#PolicyExplainer: Get upto Rs. 60,000/year post-retirement with Atal Pension Yojana
India is a "young" country with youth accounting for over 50% of the population. But once this young population starts aging, India may face a critical challenge because of an "unpensioned society" as over 90% of Indians aren't covered under any pension scheme. To address this, the government launched Atal Pension Yojana (APY), an affordable scheme for every Indian. Here's everything about the scheme.
The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the 2015 Budget and PM Narendra Modi launched the scheme in May 2015. Though the scheme focuses on the unorganized sector and those with low or no fixed income, it is open to all the citizens fulfilling the eligibility criteria. APY replaced the previous Swavalamban Yojana announced in the 2010 Budget.
APY is an affordable govt-backed old-age income security plan. In order to be eligible for the scheme, one must be an Indian citizen aged 18-40 years. The subscribers should also hold a valid account either with a bank or post office.
Those interested in applying for APY can approach the bank or post office they hold an account with and fill up the registration form. However, several major banks, including State Bank of India and ICICI Bank, also offer online APY enrollment option through the net banking service. One can call the toll-free number of Atal Pension Yojana - 1800-110-069 - in case of queries.
People can submit their APY application online with Aadhaar on National Pension System's central recordkeeping agency NSDL's website. On the homepage, click on "Open Your NPS Account/Contribute Online" option (top-right corner) and select "APY Application" from the list on right and submit the required details.
Subscribers will make payments to the pension scheme periodically (monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly); the amount would be debited automatically from their account. So, to avoid late payment charges, APY subscribers will have to maintain enough balance before the amount is deducted on the due date. Delayed payments attract an overdue interest of 1% per month which is levied on the pending amount.
APY subscribers receive a monthly pension of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 2,000, Rs. 3,000, Rs. 4,000 or Rs. 5,000, post retirement (after turning 60). The pension amount depends on the contribution (starting at just Rs. 42/month) and the age at which one enrolls. The Center makes a yearly co-contribution for eligible subscribers, amounting to 50% of their annual contribution or Rs. 1,000, whichever is lower.
Under APY, an 18-year-old needs to make contributions for 42 years while a 39-year-old, for 19 years (until they turn 60). However, the minimum contribution amount increases with age (at the time of registration). The earlier one starts contributing, the more they save. Subscribers' Contribution Chart on NPS's website explains how much one needs to contribute monthly/half-yearly/yearly based on their age and pension amount.