Universal Pension Scheme
Staff Correspondent: While expatriates are at the bottom in terms of enrollment in the Universal Pension Scheme, they are at the top in terms of average contributions per capita. Besides, in terms of registration, the employees of private organizations are in the top place, however, they are in the third place in terms of average contribution per capita. In second place are the people working in the informal sector or self-employed.
The Government has introduced Universal Pension with four schemes — Pragati, Surokkha, Samata and Prabashi. In the beginning, positive responses are getting from the countrymen. More than 8500 people completed the registration process and paid the subscription in the first week. The amount of subscriptions they have submitted is around Tk 4.5 crore.
Employees of private organizations are the most on the list to complete the registration process and pay the subscription installments.
More than half of the total number of people who have completed registration and paid subscriptions are private-sector employees.
Expatriates, on the other hand, completed the least registration. However, among those who have completed the registration process, expatriates are at the top of the list over a single contribution. In the first week, the expatriates who completed the registration process and paid the subscription, the average subscription amount submitted was Tk 20,000.
Naturally, given the average contribution per capita, those living below the poverty line are at the bottom. In the scheme launched for them, the average contribution per person is Tk 1,444.
However, in all the schemes, the average contribution amount is more than the monthly maximum contribution. This is because for all the schemes the option of paying the installments of the subscription is kept on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis as per the choice of the subscriber. Besides, there is an opportunity to pay an advance subscription. Due to this, the average monthly subscription amount is higher than the maximum monthly subscription rate.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the Universal Pension Scheme on August 17. After that, the applications for Pragati, Surokkha, Samata and Prabashi schemes started.
Countrymen’s response after launching Universal Pension Scheme
After the inauguration, 1,700 people completed the registration and paid the subscription on the first day. They submitted a contribution of around Tk 90 lakh. In the next two days, more than 2,500 people completed the entire application process by paying the subscription. In this, the number of registered and paid subscriptions in the first three days of the Universal Pension Scheme is 4,390 people and the amount of subscription they submitted is Tk 2,15,59,000.
In the next five days, another 4,390 people completed the registration and paid the subscription. A total of 8,551 people have paid the subscription till last Thursday (August 24) – the amount of contribution they submitted is Tk 4,39,25,000.
Out of this, 4,519 people have registered and paid the subscription in the ‘Pragati’ scheme launched for the employees of private organizations. The amount of contribution they submitted is Tk 2,49,49,000. That is, the average contribution per person is Tk 5,521. The monthly subscription rate in this scheme is a minimum of Tk 2000 and a maximum of Tk 5000.
The ‘Surokkha’ scheme has been introduced for people working in the informal sector or self-employed such as farmers, rickshaw pullers, labourers, blacksmiths, potters, fishermen, weavers, etc – where 2,907 people have accepted this scheme and paid the subscription. The amount of subscription submitted by them is Tk 2,33,56,500. That is, the amount of contribution per person is Tk 8,034. The monthly subscription rate in this scheme is a minimum of Tk 1000 and a maximum of Tk 5000.
The ‘Samata’ scheme has been launched for those whose current income limit is a maximum of Tk 60,000 per annum – 910 people have subscribed to this scheme. The amount of contribution they submitted is Tk 13.14. That is, the average contribution per person is Tk 1,444. The monthly subscription rate of this scheme is Tk 1,000. Out of this, the scheme recipient will contribute Tk 500 and the remaining Tk 500 will be paid by the Government.
Besides, 215 people have contributed to the ‘Prabashi’ scheme. The amount of contribution they submitted is Tk 43,05,000. The average contribution amount per person is Tk 20,000. The monthly subscription rate in this scheme is a minimum of Tk 5000 and a maximum of Tk 10000.
Beneficiary’s benefits in the Universal Pension Scheme
In the Universal Pension Scheme, a beneficiary aged 18-50 years will enjoy lifetime pension benefits up to the age of 60 years and a beneficiary above 50 years will enjoy a lifetime pension with a minimum contribution of 10 years. If the pensioner dies before attaining the age of 75 while on pension, the nominee of the pensioner will receive the pension for the remaining period of the age of 75 years of the recipient of the pension scheme.
If the contributor dies at least 10 years before the contribution is made, the deposited money will be returned to the nominee along with the profit.
Only a maximum of 50 percent of the amount deposited by the subscriber can be withdrawn as a loan, subject to the application of the subscriber. The contributions earmarked for pension are treated as investments and are eligible for tax concessions. Besides, the monthly pension will be free from income tax.
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