Social Security Current Affairs - 2019
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The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA) has announced that Atal Pension Yojana (APY) run by it has reached a subscriber base of 80 lakh and is growing at good pace. Uttar Pradesh is the highest contributing state at 11.41 lakh APY subscribers, followed by Bihar (8.87 lakh) and Tamil Nadu (6.60 lakh).
Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
APY became operational from June 1, 2015 with an aim to provide affordable universal access to essential social security protection to unorganized work force of country, which makes major chunk of labour force (88%). It had replaced Swavalamban scheme.
It is available to all citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years (thus minimum period of contribution by subscriber is 20 years). Under scheme, subscriber will receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs.1000 to Rs.5000 per month, depending on his contribution, from age of 60 years.
There is no exit to the scheme before the age of 60. In case of death of subscriber, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled for the same amount of pension till his or her death.
India was ranked last at 43rd position in 2017 Global Retirement Index (GRI) published by French asset management company Natixis Global.
The index ranks 43 countries on the basis of four factors viz. the material means to live comfortably in retirement (Material Well-being); access to quality health services (Health); access to quality financial services to help preserve savings value and maximize income (Finances) and a clean and safe environment (Quality of Life ).
The 43 countries include members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund (IMF) advanced economies and the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
Key Highlights of 2017 GRI
Top three countries in 2017 GRI are Norway, Switzerland and Iceland. India ranks 43rd and has the same score compared to 2016 GRI. India also ranks the lowest among the BRIC economies.
India’s rank in all sub-indices is also in the bottom five. India position in all sub-indices is Material Well-being (41st), Health (43rd), Finances (39th) and Quality of Life (43rd).
India has the lowest income per capita of all countries in the GRI. Additionally, its score for the income equality indicator has declined compared to 2016 GRI. It has the lowest scores for all indicators within the sub-index including in insured health expenditure compared to 2016 GRI.
India ranks first in old-age dependency, second in tax pressure and sixth in interest rates. Interms of governance indicator India ranks as the fifth worst among all countries in the GRI. It also has the tenth-lowest score for the bank non-performing loans indicator. India ranked last in the Quality of Life sub-index.
India’s environmental factors indicator has improved due to progress in CO2 emissions per GDP. But it still ranks in bottom for happiness, water and sanitation, and air quality as well as scores second-worst for biodiversity and habitat among all GRI countries.