The company has tied up with SEWA Bank and 25,000 members of the institution have joined the pension scheme.

Our Bureau

Ahmedabad, April 13

The unorganised sector workers now have an option to invest their savings in a pension plan. UTI Asset Management Company Ltd, better known as UTI Mutual Fund, has announced a pension plan for members of micro finance institutions across the country.

The plan, which is basically a modified form of the company's existing UTI Retirement Benefit Pension Fund, was launched by the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, here on Wednesday.

UTI MF has tied up with the Shree Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Ltd (SEWA Bank) and 25,000 members of the institution have joined the pension scheme.

Expressing happiness at the bold decision taken by members of SEWA, Mr Chidambaram took a dig at government servants, saying that while the common women of Gujarat had reposed faith in the market by trusting their earnings with UTI Mutual Fund, bureaucrats have been insisting that their defined contribution pension accruals should be invested only in Government securities.

"This shows that perhaps common sense is better than education," the Finance Minister quipped.

Following SEWA Bank, at least 30 micro finance institutions have committed to enrol their members in the scheme.

"We expect another 25,000 SEWA members to join within this month. By the end of the year, we hope to have at least 10 lakh members, each contributing an average of Rs 100 per month to the scheme," the UTI MF Chairman and Managing Director, Mr U.K. Sinha, told

Business Line

here.

"While we do not hope to make any money from the small investors, we feel that the scheme will have a demonstration effect and attract large numbers of middle-income individuals into our fold.

As the pension law is still some time away, we feel that our existing scheme is a good avenue for pension planning," Mr Sinha said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 14, 2006)
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