Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maandhan is a government scheme meant for old age protection and the social security of unorganized workers.

Unorganized Workers (UW) are mostly engaged as rickshaw pullers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washermen, home-based workers, own-account workers, agricultural workers, construction workers, beedi workers, handloom workers, leather workers, audio-visual workers or in similar other occupations. There are an estimated 42 crore, such unorganized workers, in the country.

Eligibility: Anyone working in the informal sector whose monthly income is 15,000 or less and belongs to the age group of 18-40 years, is eligible to enroll in the scheme. The subscriber should not be paying any income tax or be covered by any other schemes like the National Pension Scheme, the Employees’ State Insurance Corp scheme, or the Employees’ Provident Fund scheme.

Features: PM-SYM is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme on a 50:50 basis where a prescribed age-specific contribution shall be made by the beneficiary and a matching contribution by the central government.

Each subscriber under this scheme will receive a minimum assured pension of 3,000 per month once they turn 60. If the subscriber dies before the age of 60, his or her spouse will get a chance to continue the scheme.

How to enroll

Eligible subscribers can enroll by visiting their nearest common service centers (CSCs). The list of common service centers is available in LIC of India, A savings bank account or Jan Dhan account and an Aadhaar card are needed to open this pension account. Enrollment services are provided at more than 3 lakh CSCs across the country.

Exit provisions:

a) If a subscriber exits the scheme within a period of fewer than 10 years, the beneficiary’s share of contribution only will be returned to him with a savings bank interest rate.

b) If a subscriber exits after 10 years or more but before turning 60, the beneficiary’s share of contribution along with accumulated interest as actually earned by the fund or at the savings bank interest rate whichever is higher, will be returned.

How does it work?

The monthly contribution by a worker joining the scheme at the age of 18, will be 55, with matching contributions from the government. The contributions will rise with higher age. The contribution amount for the first month shall be paid in cash for which subscribers will be provided with a receipt. CSCs also issue cards having unique ID numbers to all those who register for the scheme.