Atal Pension Yojana (APY), is a pension scheme which was launched by the Government of India
What is Atal Pension Yojana?
• The Government of India is concerned about the old age income security of the working poor and is focused on encouraging and enabling them to save for their retirement. To address the longevity risks among the workers in unorganized sector and to encourage the workers in unorganized sector to voluntarily save for their retirement
• The GoI has therefore announced a new scheme called Atal Pension Yojana (APY)1 in 2015-16 budget. The APY is focussed on all citizens in the unorganized sector.
• The scheme is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through NPS architecture.
Highlights of Atal Pension Yojana
Under the APY, there is guaranteed minimum monthly pension for the subscribers ranging between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 5000 per month.
• The benefit of minimum pension would be guaranteed by the GoI.
• GoI will also co-contribute 50% of the subscriber’s contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower. Government co-contribution is available for those who are not covered by any Statutory Social Security Schemes and is not income tax payer.
• GoI will co-contribute to each eligible subscriber, for a period of 5 years who joins the scheme between the period 1st June, 2015 to 31st December, 2015. The benefit of five years of government Co-contribution under APY would not exceed 5 years for all subscribers including migrated Swavalamban beneficiaries. • All bank account holders may join APY.
• APY is applicable to all citizen of India aged between 18-40 years.
• Aadhaar will be the primary KYC. Aadhar and mobile number are recommended to be obtained from subscribers for the ease of operation of the scheme. If not available at the time of registration, Aadhar details may also be submitted later stage.
Features of the Atal Pension Yojana
• Citizens of India between the age groups of 18-40 years can apply.
• The applicant is expected to regularly pay premiums for a minimum duration of 20 years. Since most individuals step into the pension years at the age of 60- the upper limit for application is set at 40 years.
• The applicant must have an active savings bank account.
• The applicant must not have subscribed to any other statutory social security schemes.
• Actual pension amount depends on the tenure of premium payment. The higher number of premiums paid, the higher will be the payable pension amount.
• Age of joining and contribution period 4.1 The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The age of exit and start of pension would be 60 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.
How to Apply
• Approach the bank branch/post office where your savings bank account is held or open a savings account if you don't have one and fill up the APY registration form.
• If you are a net savvy user, you can get enrolled for APY through your savings account directly using internet banking and choose auto debit facility for your contributions. The premium will be debited from your age of enrolment till 60 years.
Charges for Default
Banks are required to collect additional amount for delayed payments, such amount will vary from minimum Re 1 per month to Rs 10/- per month as shown below:
• Re. 1 per month for contribution upto Rs. 100 per month.
• Re. 2 per month for contribution upto Rs. 101 to 500/- per month.
• Re 5 per month for contribution between Rs 501/- to 1000/- per month.
• 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.
Important information for subscriber:
Discontinuation of payments of contribution amount shall lead to following:
• After 6 months account will be frozen.
• After 12 months account will be deactivated.
• After 24 months account will be closed. Subscriber should ensure that the Bank account to be funded enough for auto debit of contribution amount.
On attaining the age of 60 years:
The exit from APY is permitted at the age with 100% annuitisation of pension wealth. On exit, pension would be available to the subscriber.
In case of death of the Subscriber due to any cause:
In case of death of subscriber pension would be available to the spouse and on the death of both of them (subscriber and spouse), the pension corpus would be returned to his nominee.
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 beneficiary or terminal disease.
On death of a beneficiary before attaining 60 years of age, the nominee will receive monthly pension and will also receive lump-sum amount depending on the pension amount.
Monthly Pension of Rs 1000: 1.70 lakh
Monthly Pension of Rs 2000: 3.40 lakh
Monthly Pension of Rs 3000: 5.10 lakh
Monthly Pension of Rs 4000: 6.80 lakh
Monthly Pension of Rs 5000: 8.50 lakh
When the scheme was first launched, there was no tax exemption on the premium paid. However, a recent circular from the income tax department has instructed that contributions to Atal Pension Yojana will have similar benefits like NPS. It means that the premium paid is eligible for deduction under section 80CCD, with the upper limit capped at Rs. 50,000.
Indicative Contribution and Returns
The following table illustrates the monthly contribution and the returns for each monthly pension slab.
The objective of APY is to give old age income security for the working poor. As, 88% of the labor does not have a formal pension scheme so, APY is focused on the unorganised sector worker.
A pension of 1k, 2k, 3k, 4k or 5k would be given depending on the contribution.
Some of the key features are:
1. entry age is 18–40 years
2. the person has to have a savings account
3. contribution would be eligible for same tax benefit as NPS.
4. Before the age of 60 voluntary exit is allowed but you have to give penalty.