The Government of India has introduced a pension scheme called the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), with effect from 1st June, 2015, pursuant to the announcement in the budget for 2015-16 on creating a universal social security system for all Indians, especially the poor, the under-privileged and the workers in the unorganised sector. APY is being administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) under the overall administrative and institutional architecture of the National Pension System (NPS).
Eligibility for Joining APY :
APY is open to all citizens of India who have a savings bank account. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years.
Features of APY :
- Central Government guaranteed minimum pension amount : Each subscriber under APY shall
receive a Central Government guaranteed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month or Rs. 2000 per month or Rs. 3000 per month or Rs. 4000 per month or Rs. 5000 per month, after the age of 60 years until death.
- Central Government guaranteed minimum pension amount to the spouse : After the subscriber’s
demise, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as that of the
subscriber until the death of the spouse.
- Return of the pension wealth to the nominee of the subscriber : After the demise of both the
subscriber and the spouse, the nominee of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the pension wealth, as accumulated till age 60 of the subscriber.
Contribution Payment by Subscribers :
The subscriber’s contributions to APY shall be made through the facility of ‘auto-debit’ of the prescribed contribution amount from the savings bank account of the subscriber in monthly, quarterly or half-yearly frequency. The subscribers are required to contribute the prescribed contribution amount from the
age of joining APY till age 60. The details of age-wise, pension-wise and contribution-frequency-wise prescribed contribution amount and the indicative pension wealth available for the nominee is given in the table
Process for Enrolment under APY :
All citizens of India in the age group of 18-40 years can enroll themselves under APY by submitting the duly completed application form to any enrolment agency.
Enrolment Agencies under APY :
- All banks, including all nationalised banks, private banks, banking companies, regional rural banks, cooperative banks etc. either directly or through the following enablers:
- (a) All Points of Presence (Service Providers) and Aggregators, which are governed under the institutional architecture of NPS and are appointed as such by PFRDA could work as facilitators with banks.
- Those Business Correspondents (BCs) / existing non-banking aggregators, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) etc. who are appointed as enablers by banks.
- Other enrolment agencies that may be specified as such by PFRDA or the Central Government, such as, Department of Posts under CBS Platform.
Existing Subscribers of Swavalamban Scheme :
The existing subscribers of Swavalamban in the age group of 18-40 years shall be migrated to APY unless they exercise an option to opt-out. The remaining subscribers outside this age group would be governed by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) Regulations, 2015.
Exit, Withdrawal and Pension Payment :
On completion of 60 years, the subscriber will get the guaranteed minimum monthly pension, or higher monthly pension, depending on the investment returns. In exceptional circumstances, i.e., in the event of the death of beneficiary or specified illnesses, as mentioned in the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (Exits and Withdrawals under the National Pension System) Regulations, 2015, before the age of 60 years, the accumulated pension wealth till date would be given to the nominee or the subscriber, as the case may be. In case a subscriber, who has availed Government co-contribution under APY, chooses to voluntarily exit APY before the age 60, he shall only be refunded the contributions made by him to APY, along with the net actual interest earned on his contributions (after deducting the account maintenance charges), whereas, the Government co-contribution, and the interest earned on the Government co-contribution, shall not be returned to such subscribers.
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