Atal pension yojana (APY) is a Government of India backed pension scheme which aims to provide financial security to unorganized sector workers of India. Unorganized sector workers include personal maids, drivers, gardeners etc. APY aims to help these workers save money for their old age while they are working and guarantees return post-retirement. Under the APY scheme, the subscriber will get guaranteed minimum pension of Rs.1,000/- or 2,000/- or 3,000/- or 4,000 or 5,000/- per month will be given at the age of 60 years depending on the contributions by the subscribers.
Although, previous government also have pension scheme called Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite it was rejected by peoples. Atal Pension Yojana was mentioned in 2015 budget speech by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and this yojana was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 9, 2015, in Kolkata.
The Aim of APY Scheme
Since Modi government came into power in 2014, they launched a number of schemes for the financial security of poor’s. The pension provides great support to the peoples in old age, but normal pension schemes are not affordable for poor people that’s why only 20% of India’s population has any kind of pension scheme.
Modi government is very concern about old age financial security of unorganized sector workers by offering an affordable pension scheme named Atal Pension Yojana. It is focused on encouraging and enabling them to save for their retirement. The scheme is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through NPS architecture.
How Much Government Contributes in Atal Pension Yojana?
Good news for subscribers of the APY scheme because they don’t have to pay all amount. The government of India promise to co-contribute 50% of the total prescribed contribution by the subscriber or Rs 1,000 per annum, whichever is minimum to each eligible subscriber account, but only to those who joined APY before 31.12.2015 (31st December 2015). Government co-contribution is available for those who are not covered by any Statutory Social Security Schemes and is not income tax payer.
Further, this co-contribution would be made only for 5 years, from FY 2015-16 to 2019-20 in the eligible cases subject to the conditions mentioned below. The Government co-contribution is payable to eligible Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRANs) by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) after receiving the confirmation from Central Record Keeping Agency to the effect that the subscriber has paid all the installments for the year. Government co-contribution will be credited in subscriber’s savings bank account/ post office savings bank account for 50% of the total contribution subject to a maximum of Rs 1000/- at the end of financial year.
Restrictions on government contribution
Since Atal pension scheme is mainly focused on unorganized sector so Government contribution under the APY scheme will not be available for peoples who are already covered by below given social security schemes and a taxpayer.
Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952.
The Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1948.
Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision, 1955.
Seamens’ Provident Fund Act, 1966.
Jammu Kashmir Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1961.
Any other statutory social security scheme.
Atal PensionYojana Benefits
The APYscheme comes with several benefits which differentiate this yojana from all other existing pension schemes. All benefits of Atal pension yojana are given below.
Atal pension yojana guaranteed fixed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 to the subscribers.
It provides flexibility to increase or decrease pension amount the course of accumulation phase, once a year.
If the actual realized returns on the pension contributions are less than the assumed returns for minimum guaranteed pension, over the period of contribution, such shortfall shall be funded by the Government.
If the actual returns on the pension contributions are higher than the assumed returns for minimum guaranteed pension, over the period of contribution, such excess shall be credited to the subscriber’s account.
In the case of death of subscriber before age of 60 years, spouse have following choices a) exit the scheme and claim the accumulated amount b) keep maintaining the APY account under the name of the subscriber for remaining years.
In case of death of subscriber, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled
APY Eligibility Criteria
Pradhan Mantri Atal pension yojana is applicable to all citizens of Indian and everyone take benefits of this APY scheme that comes to under the following criteria.
1) He/she should be an Indian citizen
2) Have a should have a savings bank account (in any bank)/ post office savings bank account
3) Age restriction is 18 – 40 Years
4) Aadhar number is NOT mandatory but can be asked for KYC verification.
How to Open APY Account
Both online and offline procedures are available to open Atal pension yojana account.
1) Approach the bank branch/post office where an individual’s savings bank account is held or open a savings account if the subscriber doesn’t have one.
2) Provide the Bank A/c number/ Post office savings bank account number and with the help of the Bank staff, fill up the APY registration form.
3) Provide Aadhaar / Mobile Number. This is not mandatory, but may be provided to facilitate the communication regarding contribution.
4) Ensure keeping the required balance in the savings bank account/ post office savings bank account for the transfer of monthly / quarterly / half yearly contribution.
5) You can open the APY account online by login into your saving account through internet banking and select auto debit facility for your contribution.
Withdrawal Procedure from Atal Pension Yojana
1) On Attaining 60 Years: Upon completion of 60 years, the subscribers will submit the request to the associated bank for drawing the guaranteed monthly pension.
2) In Case of Death Of Subscriber due to any cause before 60 Years: The entire accumulated corpus under APY will be returned to the spouse/nominee. Or spouse can maintain account till the original subscriber would have attained the age of 60 years.
3) Exit Before the age of 60 Years: Exit before 60 years of age is not permitted however it is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, i.e., in the event of the death of the beneficiary or terminal disease.
Penalty for default
Under APY, the individual subscribers shall have an option to make the contribution on a monthly basis. Banks are required to collect an additional amount for delayed payments, such amount will vary from minimum Rs. 1 per month to Rs 10/- per month as shown below:
1) Rs. 1 per month for a contribution up to Rs. 100 per month.
2) Rs. 2 per month for a contribution up to Rs. 101 to 500/- per month.
3) Rs. 5 per month for contribution between Rs 501/- to 1000/- per month.
4) Rs. 10 per month for contribution beyond Rs 1001/- per month. The fixed amount of interest/penalty will remain as part of the pension corpus of the subscriber.
Discontinuation of payments of contribution amount shall lead to the following:
1) After 6 months account will be frozen.
2) After 12 months account will be deactivated.
3) After 24 months account will be closed.