PFRDA’s new proposal – Inclusion of gig workers in the pension scheme. Read the details here

Proposal for gig workers’ inclusion in pension

Inclusion of gig workers in the pension scheme

Pension payments come in handy after retirement, creating a stream of regular and guaranteed income. It is an added benefit for the salaried workforce who can contribute towards the pension scheme during active employment and then enjoy pension income after they retire.

The pension scheme in India is regulated by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The PFRDA constantly makes amendments to pension laws to keep them relevant in the changing economic scenario. Recently, PFRDA has proposed the inclusion of gig workers in pension schemes to cover about 90% of the workforce under the scheme. Inspired by the pension system in the UK, here’s what the regulator has proposed –

  • Gig workers in the food and cab aggregator businesses can be included automatically under the National Pension System (NPS).
  • Employers can deduct a part of the gig workers’ salary and credit the same to the NPS account on the workers’ behalf.
  • The Government can double the tax exemption on NPS subscriptions to make the scheme attractive for existing and potential subscribers.

Related - Find out the taxability of the employers' contribution to the NPS and EPF schemes

Why the new proposal?

The unorganised sector comprises about 90% of India’s workforce, and the numbers are expected to grow. As per estimates furnished by NITI Aayog, the number of gig workers is expected to jump 45% to reach 9.9 million by 2022-23.

The PFRDA has proposed a new proposal to allow social security schemes to gig workers who are otherwise alienated from the benefits. It is trying to imitate UK’s pension system, which mandates every employer to enroll its employee under the pension scheme. With the new proposal, the PFRDA aims to change the current law, which mandates employers with 20 or more employees to opt for the pension scheme.

About the PFRDA

The PFRDA is the apex regulator for pension schemes in India. Currently, it manages a total of $102 billion in assets. The regulator also regulates NPS investments which were introduced in 2004. It lays down the rules of pension fund management and oversees the laws and rules.

The road ahead

If the new proposal is accepted, it will become a rule and go towards gig workers' retirement planning. It would include a vast portion of the workforce under the pension scheme and help them have a financially secured retirement.

Related - Here's a look at the new PFRDA guidelines on NPS annuity payments after the annuitant's death

Here's a look at India's gig economy


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