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Govt mulls universal pension

Published : Thursday, 7 June, 2018 at 9:31 PM  Count : 1125

Govt mulls universal pension

Govt mulls universal pension

The government wants to introduce a universal pension scheme for all working people engaged in private sector to cascade down the benefits of economic growth to everyone and cut down social discrimination, said the Finance Minster AMA Muhith on Thursday.

Outlining the pension scheme in the budget speech, the Finance Minister in parliament said under the proposed arrangement, an employee will subscribe a specific amount to the pension fund having registered his name in the government administered pension scheme.

Noting that the appointing authorities will also deposit a specific amount into the employee’s pension account, he said following its earlier commitment, the government will deposit a specific amount into the pension fund in the cases of ultra-poor workers.

The fund thus constituted will be invested and the income generated there will be accumulated here, he added.

However, Muhith said, introduction of a universal pension scheme calls for fundamental structural reforms, which will take time and entail huge cost.

Pensioners of the public sector constitute the smallest portion of the elderly population of the country. Currently, a total of 7-8 lakh families of retired government employees and several private organisations get pensions, he said, adding that a total of 35 lakh elderly poor people, in addition to government pensioners, are getting old-age allowance of Tk 400 per month each, BSS reports.

This number represents only a quarter of the total elderly population.

However, the amount is not sufficient for a decent living.

Observing that following the normal demographic trend, the proportion of elderly population will also increase in the country, the Finance Minister said it will then be difficult to support them through budget transfers while the government is firmly committed to cascade down the benefits of economic growth to everyone, and reduce income inequality and social discrimination.

He said it is necessary to work out appropriate policy-strategy and action plan and put in place technical capacity to bring equity and consistency between the pension awarded to the public sector employees and the working people engaged in private sector both at formal and non-formal outfits.

“We have a plan to introduce this system on pilot basis,” he added.

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