The Universal Pension Management Bill, 2023 was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) Tuesday aiming to include citizens aged between 18 and 50 in a pension scheme.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal moved the bill in the House which was unanimously passed by voice votes with Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
Opposition lawmakers Fakhrul Imam of Mymensingh-8, Mujibul Huque of Kishorganj-4, Rawshan Ara Mannan of women seat-47, Shamim Haider Patwary of Gaibandha-1, Pir Fazlur Rahman of Sunamganj-4, Kazi Firoz Rashid of Dhaka-6, Gano Forum lawmaker Mokabbir Khan of Sylhet-1 and independent lawmaker Rezaul Karim Bablu of Bogura-7 opposed the bill and asked for seeking further public review on the bill.
The proposed law had not discussed how many amount of money will be contributed by the government to the depositor, said the opposition lawmakers.
According to the bill, "Every citizen at the age of 60 will get Taka 34,000 monthly, after monthly deposit of Taka 500 from the age between 18 and 50 and when they deposit Taka 1000 will get monthly Taka 64,000."
Placing the bill, the finance minister said the bill has been elaborately discussed at the parliamentary standing committee and then the minister rejected the proposal of seeking public review.
The Finance Division prepared the draft of the bill, which seeks to provide financial security to the growing elderly population in case of unemployment, disease, paralysis or penury.
According to the bill, expatriate Bangladeshis can also avail themselves of the benefit. They can get registered under the scheme.
The inclusion in this pension scheme will be voluntary unless the government issues a gazette for making it compulsory.
A person will have to pay premium for at least 10 years to get pension from the age of 60 until death. The amount of premium will be determined by a rule to be formulated under the proposed law.
If an elderly person dies before the age of 75, the nominee will get the pension for the remaining period.
There will be a five-member national pension authority, headed by a chairman. The government will appoint the chairman and the other four members.
As per the bill, there will also be a 15-member governing body with the finance minister in the chair. It will include, among others, the Bangladesh Bank governor, the finance secretary, the National Board of Revenue chairman and the Bangladesh Employers' Federation president.
The governing body will hold at least three meetings per year.