Govt to streamline contributory pension scheme for self-employed
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): The Government will amend the Sri Lanka Social Security Board Act to streamline contributory pension scheme for self- employed persons specially farmers and fishermen.
State Minister of Social Empowerment Anupa Pasqual said that he has submitted a proposal to the finance ministry to amend the Act and devise the scheme in consultation with the Labour Ministry.
The contributory pension scheme for self-employed who are not members of the existing social security schemes is to be presented in parliament soon, he divulged.
Existing social security and pension schemes are to be expanded ensuring better social protection for self-employed persons countrywide, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe said.
He noted that a decision has been taken to restructure the Sri Lanka Social Security Board and devise a necessary plan and methodology to expand and extend the existing social security scheme enrolling more self-employed.
The Social Security Board is to be transformed into an institution that is not a burden to the Treasury and provides more services to the people by introducing novel and innovative income generating schemes.
All persons who are not entitled to receive pension or are not holding pensionable jobs are eligible to enroll in these schemes.
There are also contributory pension schemes for the informal sector workers which include the Farmers Pension and Social Security Benefit Scheme (FMPS), Fishermen’s Pension and Social Security Benefit Scheme (FSHPS) and the Self-employed Persons Pension Scheme (SPPS).
Meanwhile due to the absence of a system for granting pensions for 64,117 Fishermen who had contributed to the Fishermen’s Pension and Social Security Benefit Scheme when they reached the age of 60.
Fishermen’s Pension Benefit had not been granted to the 22,402 fishermen out of 27,976 people who had contributed to the scheme as of 31 December of the year 2022 under review and reached the retirement age by exceeding age of 60.Auditor Generals latest report revealed.
Payment of Rs.6 million of Pension arrears for 137 fishermen who have applied for pension in respect of the period from January 2009 to December 2016 and 83 fishermen who have applied for pension in the year 2022 had been delay from 01month to 07 years after completing 60years of age.
Farmers Pension and Social Security Benefit Scheme has also failed yo make pension payments properly to farmers.
Administrative expenses received from the Treasury have been credited to the bank account of the Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Scheme Rs.190 million received from Treasury for administrative expenses of Farmers
Pension Fund during the year 2022 under review was not credited to the bank account of Farmers Pension Fund and had been credited to the bank account of Agriculture and Agrarian Insurance Scheme.
871,425 contributors are registered in the existing data system and pension benefits had not been paid for 246,531 contributors out of 439,025 contributors who have completed 60 years of age as on 31 December 2022.