New Delhi, Feb. 10;
All unorganised sector workers up to 40 years of age can subscribe to the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan (PMSYM) scheme, which entails a minimum monthly pension of Rs 3,000, from February 15, a Labour Ministry notification said. The monthly contribution by the worker joining the scheme would be Rs 55, with matching contributions from the government.
The scheme will cover unorganised workers who are working or engaged as home based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless labourers, agricultural workers, construction workers, among others.
However, informal workers will not be eligible for the scheme if they are covered under the National Pension Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation Scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Scheme. Workers who are income-tax assessees are also not be eligible. The scheme, announced by Finance Minister Piyush Goyal in the Budget for 2019-20, is targeted at unorganised sector workers with monthly income of up to Rs 15,000.
Goyal had said it would benefit 10 crore workers in the next five years.
The scheme would provide them an assured pension of Rs 3,000 from the age of 60 years on a monthly contribution of a small amount during their working life. The contributions would rise at higher age. The worker joining the scheme at the age of 40 years would contribute Rs 200, while workers at the age of 29 years would pay Rs 100. The unorganised sector worker who wishes to join the scheme shall be not less than 18 years of age and not exceeding 40 years, the notification said. The worker should also have a savings bank account in his/her name and an Aadhaar number.
The scheme has been brought under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008. The Central government will establish a pension fund to be administered for this scheme.
The scheme also provides that if a subscriber has given regular contributions an died due to any cause, his spouse shall be entitled to continue with the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution.
The spouse can also exit the scheme by receiving the share of contribution paid by deceased subscriber along with accumulated interest.
In case of permanent disablement of a subscriber, his or her spouse will be entitled to continue with the scheme or exit by receiving the share of contribution, with interest.
In case of death of a pensioner, his or her spouse shall be only entitled to receive 50 per cent of the pension.