New Delhi: In 2022, a total of 5,65, 500 new subscribers joined the New Pension Scheme (NPS) across the country. The corresponding figure for 2021 stood at 6,19,835. In comparison to 2021, the 2022 figure fell by 8.8%, according to Business Standard.
Given that NPS is now mandatory for all central government jobs and also compulsory for government jobs in most states, analysts say the above figures reflect the employment creation in the public sector. As a corollary, the employment generation in the public sector fell in 2022 by 8.8% vis-a-vis the preceding year. However, the above figure should only be seen as a broad trend rather than as a precise figure given that the Opposition-ruled states of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Punjab recently rejected the NPS and moved back to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS).
The share of young subscribers (18-28 years) of the NPS under the central government in 2022 declined to 65.2% from 67.8% in 2021. In absolute figures, the number fell from 83,889 in 2021 to 76,895 in 2022. On the other hand, the total number of new subscribers in 2022 under the central government stood at 1,18,020, which again is a lower figure compared to 1,23,665 in 2021.
The number of new female young subscribers, however, saw a slight jump of 2 percentage points to 21.2% in 2022 compared to 2021. Meanwhile, the share of new young male subscribers of NPS came down marginally from 78.9% to 78.6% in the last year.
As for public sector jobs created by states, where NPS is in force, the total number of new subscribers in 2022 stood at 4,47,480. Youth (18-28 age group) accounted only for 33.3% of the total new subscribers, which is a 2 percentage point jump from the previous year’s figure. However, young women obtained 35.4% of jobs in 2022 in comparison to 37.1% in 2021.
In force since 2004, the NPS is funded by equal contributions from both the subscriber and the employer. It is applicable for all public sector jobs except in the case of armed forces. As it is mandatory for government employees, analysts say it can be used as a proxy to draw up the estimates of public sector jobs being created every year. The NPS is managed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
Starting from April 2018, the National Statistical Office has been releasing monthly NPS subscriber data in addition to data on the Employees’ Provident Fund payroll and Employees’ State Insurance Scheme. These datasets together help track employment generation in the public sector as well as the formal jobs in the private sector.
According to the available data, a total of 5,52,510 jobs were created by the central government between 2018 and 2022. A lion’s share of them (65.9%) had gone to the youth. In states, where NPS is in force, a total of 2.4 million new jobs were created in the same time period. Youth bagged 856,978 jobs (36.2%) of the total jobs created by the states.
On the other hand, a previous report published by Business Standard had revealed that the number of youth (18-25 age group) in formal jobs rose to 56% in 2022 from 50.9% in 2018, which is the highest in the last five years. The figure was worked out based on the data available from the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, which covers formal jobs in the private sector.