The Finance Minister has announced a new initiative called Atal Pension Yojana (APY) in his Budget Speech for 2015-16. The APY will be focussed on all citizens in the unorganised sector, who join the National Pension System (NPS) administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) and who are not members of any statutory social security scheme. Under the APY, the subscribers would receive the fixed pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would vary on the age of joining the APY. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. The benefit of fixed pension would be guaranteed by the Government. The Central Government would also co-contribute 50% of the subscriber’s contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years, i.e., from 2015-16 to 2019-20, who join the NPS before 31st December, 2015 and who are not income tax payers. The APY would be launched from 1st June, 2015. The existing subscribers of Swavalamban Scheme would be automatically migrated to APY, unless they opt out.
Benefit of APY: Fixed pension for the subscribers ranging between Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000, if he joins and contributes between the age of 18 years and 40 years. The contribution levels would vary and would be low if subscriber joins early and increase if he joins late.
Eligibility for APY: Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all bank account holders who are not members of any statutory social security scheme.
Age of joining and contribution period: The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.
Focus of APY: Mainly targeted at unorganised sector workers.
Enrolment and Subscriber Payment: All bank account holders under the eligible category may join APY with auto-debit facility to accounts, leading to reduction in contribution collection charges.
Enrolment agencies: All Points of Presence (Service Providers) and Aggregators under Swavalamban Scheme would enrol subscribers through architecture of National Pension System.
Operational Framework of APY: It is Government of India Scheme, which is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority. The Institutional Architecture of NPS would be utilised to enrol subscribers under APY.
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