Universal pension system to be announced
Zarif Mahmud: The government has taken initiative to announce the complete outline of universal pension. The outline will be announced in the budget of the next 2022-23 fiscal year, said the source.
Meanwhile, the finance department has prepared a roadmap for the implementation of the universal pension program. It has been said that the pilot activities of this program will be started in the last quarter of the next financial year. Eligible citizens of the country will be able to open an account for pension at the beginning of the next financial year.
According to sources in the finance department, work is underway to start a pilot scheme for universal pension from next March, according to the roadmap. In the meantime, the opinion of the concerned ministries is being collected by drafting a law to form an authority in this regard. The draft was finalized at an inter-ministerial meeting chaired by senior finance secretary Abdur Rauf Talukder recently. An official of the finance department said that the draft law would be presented to the cabinet for approval this month.
If approved there, it will be passed in the form of a bill in the budget session of the Parliament. The finance ministry plans to form the authority soon after the bill is passed.
Immediately after this, skilled and technically knowledgeable manpower will be recruited who will make universal pension products by next January-February. That is, the citizens will decide how much money they can deposit for how long, what benefits they will get against the deposit, what will be the deposit system of the poor people, how much maximum deposit can be made etc. For this universal pension rules will be formulated.
The official said that at the moment the government is giving the most importance to two issues. One of which is to deal with the effects of the Ukraine war. The other is to introduce universal pension system in full force from July next year before the parliamentary elections.
The inter-ministerial meeting chaired by the finance secretary raised a number of questions from different ministries. An official wants to know from the finance secretary, what will be the pension system if a citizen joins the government service at the age of 24 after being included in the universal pension system at the age of 18? Will he be included in the existing government pension system, or will he remain in the universal pension system?
If he is included in the government pension system, what will be the contribution made in six years under the universal pension system? The finance secretary informed the meeting that the pension will be introduced after clearing everything. Significant aspects of the proposed pension system: All able-bodied citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 can participate in this system. Bangladeshi workers working abroad can also be included in it. Employees of government and autonomous organizations have been kept out of the system for the time being.
The government will take necessary decision in this regard in future. Anyone who pays a subscription for at least 10 consecutive years will be eligible for a monthly pension.
An approximate calculation of the proposed universal pension system: The Department of Finance has provided an approximate calculation of pension benefits. It says, let’s say a person from the age of 18 to the age of 60 regularly contributes one thousand rupees per month to the pension scheme.
If the interest rate of this fund is 10 per cent and the gratuity is 6 per cent, then he will get the amount. If a person starts contributing from the age of 30 and other conditions remain unchanged, he will get a monthly pension of Tk 18,908. The higher the amount of subscription, the more the pension benefit will increase proportionately.
Sources said that the finance department is working on how to simplify the proposed universal pension system.
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