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Atal Pension Yojana
In the budget speech of February 2015, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed the launch of universal social security scheme ofr Indians. Following the success of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, the National pension scheme for the ageing youth of India is rolled out effective 1st June 2015 under the name “Atal Pension Yojana”. The beneficiaries under the scheme will no longer be worried about their age, health or penury in old age as they will be covered by pension even though they are working in unorganised sector. But they have to make minimum monthly contribution during their working years to avail benefits under this scheme.
Private sector employees who do not have pension facility can opt this scheme for a minimum monthly pension of Rs 1000/- to Rs 6000/- in multiples of Rs 1000/- only after attaining the age of 60 years. The amount of pension is determined on age and health of subscriber. In case of death, the nominees can claim pension benefit or get back the accrued corpus fund.
The individual subscriber of this scheme will not have option to switch the pattern of investment and no choice of fund as fund should invest in Government prescribed pattern.
This APY is aimed at providing security to Indians who will soon be ageing. This is aimed at inculcating a habit of saving for future especially in lower middle class and poorer sections. The beneficiaries under the scheme will be mostly the poorer class. The Government contributes at least 50% of the beneficiaries’ contribution capped at a minimum of Rs 100/- per annum for a continuous period of five years. The scheme is open for subscription till 31st December 2015 and the beneficiary should not be an income tax payer as on that date.
The Indians between the age group of 18 to 40 years are eligible to participate in the Atal Pension Yojana (APY). This is a long term benefit plan wherein the individual contributes for at least 20 years. However, to avail this scheme, the beneficiary should be compulsory holder of a bank account. Also the beneficiary should not be a beneficiary of any other social / statutory scheme of the Indian Government.
The prevailing ‘Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite’ launched by the Government did not find popularity in Indian context, hence the members of this scheme will be migrated to APY without any further procedural formalities.
In order to avail benefits under APY, the bank account holder should submit an application form and also the authorisation form to respective banker. The application form interalia, requires the subscriber to mention his or her bank account number, details of nominees like spouse and children, authorisation enabling the banker to auto debit the monthly contribution directly from account. Upon entering APY scheme, account holder should maintain the required balance in their account for monthly debit failing which the following penal consequences will arise:
Re 1 for failing to contribute an amount up to Rs 100
For failure to contribute amount between Rs 101 and Rs 500/- fine is Rs 2 for each month
A fine of Rs 5/- is levied for failure to contribute between Rs 501/- to Rs 1000/-
Failure to contribute amount exceeding Rs 1001/- shall attract penalty of Rs 10/-
In case, after the initial contribution, no further payments are made, then
bank account of beneficiary is frozen for an initial period of 6 months
bank account will be deactivated upon expiry of 12 months
beneficiary’s account is closed down upon expiry of 24 months
Persons who want to subscribe but do not have bank account: the person invariably should open a bank account by providing the KYC documents to participating bank and also Aadhar card. Also the filled up proposal form for APY should be submitted.
Exiting the scheme: the Atal Pension Yojana is a continuing scheme and has no exit option unless the subscriber reaches the age of 60 years. However, in special cases like death of subscriber or the beneficiary under the APY, the account holder can exit the scheme.
The application form is available in various languages like Bangla, Kannada, Marathi, Telugu, English and Hindi which can be downloaded online from http://www.jansuraksha.gov.in/FORMS-APY.aspx .
Launch Across the Country: all the insurance schemes under various titles that included Atal Pension Scheme was launched on 9th May at Kolkata under the aegis of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was followed simultaneously by various Chief Ministers and Ministers of Union Territories. The launching ceremony was also organised across 116 locations in India that included capitals of State and the District headquarters. Since its launch about 41,214 individuals are registered under various schemes effective 11th May 2015.