What is Atal Pension Yojana – objectives, eligibility, age, benefits, features : Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme for workers in unorganized sector which will provide a defined pension, depending on its period and monthly contribution by subscriber. The scheme encourages these workers to save voluntarily for their retirement. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is GoI scheme administered by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through National Pension System (NPS) architecture.
Objective of Atal Pension Yojana
Government of India launched the scheme in 2015 as a replacement to previous Government’s Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite. The scheme was launched to encourage individuals working under unorganized sector to opt for pension during their old age. It helps workers to save money for their old age and guarantees returns post -retirement.
Eligibility for Atal Pension Yojana
You can subscribe to Atal Pension Yojana if you are –
- Citizen of India
- Between 18-40 years age group
- Have a saving bank account
Benefits of Atal Pension Yojana
Guaranteed monthly pension between Rs. 1000 to 5000 to the subscriber after 60 years of age and to spouse after death of the subscriber.
Return of corpus to the nominees after death of both.
Features of Atal Pension Yojana
- Existing Swavalamban Scheme Subscribers between the age group of 18-40 years would be migrated to APY automatically unless they opt out.
- Government co-contribution is available for 5 years i.e. from 2015-16 to 2019-20 for the Subscribers who join the scheme between 1st June, 2015 to 31st December, 2015.
- The existing Swavalamban subscriber, if eligible, may be automatically migrated to APY with an option to opt out. However, the benefit of five years of Government Co-contribution under APY would be available only to the extent availed by the Swavalamban subscriber already. This would imply that if, as a Swavalamban beneficiary, he has received the benefit of government Co-Contribution of 1 year, then the Government co-contribution under APY would be available only for 4 years and so on. Existing Swavalamban beneficiaries opting out from the APY will be given Government co-contribution till 2016-17, if eligible, and the NPS Swavalamban continued till such people attain the age of exit under that scheme.
- The management of funds under APY is as per the investment pattern specified by GoI.
- Individual Subscribers will not be having any option for choice of investment or select Pension Funds.
How to Open Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Account
The APY account can be opened through Bank where ‘saving bank account’ is maintained.
Also, you can directly open APY account through net banking facility and choose auto debit facility for contributions.
With some bank, online option to subscribe APY is not available then you will have to visit bank branch to get enrolled.
Documents Required to Subscribe for Atal Pension Yojana
- APY Application Form
- Self Declaration
- Authorisation for Auto Debit
What is monthly contribution amount for APY and mode of payment ?
Atal Pension Yojana is a periodic contribution based pension scheme which guarantees a defined pension of Rs. 1000, Rs. 2000, Rs. 3000, Rs. 4000, Rs. 5000. Your monthly contribution amount depends upon the fixed amount of monthly pension you want and the age when you subscribe to scheme and start contributions.
The Pension start when subscriber attain 60 years of age. Therefore, even if you join APY at 40 years of age you need to pay premium for a minimum of 20 years to avail the pension.
What is Penalty for default in monthly contribution ?
Under APY, the individual subscribers shall have an option to make the contribution on a monthly basis. If subscriber does not make regular payments and stop monthly contribution then bank can levy penalty charges. The penalty amount will vary from minimum Rs. 1 per month to Rs 10/- per month as shown below:
- 1 per month for contribution upto Rs. 100 per month.
- 2 per month for contribution upto Rs. 101 to 500/- per month.
- 5 per month for contribution between Rs 501/- to 1000/- per month.
- 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 following ;
- After 6 months – Account will be frozen.
- After 12 months – Account will be deactivated.
- After 24 months – Account will be closed.
Atal Pension Yojana Exit and Pension Amount
When subscriber completes 60 years of age, he will submit the request to associated bank for drawing the guaranteed monthly pension.
Exit before 60 years of age is not permitted. However, it is permitted only in exceptional case i.e, in event of death of beneficiary or terminal disease.