social security scheme: government wants to make social security scheme more attractive for informal workers – Community News
Social Security

social security scheme: government wants to make social security scheme more attractive for informal workers

The government is looking to make its flagship social security system more attractive to informal workers by offering free accident coverage or by lowering the monthly contribution as new enrollments have fallen to an all-time low.

A top official said the government is considering several options to attract more informal workers to join the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PM-SYM) voluntary pension scheme.

“We are considering a number of incentives, while also increasing publicity to raise awareness about the scheme,” the official told ET.

“We are analyzing the near stagnation of registrations and we will do everything we can to increase the number as this is the flagship for disorganized workers,” the person said.

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Registrations under the scheme in the first five months of this fiscal year through August 31 were 16,531, or just 3,306 per month, down from an average of 10,843 registrations per month last fiscal year and 115,000 per month in FY20. The official said the recent drop in enrollment may be an impact of Covid-19.

Cumulatively, 4.51 million informal workers have joined the PM-SYM scheme since its launch in 2018-19. That’s just over 1% of the country’s total informal workforce, estimated at over 380 million.

PM-SYM is a voluntary contributory pension scheme targeting unorganized sector workers in the 18-40 age group and earning less than Rs 15,000 per month.

Under it, employees pay a monthly contribution of between Rs 55 and Rs 200 and a matching contribution is offered by the government. This entitles them to a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 once they reach the age of 60.

The government is hopeful that monthly registrations can reverse as the economy picks up and work in the industrial cities is well underway in the coming months.

The two waves of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 have affected the lives and livelihoods of millions of workers who were forced to return to rural India, either due to job losses or industrial shutdown following the Covid-19 outbreak.