Acceptance of the National Pension Scheme (NPS) by the employees of central government and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) rose to a 13-month high in February, reflecting accelerated fresh formal hiring by the public sector, Business Standard reported.
The latest NPS data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) on Tuesday showed the number of new monthly subscribers under the central component of the NPS increased by 7.5 per cent to 13,282 in February from 12,349 in January 2023.
Earlier, 13,421 new subscribers had joined the NPS in January 2022.
Since the Centre has mandated the NPS for all of its new employees, analysts believe the monthly subscription figures can be considered as a proxy for new employment generation by the central government and CPSEs.
Of the total 13,282 new subscribers who joined the NPS in February under the central government and CPSUs, the share of women subscribers, however, fell to 20.7 per cent from 29.1 per cent in January.
Similarly, the share of young subscribers (18-28 years) also fell to nearly 64 per cent in February from 70 per cent in the preceding month.
The rise in new subscriptions in February was led by people of 28 years of age and above, as their share rose to 35.9 per cent from 29.9 per cent in January.
However, Mukesh Anand, assistant professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP), said the spike in the new subscribers in February was not entirely due to the new hiring and could be a result of the increase in tier-II or voluntary accounts under the NPS.
The spike seen in the new subscribers in February under the NPS comes in the wake of the massive decline seen in the formal employment in February, as new monthly subscriptions under the Employee Provident Fund (EPF) fell to a 21- month low (738,052), from 819,659 in January.