The Atal Pension Scheme will bring security to ageing Indians while at the same time promote a culture of savings and investment among the lower and lower middle class sections of society. One of the greatest benefits of the scheme may be enjoyed by the poorer sections of society.
Financial inclusion, social security, and low-cost benefits for the masses have been high on the NDA government’s agenda. Ever since the NaMo government’s ascent to the centre, PM Modi, FM Jaitley, and the Cabinet have worked relentlessly towards promulgation of new schemes that make financial security for the common man. The first step towards achievement of social security was the rollout of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY). With Phase I being declared a major success and 1.8 crore accounts having been opened across the country, the government has flagged off three new schemes on 9 May 2015 – two insurance schemes (Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana), and a pension scheme (Atal Pension Yojana). This is called Phase II of the PMJDY, since it was important to get people into mainstream banking before any benefits can be extended to them.
Who is Eligible?
- The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is open to all Indians between the age of 18 and 40. This allows an individual to contribute for at least 20 years before reaping the benefits of the scheme. Any bank account holder who is not a member of any statutory social security scheme can avail of the scheme.
- All existing members of the government’s ‘Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite’ will automatically be migrated to the Atal Pension Yojana. It will now replace the Swavalamban scheme, which did not gain much popularity across the country.
How to Enroll?
- To sign up for the Atal Pension Yojana, an account holder must fill in an authorisation form and submit it to his/her bank. The form will require complete details including account number, spouse and nominee details, and authorisation for auto debit of contribution amount. Account holders signing up for the scheme need to ensure that sufficient balance is maintained in the account every month,
- Subscribers of APY will get monthly pension after they reach the age of 60 years. If someone joins at the age of 18 years and contributes Rs.42 till he reaches 60 years, then monthly pension received would be Rs. 1,000.
- Pension amount will range from Rs.1,000 – Rs. 5,000.
- Auto-debit facility will also be provided. With this monthly contribution would be automatically debited from the subscriber’s account.