of solely ‘male’ and ‘female’. It is hoped that the PMSYM will permit for a 3rd gender class within the type. NALSA expands to National Legal Services Authority.
  • Penalty: Lastly, whereas particulars on penalties for the exit, delay in paying month-to-month contributions, or lack of ability to pay contributions for sure months is awaited, it’s hoped, that not like the APY which levied heavy penalties for all of those, the PMSYM takes a extra empathetic path to nudge financial savings.

The creator is a Delhi-based coverage lawyer 

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