PM-SYM plan: the Donate-a-pension pension plan finds few takers

The government’s Donate-a-Pension initiative to set up a pension fund for non-unionized workers, including domestic workers, did not garner enough responses.

The number of beneficiaries enrolled in the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) program has slowed significantly in the 2022-23 financial year, strengthening the case for a major overhaul of the initiative.

According to government data, only 14,518 non-union workers registered for the program between April 1 and May 25, bringing the average number of registrations in a month to just over 7,000. half of the average monthly enrollment of 13,452 or the annual addition of 1,61,432 beneficiaries in fiscal year 2021-22.

The Department of Labour’s Donate-a-Pension initiative in March was aimed at reviving PM-SYM as the Covid-19 pandemic had severely hit pension scheme enrollment after millions of workers lost their jobs as a result of the national lockdown in 2020.

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Under the initiative, individuals or employers can donate the premium contribution for their immediate support staff, such as domestic workers, drivers, helpers, caregivers, nurses, in their household or their establishment or any other eligible non-union worker in the 18 to 40 age bracket. , to provide them with old-age protection through the PM-SYM pension scheme.

The donor had to pay a minimum one-year contribution amounting to ₹660 and maximum up to ₹2,400, depending on the age of the recipient.

In the first month of its launch, only 100 employers donated pensions for domestic help, State Minister for Labor and Employment Rameswar Teli said in a written response to Rajya Sabha last month.

Under it, a worker pays a monthly contribution between ₹55 and ₹200 and a matching contribution is offered by the government. This entitles them to a monthly pension of ₹3,000 after reaching the age of 60.

Cumulative enrollment in the program as of May 25 stands at 4.67 million, much of it in the first and second year of launch.

The program, when it launched in March 2019, attracted 2.77 million subscribers. This figure increased to 4.36 million in the 2019-2020 financial year. However, registrations have slowed significantly since April 2020 after the pandemic. In 2020-21 there were only 130,000 registrations and 160,000 registrations in 2021-22.

India has about 370 million non-unionized workers.

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