Our honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi introduced Atal Pension Yojana, which is basically a pension scheme for the common people those who do not have a formal private or government job like gardeners, maids, watchman, delivery boys, etc., or basically all unorganized sector workers and even housewives who wants to get paid pension during their old age. It was named after our honorable ex-prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. It is a social security pension scheme being run by the government agency Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) which is a pension regulator body established in year 2003.
Objective of the Scheme
The citizens and workers in unorganized sector to get pension during their retirement or old age. It basically help them to save money during their prime years which can be utilized during their old age when they are not able to earn from working. PM Modi made some tweaks to the already running scheme called Swavalamban Yojana by previous government and made it an universal pension scheme for all and hence adding more wide range of citizens to this scheme and hence reaping its benefits wholly during their old age.
During the first five years government will contribute 50% of the total contribution up to a maximum of Rs. 1000 per year which will be added during the initial five years which is available to those who do not have any other social security scheme running. This new option was added by the present BJP government unlike the previous Swavalamban Yojana where such option was not available and hence making it more lucrative and made more people to opt for it.
The guaranteed amount of pension one can draw from government via this (Atal pension Yojana) APY ranges from a minimum of Rs. 1000, to Rs. 5000 (in multiples of Rs. 1000). The minimum years that one need to pay the monthly contribution is at least 20 years for a person who is 40 years old, for a person who joins at 18 years should make a contribution for 42 years. The pension will be paid from the age of 60 years onwards automatically which will be added to your savings account each month till the time of the pensioners death. In case of premature death before it, the account will be closed and the nominee will be provided with the balance contribution till now paid.
Contribution to APY
The contribution can be paid to your APY account either monthly/quarterly/half yearly interval from the savings account automatically via auto debit option and hence it is mandatory to maintain your savings account with the required amount of contribution each month. The early you join the scheme the lesser the monthly contribution will be. The minimum monthly contribution one can make with APY is just Rs. 42 only and hence making it an accessible scheme for even the underprivileged who could not otherwise contribute higher amounts each month. This is aim of our PM Narendra Modi to make it a truly inclusive scheme so it reaches the entire strata of society and everyone reaps the benefit of drawing regular pension during old age.
It has also ensured the savings habit being inculcated among all which otherwise was lacking without proper channel being available and APY has filled that gap successfully (Ref: TOI article Atal Pension Yojana crosses 1cr subscribers in 3 yrs). The scheme received great response even from the housewives who otherwise have no such guaranteed income scheme since they neither work nor have any monthly income.
Eligibility for Atal Pension Yojana (APY)
- Age should be between 18 and 40 years at the time of joining
- They should not be paying any income tax
- Should not be a member of any other social security schemes
- Should be holding a basic Savings Account
- Aadhar is not mandatory yet is advisable
Benefits of APY
- Pension for all who otherwise have no such similar option which only the government employees and organized sector employees enjoyed.
- Government contribution for first 5 years
- Compulsory savings at least for 20 to 40 years
- Guaranteed social security for the unorganized sector workers
- Very similar to Employees Provident Fund
- Regular Income during the decreased income age
- Monthly contribution as low as just Rs. 42 per month
- Other Guaranteed Benefits for APY
- Guaranteed monthly pension of Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 for their entire life post age 60
- Lifelong pension for spouse in case of death of the subscriber
- Nominee will receive Rs. 1.7 lakhs to 8.50 lakhs after the death of the spouse.
The success of Atal Pension Yojana is proven with the fact that over 1 crores subscribers have joined this scheme in just 3 years and it is one of many similar schemes which our honorable PM Narendra Modi introduced during his tenure like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana & Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), etc.
It is found that nearly 90% of Indian population do not have the option to get old age income either directly or indirectly, either via pension or other sources and with APY, this void is clearly filled and will greatly benefit those who otherwise don’t have the choice or option to earn monthly income post 60 years of age and hence Atal Pension Yojana is a great option.
To open an APY scheme, just visit any nearest bank branch and submit all the required documents along with the APY form and give details like Aadhar/mobile number and ensure that you have the required amount each month in your bank account for the monthly contribution without breakage to reap the full benefits of it. For others there is another scheme called National Pension Scheme (NPS) which works just like APY but is open for all including those who already have enrolled for schemes like EPF, PPF, and other pension deriving schemes.
~Written by @knowdavis