The Global Pension Index 2021 that placed India’s pension system towards the end was “not based on reliable comparable international data”, the Centre told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The Global Pension Index, published by asset management company Mercer Consulting in October, had placed India’s pension system at 40 among 43 countries, reported The Economic Times. Mercer Consulting publishes the index on pension system around the world every year based on over 50 indicators.
India’s overall index value based on three indices – adequacy, sustainability and integrity – was 43.3. Thailand scored 84.2 and was at the top of the list.
In reply to a question, the Ministry of Labour and Employment said that the report did not recognise “every aspects of pension system prevailing in a country”.
On measures taken by the government to bring the unorganised sector under the prevailing pension system and provide them social security, the ministry said that India has enacted the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.
It also listed two pension schemes provided by the government – the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Pension Scheme for the unorganised workers and the National Pension Scheme for Traders, Shopkeepers and Self-employed Persons. The ministry said it was covering farmers through Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-dhan Yojana.
“Apart from this, the government of India is also providing pension benefits to the eligible old aged, widowed, disabled persons and bereaved households under National Social Assistance Programme where State Governments also co-contribute,” it said.
The ministry added that it was providing health and maternity benefits through Ayushman Bharat-Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and Life and disability cover is provided through Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Surksha Bima Yojana.
In the Global Pension Index, India had scored 33.5 in adequacy, 41.8 in sustainability and 61 in integrity.
The adequacy sub-index shows the adequacy of the benefits being provided and the sustainability sub-index represents the likelihood that the current pension system was able to provide benefits in the future. The integrity sub-index includes legislative requirements that influence the overall governance and operations of the pension system that affect the level of confidence the citizens have in the system.
The report said that India’s workforce manages its pension savings on its own for the most part as the arrangement for private pension coverage was just about 6% in the country. It said that India needs to take steps to bring a larger workforce under its pension system as over 90% of the country’s workforce was in the unorganised sector.