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Dhaka Tribune

54,000 join Universal Pension Scheme in 8 months

  • Tk43.62 cores have been deposited in government funds
  • 598 people have been enrolled under migration scheme
Update : 16 Apr 2024, 08:33 PM

The number of enrollments in the Universal Pension Scheme (UPS) is growing slowly, with around 54,000 people have joined the scheme in eight months.

Golam Mostofa, a member of the National Pension Authority (NPA) and additional secretary of the Ministry of Finance, confirmed this to media on Tuesday.

He said around Tk43.62 cores have been deposited in government funds through participation in four schemes.

“Out of which, 598 people have been enrolled under migration scheme Probash, 11,105 people to the Progoti, 16,376 people to the Surakkha and 26,580 people to the Samata scheme,” he pointed out.

Among these schemes is “Probash” for Expatriate Bangladeshi Citizens. Any Bangladeshi citizen working or staying abroad can participate in this scheme by paying the prescribed rate of contribution in foreign currency.

“The way people are participating, very soon that number will go to lakhs. It was slow for a while in between, but now people's interest and participation have increased. Hopefully, this momentum will continue. We are holding a pension fair for the campaign,” Mostofa said.

According to the pension rules, in the universal pension system, the more money is deposited, the more pension will be given at the end of the term.

On the other hand, this initiative will not divert the low-income people either. For those who will deposit Tk500 monthly, there will be another Tk500 subsidy from the government from the beginning. All in all, there is an additional multifold profit for everyone at the end of the specified period.

Despite attractive return scope after the specific tenure, people are enrolling in very slow space due to a lack of trust in the funds returning, said economists and sector insiders.

In this regard, Golam Mustafa said that the NPA is very much conscious of protecting people's deposits. The government can not take any loan from this fund.

“Rather, we invest in treasury bills and bonds so that the income in the investment in bills and bonds is guaranteed. As a result, there will be no apprehension among people about this fund,” he said.

For the first time in its history, Bangladesh on August 17, 2023, entered the era of a much-hyped uniform pension scheme. The initiative is meant for the entire population of the country aged above 18, who will start enjoying lifetime pension facilities upon turning age at 60 years old.

Economists say that a large portion of the population of the country is still not aware of this financial protection. This is why the NPA wants to make it easier for expatriates to participate. Besides, attractive initiatives are being taken to promote UPS among the people of the country.

Economist Dr ABM Mirza Azizul Islam said that due to lack of trust among the people and lack of institutional good governance are to blame for this poor response to the pension scheme.

He said people are still not aware of where the pension scheme money will be invested, how it will be profited from here or what will be if there is a loss.

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