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Jaitley calls for a greater need to evolve into pensioned society

K.R.Srivats New Delhi | Updated on February 28, 2018 Published on February 28, 2018

File Photo of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.   -  BusinessLine

The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday stressed the need for India to take "larger march" towards becoming a pensioned society, stating that the current expansion was only in the form of "baby steps".

"Given the social changes that are taking place before us, there is a great need for India to evolve into a pensioned and insurance society", Jaitley said at the PFRDA's fourth pension conference in the capital.

Jaitley noted that age expectancy was going up in India, family structures were undergoing a change and people were moving across cities in search of vocation.

The theme of the conference was "Creating an inclusive and sustainable pension system in India: Opportunities and Challenges".

On the occasion, Jaitley launched "Pension Sanchay"--a financial literacy and pension planning website. He also released two reports--a CRISIL Research report on Financial Inclusion and PFRDA-CRISIL joint report on pension coverage.

On National Pension System (NPS), Jaitley said that the "experience" has been positive and so has been the returns, which has been attractive.

"As society has evolved and the meaning of social security has changed, pension here plays a vital role for making the life of people more secure socially", Jaitley said.

He said that India was still far away in pension development. "if we don't catch up with accordance of requirements of society, large section of senior citizens may get diverted into dependency", Jaitley said.

Meanwhile, PFRDA Chairman Hemant Contractor in his address suggested that Government should allow automatic enrolment for pension in the case of employees of small and medium businesses that are now registered with GSTN for GST implementation.

Thanks to GST, many informal businesses are now getting formalised and there is scope for auto-enrolment to pension for employees in these firms, Contractor noted.

"I have written directly to the Finance Minister requesting that auto enrolment be allowed for the small firms. This will help expand pension coverage", Contractor later told Business Line.

Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 28, 2018

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