International Comparative Analysis of Case Studies on Pension Reforms to the Informal Workers

Authors : Manju Vani,Amita Danda.

Volume/Issue : Volume 3 - 2018, Issue 2 - February

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Until recently, legislations specifically were enacted depending upon the number and type of employment in which informal workers are engaged, offering only a piece-meal solution to these small segments of workers in each employment. The Pension reforms of the UK in 2008 has brought a tremendous change in the overall thinking about pensions to the casual workers for the first time. The provisions of which introduced a “work-place-pension” policy to the informal work-force. The reform required every employer to contribute to the retirement account of every worker he employs to work in his establishment however, small and limited it may be. This means that every informal worker is assured of a certain contribution from his employer equal to his contribution as per the norms of the scheme. The scheme thus came into effect in the name of the ‘National Employment Savings Trust’ or simply the NEST. Almost, five million informal workers were enrolled in the scheme and many more are being brought into its ambit since its inception. The Indian experience tells us about a similar scheme that was introduced for a span lasting for four years called, ‘Swavalambhan’ – first launched in the State of Karnataka and then brought into effect nation-wide in India. There were some four million subscribers to the scheme and the informal workers participated to a large extent. The scheme offered contributions of equal amounts to that of the informal workers up to a limit of Rupees Twelve Thousand per annum. With the change of political leadership in the nation, the scheme came to a close. A comparative advantage lies with the UK as the NEST scheme is still operational and functioning giving no scope to any interrupting influence, whatsoever. This paper presents the case studies of informal workers and draws analysis comparing recent pension reforms in the United Kingdom of England, India and for that matter other nations too depending upon the data collected. The nations in question evolved new initiatives to include informal workers into the pension equations. The only difference is that the UK has progressed and India on the other hand, has to re-think the pension policy to the informal workers that consists of over seven hundred millions as a whole. The task of enrolling them for job-cards may on the face of it seem quite impossible. However, it will be much easier to achieve if, those who already are in possession of job-cards in a government scheme are considered on a priority basis. The MGNREG Scheme is one such avenue, where there are over five hundred million rural wage-seekers enrolled and seek work under the scheme on demand-basis. There are roughly sixty million active informal workers registered under the scheme who should be considered for a work-place pension of contributory nature apart from considering the workforce in other establishments including government and nongovernment. The Case Studies in this paper reflect the willingness of these informal workers in India and the Case Study of the UK tells us about the apprehensions for not getting enrolled in the ensuing NEST scheme besides other.

Keywords : international-comparative-analysis-of-case-studies-on-pension-reforms-to-the-informal-workers


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