Country fact sheet

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  • Basic country data

  • Population over 60 in 2010:
  • 91,651,857 (8%)
  • Projected population over 60 in 2050:
  • 358,219,652 (22%)
  • Poverty rate of total population:
  • 42%
  • Income of country:
  • Lower middle income
  • Social pension?
  • Yes
  • Scheme information

  • Scheme information: Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme
  • Year introduced:
  • 1995 (2007 in current form)
  • Monthly pension benefit:
  • 200 Rupees (3 US$)
  • 2.20 % of average income
  • 20 % of international poverty line
  • Age of eligiblity:
  • 60.0
  • Targeting:
  • Means-tested
  • % of population over 60 covered:
  • 18%
  • Total cost:
  • 0.04% of GDP

Consensus on a universal pension linked to inflation reached

In March 2013, following protests by the Pensions Parishad, the Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh announced that he had been authorised by the Prime Minister to negotiate a consensus on an expanded social pension scheme.

Speaking to the crowd he announced that there was support for a universal pension, saying

"The most important issue we have agreed on it that everyone should get a pension and the APL/BPL [above and below the poverty line categories] distinction should be done away with."

With the second largest population of older people in the world, a universal social pension in India would constitute a significant step forward for income security for older people.

Calls for a universal pension intensify

Calls for a universal pension have intensified in India recently. In this video Nikhil Dey talks about why the Pensions Parishad has been campaigning for universal coverage of pensions in India. Here, BPL/APL refers to the current practice of targeting the social pension to those identified as below the poverty line (BPL) and excluding those identified as above the poverty line (APL).

Calls for a universal pension continue in India, as this news report on a recent protest in Delhi from NDTV shows. The report includes an interview with Nikhil Dey who reiterates the need for a universal pension in India.


Resources on the pension in India

Pension calculator

Calculate the cost of a universal social pension in India.

Visit the Pension Calculator