Financial inclusion, low-cost benefit, and social security for the Indian citizens have been the top priority of the Modi government and the launch of various schemes like Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima and Suraksha Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, etc proves the same. Today in this article, we will discuss in detail about Atal Pension Yojana.
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Atal Pension Yojana
Atal Pension Yojana also known as APY is a government-backed pension scheme and is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
It was launched in accordance with Jan Dhan Yojana, to bring the masses employed in the unorganized and rural sector under the purview of Pension Scheme.
This scheme aims to provide a definite pension to all Indian citizens.
However, you need to contribute accordingly, in order to get pension during your old age.
Under this scheme, for every contribution made to the pension fund, the government also contributes 50% of the total contribution or Rs 1000 p.a. (whichever is lower) to each individual account for a 5 year period.
The main features of Atal Pension Yojana are discussed below-
1. Guaranteed monthly pension– It offers a guaranteed monthly pension between Rs 1000-5000 to the subscriber post-retirement depending upon the contribution you made.
2. Eligibility– This scheme is open to all Indian citizens with savings bank account.
Any individual between 18-40 years can join the plan and the benefit would start post-retirement.
Hence, the minimum period of contribution under this scheme is 20 years or more.
3. Government’s contribution– The central government will also contribute 50% of the subscriber’s contribution or Rs 1000 p.a. (whichever is lower).
However, the contribution made by government is restricted to those who are not an income taxpayer and are not covered by any Statutory Social security Scheme.
This program aims to provide security to the retirees and also instills a habit of savings and investments among the poor masses of our country.
The government’s decision to contribute 50% of the contribution or Rs 1000 (whichever is higher) for a period of five years; will benefit the poorest section of the society in a great way.
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You have to fill an authorization form and submit to the bank.
The form will require details like your account number, nominee details, and approval for auto-debit of the contribution amount.
You can download the form here.
The forms are available in various languages including Hindi, English, Bangla, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Odiaa and Telugu.
However, make sure that there is sufficient balance in the account every month, otherwise, you will be imposed with a monthly fine.
The government has planned to expand the benefit of the scheme through Post Offices, selected Payment Banks (11 as of now)and Small Finance Banks(10 as of now) in order to bring more people under its coverage.
This decision is expected to benefit the people, especially in the rural areas.
How to exit the scheme?
An account holder under normal circumstances cannot exit the scheme before 60 years.
The exit is only possible under special circumstances in case of death of the beneficiary.
You can also read: National Pension Scheme- Retirement Scheme for all
The government through this scheme wishes to make the unorganized labor force (which is about 85% of the total labor force) to join the scheme and avail the benefits.
However, already around 1.10 crore people have registered for the scheme as on May 2018.
So anyone who has attained the desired age, having an Aadhaar card along with a bank account can apply for the scheme.