The Old-age Allowance Programme in Bangladesh:

Challenges and Lessons

The Old-age Allowance Programme of Bangladesh was introduced in 1998 to provide a means-tested monthly cash payment to older people to help reduce their vulnerabilities and income insecurity. The programme was created and promoted by the government and is financed from the government’s revenue budget. Between 1998 and 2012 the number of beneficiaries increased more than sixfold, the monthly allowance rate threefold, the budget allocation more than 18-fold, and its share of gross domestic product (GDP) increased from 0.02 per cent to 0.13 per cent. Under this programme the monthly allowance is currently BDT300 (less than USD4),1 there are about 2.5 million approved beneficiaries, and the annual budget allocation is BDT8.9 billion.