Social Security Pensions

Introduction

Currently, persons above 60 years are eligible for a small pension under the Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme (IGNOAPS) sponsored by the Central Government. However this is limited to persons from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households. Only about one in every five persons over 60 years actually receives an old age pension. Further, the pension amounts are measly – as low as 200 rupees per month in states like Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Odisha, and not more than 1,000 rupees per month in any state.

The Right to Food Campaigns fully supports the demands of the Pension Parishad:

  • Universal: A universal, non-contributory old age pension entitlement to be established immediately. 
  • Living Wage: A minimum monthly pension of not less than 50% of the minimum wage or 2000 per month, whichever is higher.
  • Inflation Indexed: The pension should be indexed to inflation bi-annually and revised every two to three years similar to salaries/pensions of government employees.
  • Age Criteria: Any Indian citizen 55 years or older (50 years for women) should be eligible for the old age pension.
  • Vulnerable groups: For highly vulnerable groups - such as the Primitive Tribal Groups, Transgender, Sex Workers, People With Disabilities (PwDs), the eligibility age should be 45 years or fixed according to their particular circumstances.
  • Single-window: Establish a single window system for old age pensions.
  • Social Security Entitlements: The payment of pension should not be used to deny any other social security benefits such as subsidised food grains under the Public Distribution System (PDS).    

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