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NEW DELHI: pinBox, a global pensionTech, in collaboration with the non-profit microPension Foundation, and HDFC Pension have developed a digital platform named Gift-a-Pension. Employers can use this platform to educate and assist their domestic helps in setting up an integrated micro-pension and micro-insurance account within a few minutes.

“The International Labour Organisation estimates that roughly 70 million people in India are employed as cooks, maids, drivers, security guards, gardeners and errand staff. Traditionally regarded as an “invisible" workforce, domestic workers often lack access to basic forms of social protection such as pensions and insurance, and face the grim prospect of extreme poverty for over 20 years once they are old age to work," as per a press statement.

How it works

Simple videos and calculators on the Gift-a-Pension website can be used to explain concepts, product features and processes to home help. Employers can then use WhatsApp on their mobiles to help activate a digital NPS account, along with insurance benefits, for their domestic helps. A Gift-a-Pension account is fully portable and stays with the domestic worker regardless of where she lives or works over time.

Most employers are electing to regularly put some money into the NPS accounts of their home help. Both employers and domestic workers are free to decide the frequency and amount that they wish to contribute. Savings can be transferred into an NPS account within seconds – using any UPI app such as WhatsApp Pay, BHIM, GooglePay, PhonePe, Paytm, etc. The pinBox multilingual helpline provides ongoing information and assistance to both domestic help and their employers, as per the release.

Sumit Shukla, CEO, HDFC Pension, said, “Gift-a-Pension is the best and most transparent way for us to empower people who are less fortunate than us and to help them build retirement savings that can prevent old age poverty. This initiative is clearly in line with the comprehensive digital finance and social security inclusion vision of the Government of India and HDFC’s mission to bring millions of young excluded women and youth into the NPS ecosystem. We have already received an overwhelming response to this effort and are excited about working with pinBox to help it achieve its true potential at scale".

At the helm of leading this cause, Parul Seth Khanna, CEO, pinBox, said, “We are focussed on making saving for old age and risk management easy and simple for low income workers. With Jan-Dhan, Aadhaar, UPI and NPS, India has already built the world’s most inclusive digital finance ecosystem. With Gift-a-Pension, we’re simply leveraging this amazing ecosystem and providing civil society a secure and transparent way to easily contribute to improve the lives of people who tirelessly care for us, year after year.".

pinBox is focused on self-employed individuals who are excluded from access to pension and social protection benefits which are usually restricted to salaried workers. Domestic workers are especially difficult for formal finance firms to locate, access, educate and enrol using traditional agent-led sales and distribution models at an affordable transaction cost, as per the press release.

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