Bangladesh: ITUC backs calls for changes to pension act

photo: Rehman Asad AFP

The ITUC supports calls by trade unions and civil society in Bangladesh for serious reforms to the Universal Pension Act.

There is serious concern over the lack of consultation with trade unions about the law that was introduced in January 2023.

The Bangladesh Free Trade Union Congress (BFTUC) and the Bangladesh Social Protection Network (BSPAN) demand:

  • Respect for ILO standards that advocate for tripartite participation. Currently, the law establishes a governing body that only includes government and employer representatives and excludes trade unions and civil society.
  • A guarantee in the law that employer and worker contributions will be equal.
  • A system of credits to compensate workers who experience periods of caregiving or unemployment. The current requirement of 10 years of continuous contributions for eligibility potentially disadvantages these workers, who are primarily women.
  • A clear provision within the law to ensure a basic pension to combat old-age poverty for individuals who have been unable to accumulate sufficient contributions.

The ITUC fully supports these demands and stands in solidarity with Bangladeshi trade unions and civil society.