Atal Pension Yojana (APY) Details and FAQ
The budget 2015-16 could well be termed as a budget with lots of social objectives. There are many schemes launched in this budget that would cater to rural poor population, girl child and elderly. Out of them, Atal Pension Yojana (APY) comes out to be a financial boost up for those who are employed with unorganized sector and small scale industries.
A major section of the Indian population works in small scale sectors where in there is no secured pension scheme and thus those people are certainly at risk when it comes to financial security. Atal pension Yojana would be a low cost pension scheme that would help to build up the social security mechanism in the country.
Announced by the Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley, Atal Pension Yojana would come into effect on 01st of June, 2015 and would also carry forward those who are already getting benefitted under the previously launched Swavalamban Scheme, automatically.
Just like Swavalamban Scheme, Atal Pension Yojana too would be governed and managed under the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and hence the enrollment agencies which have been involved in the former scheme would be taking care of the enrollment for Atal Pension Scheme too.
Who is eligible
Atal Pension Yojana is a scheme that is open for anyone who has attained an age of 18 years and the maximum cap of the scheme is 40 years. This implies that for anyone who has entered under this scheme at the age slightly less than 40 years would have a contribution for at least 20 years.
For those covered under Atal Pension Yojana at a younger age would have more contributions in the same way. Anyone who falls under the age of 18 year and 40 years is eligible to take benefits of this scheme.
Atal Pension scheme is clearly targeted for people who are working in unorganized sectors of industries and are not financially secured from either government or their employers. A lot of people living under poverty line would surely be benefited by this scheme.
Minimum and Maximum pension amount
As per the Atal Pension Yojana, a person under this scheme would start getting his or her pension after the age of 60 years. As per the contributions of an individual, the pension amount may range anywhere between Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000.
It is also important to mention that the more the contributions of an individual are, the more would be their pension. For example, someone who has joined the pension scheme at the age of 18 year would surely get more pension amount than someone joining the scheme at the age of 40 years, with the same contributions made by both the individuals.
Premium / Subscription / Contribution Amount
There is a contribution table which clearly states the amount of pension an individual would be getting with whatever contribution he chooses to deposit in their pension account. The idea is that if someone joins the scheme at an early age, he would have to pay less as a premium in order to get the same pension than someone contributing a greater amount at higher age and getting the same pension amount. Please find exact APY Premium amount.
Since, this scheme is launched by the Government of India, it would certainly have backing from the central government agencies as far as contributions and benefits are concerned.
You can choose the between Monthly, quarterly and Semi Annual Premium payment Schedule.
The Government’s Contribution
The government would be backing this entire scheme in all possible ways. There is a provision announced by the Finance Minister in the current budget that anyone who joins Atal Pension Scheme before 31st March 2016 is eligible for getting a contribution of 50 per cent from the Government and the amount of contribution would be a maximum of Rs 1,000 per year for a total of five year.
That means the government’s contribution would be added to the pensioner account from 2015-16 to 2019-20. After that, the benefits of government’s contributions would be given to non income tax paying subscribers.
These government benefits wont be passed if you already have any existing EPF account of If you are a Tax Payer.
Mode of payment for premium/subscription/contributions
APY payment is done through auto debit facility. The Atal Pension Yojana will have its primary focus on every citizen working in unorganized sectors and those who have joined NPS (National Pension System) under PFRDA. They should however, be not a part of any other pension or social security scheme.
The benefits and receipt of pension is guaranteed by the government and thus it is considered to be one of the safest pension options for those who are not yet enrolled in any other social security scheme.
Atal Pension Yojana is simply an initiative by the Narendra Modi Government at the center to address to the security of working poor in the country and encourage them to voluntarily save money for their retirement and old age.
While, the unorganized labor comprises of around 88% of the total work force in India, this scheme would certainly be a blessing as far as social security is concerned.
Start Date and Last Date of Atal Pension Yojana
Atal pension Yojana would start effective 1st June 2015. There is no last date to this scheme.
Tax Benefits in Atal pension Yojana
As of now there is no tax benefit on Atal Pension. You wont get any 80C benefit for the premium that you would pay. Even the pension that you would get after you atain 60 years of age would be taxable.
What Would Happen if Subscriber dies
If you are the subscriber of Atal Pension Yojana and die after 60 years then your spouse would continue to get the Pension. After both of you have died the the corpus amount promised would be transferred to your nominee. If subscriber dies before 60 years then account would be closed and accumulated amount would be given to Spouse/Nominee
Can I join Atal pension if I have crossed 40 years of Age :- Unfortunately no you cannot avail this scheme as of now.
APY for NRIs
Currently NRIs cannot apply in this pension scheme. Please read more articles on NRIs.
Can I close my APY account
Initially it was not possible but now yes you can. You will have to visit your nearest bank and ask them close your APY account. There will a slight penalty charges that you may have to pay, these charges may vary from bank to bank. You accumulated money with interest would be returned. The interest rate would given would again depend on banks.
Other Important Facts
- Swablambhan scheme would automatically merge into ATAL Pension
- You are eligible in APY even if you have your own EPF, PPF, or any other retirement account or policy.
- You will get a PRAN card for your APY account
- you cannot open 2 APY accounts
- Your wife is a natural nominee in these accounts so try to make your kid as a nominee.
- You can change nominee name any time in your life
- You can switch between the Pension amount between 1000 to 5000. This can be done only once in a Financial Year
- Now Post Office also allows you to open Atal pension Yojana Account
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