The National Pension Scheme (NPS) for traders, shopkeepers and self-employed has failed to make an impact, a senior Labour Ministry official has said.
Latest data shows total enrolment at 42,207, which was around 34,000 in February. The scheme was launched on September 12, 2019.
“We are not seeing interest from traders, self employed etc for the scheme,” the official told BusinessLine. He said there could be many reasons for this, including high yield options such as stock market or even small savings, availability of benefit after attaining age of 60 and small pension amount. “For a youth of 25 today, the pension amount of ₹3,000 at the age of 60 may not be of use for him,” he explained.
Features of scheme
The scheme is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme. The traders in the age group of 18-40 with an annual turnover not exceeding ₹1.5 crore and who are not members of EPFO/ESIC/NPS/PM-SYM or income tax payers, can join the scheme. The applicants will have to make monthly contributions of ₹55-200 a month until the age of 60.
Under the scheme, 50 per cent monthly contribution is payable by the beneficiary and equal contribution is matched by the Centre. On attaining the age of 60, subscribers are eligible for a monthly minimum assured pension of ₹3,000. Eligible persons can enroll in the scheme through the network of 3.50 lakh common service centres across the country. In addition, they can self-enroll through the portal www.maandhan.in.
This scheme is meant for old age protection and social security of small-scale traders and retailers. Vyaparis, who are self-employed and working as shop owners, retail traders, rice mill owners, oil mill owners, workshop owners, commission agents, brokers of real estate, owners of small hotels, restaurants and other Vyaparis with similar occupations and certain turnover threshold are eligible beneficiaries.
If the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary will be entitled to receive 50 per cen of the pension as family pension.