Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme for citizens of India is focused on the unorganized sector workers. Under the APY, guaranteed minimum pension of Rs. 1,000/- or 2,000/- or 3,000/- or 4,000 or 5,000/- per month will be given at the age of 60 years depending on the contributions by the subscribers. Any Citizen of India can join APY scheme. Following are the eligibility criteria:
- The age of the subscriber should be between 18 – 40 years.
- He/She should have a savings bank account/ post office savings bank account.
The prospective applicant may provide Aadhaar and mobile number to the bank during registration to facilitate receipt of periodic updates on APY account. However, Aadhaar is not mandatory for enrollment.
NEED FOR PENSION
A Pension provides people with a monthly income when they are no longer earning.
- Decreased income earning potential with age.
- The rise of nuclear family-migration of earning member.
- Rise in cost of living.
- Increased longevity.
- Assured monthly income ensures dignified life in old age.
The co-contribution of the Government of India is available for 5 years, i.e., from the Financial Year 2015-16 to 2019-20 for the subscribers, who join the scheme during the period from 1st June, 2015 to 31st March, 2016 and who are not covered by any Statutory Social Security Scheme and are not income tax payers. The Government co-contribution is payable to eligible Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRANs) by the Pension Fund regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) after receiving the confirmation from Central Record Keeping Agency to the effect that the subscriber has paid all the installments for the year Government co-contribution will be credited in subscriber’s savings bank account/ post office savings bank account 50% of the total contribution subject to a maximum of Rs 1000/- at the end of financial year .The beneficiaries, who are covered under statutory social security schemes, are not eligible to receive Government co-contribution under APY. For example, members of the Social Security Schemes under the following enactments would not be eligible to receive Government co-contribution under APY:
- Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952.
- The Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1948.
- Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision, 1955.
- Seamen’s Provident Fund Act, 1966.
- Jammu Kashmir Employees’ Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1961.
- Any other statutory social security scheme.
The benefit of minimum pension under Atal Pension Yojana would be guaranteed by the Government in the sense that if the actual realized returns on the pension contributions are less than the assumed returns for minimum guaranteed pension, over the period of contribution, such shortfall shall be funded by the Government. On the other hand, if the actual returns on the pension contributions are higher than the assumed returns for minimum guaranteed pension, over the period of contribution, such excess shall be credited to the subscriber’s account, resulting in enhanced scheme benefits to the subscribers.
The Government would also co-contribute 50% of the total contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower, to each eligible subscriber, who joins the scheme during the period 1st June, 2015 to 31st March, 2016 and who is not a beneficiary of any social security scheme and is not an income tax payer. The Government co-contribution will be given for 5 years from the Financial Year 2015-16 to 2019-20.
At present, a subscriber under the National Pension System (NPS) is eligible to get tax benefit for the contribution, up to a ceiling, and even for the investment returns on such contributions. Further, the purchase price of the annuity on exit from NPS is also not taxed and only the pension income of the subscribers are considered to be part of normal income and taxed at the appropriate marginal rate of tax, applicable to the subscriber. Similar tax treatment is applicable to the subscribers of APY.