Nearly 44 percent of the Atal Pension Yojana subscribers (APY) are now women. However, the share of women subscribers under the National Pension System’s (NPS) all-citizen-model, is much lower at 24 percent, with male workers (76 percent) dominating the space, according to the Economic Survey 2022-23 released on January 31.
This points to a better gender balance under APY, the Economic Survey noted, citing Pension Funds Regulatory and Development Authority of India (PFRDA) data. In 2016-17, women subscribers made up 38 percent of the APY base, indicating growth at a faster clip.
APY, a defined pension scheme, was introduced in 2015 for providing financial security beyond working years to unorganised sector workers. NPS’ all-citizen model allows individuals to contribute voluntarily towards building a retirement corpus and creating a pension income stream during their retirement years.
The age profile of the subscribers in the APY scheme suggests that the enrollment of younger workers is growing. As of August 2022, 44.8 percent of subscribers were between 18 and 25 years of age, as compared to 29.3 percent in March 2016. Among various states, enrollment from Maharashtra was the highest, as it accounted for 17 percent.
The coverage of the population in pension under NPS and APY as a share of the total population has risen from 1.2 percent to 3.7 percent during the six financial years. “Assets as a proportion of GDP have increased from 1.2 percent to 3.2 percent, reflecting that the pension sector is progressing much faster than the nominal growth of the economy and population,” the survey stated.
The number of pension subscribers has multiplied over three-fold, led by APY, with the assets under management (AUM) growing over four-fold, led by NPS, between the financial year 2017-18 to 2021-22.
“The future expansion in NPS is expected to emanate from the private sector, both the salaried and self-employed. Steps towards enhanced pension literacy, both of the subscribers and the intermediaries, coupled with a nudge from the regulator and the government, along with encouragement to young adults to join a pension scheme, would accelerate the movement towards a pensioned society,” the Economic Survey stated.