With increasing longevity, the problem of old-age income security can no longer be ignored. Government had announced a defined contribution pension scheme for newly recruited Central Government employees which would also be extended to the unorganized sector. I am happy to inform the House that seven State Governments – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Manipur, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu – have introduced similar schemes for their employees. Other States have also evinced interest. An Ordinance was promulgated on December 29, 2004 to set up a Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). I propose to introduce a Bill to replace the Ordinance during this session.
Through the new scheme, it is proposed to offer a menu of investment choices to the subscriber and to provide a strong regulatory mechanism to ensure that the interests of subscribers are protected. I appeal to workers all over the country to join the new pension system.