Social Protection Brief: Supporting Pension Reforms in India
Two ADB technical assistance projects helped improve the sustainability of pension schemes in selected states in India, and extend social protection to workers not covered by the defined benefit pension system.
In 2004, the government took the first steps toward establishing a self-sustaining and broad-based pension system for India. This new system is a defined-contribution, individual accounts-based pension program mandatory for civil servants.
- Pension reform was driven by the need to establish a self-sustaining broad-based pension system to mitigate the Government of India’s unfunded pension liabilities under the defined benefit system.
- The technical assistance (TA) projects of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported selected states in the measurement and reform of civil service pensions. The projects were implemented through stakeholder consultations to raise awareness and encourage mass workers’ voluntary participation in the new pension system, capacity building, and field testing new products.
- The new National Pension System (NPS) also extended social protection coverage to all Indian citizens, including informal sector workers who were previously not covered.