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Introduction

Atal Pension Yojana was introduced by the Government of India in the budget of 2015. The original scheme was Swavlamban Yojana which was later merged with the Atal Pension Yojana. This scheme is targeted for the unorganized sector to promote them to voluntarily save for their retirement and provide financial assistance to them in their old age by contributing to the scheme as well. This scheme is available to the private sector employees too employed with such an organization that does not provide any financial assistance in the form of pension or retirement benefits to its employees.

Potential customers can find all the information regarding the scheme here.

Features and Benefits of the Scheme

  • The Atal Pension Yojana is focused on the retirement benefits for the unorganized sector as well as those who are outside the purview of the Statutory Social Security Schemes and not an Income Tax Payer. The scheme is administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through NPS (National Pension Scheme) architecture.
  • Under the scheme, the subscribers are assured a monthly pension of Rs. 1000, Rs. 2,000, Rs. 3,000, Rs. 4,000 or Rs. 5,000 depending up on their contribution to the scheme.
  • The subscribers can opt for a monthly, quarterly or half yearly contribution depending on their suitability and such contribution will be auto debited from the savings bank account the information of which is provided by the subscriber.
  • The Government of India assures the minimum benefit of pension to the subscribers and is a co-contributor in the scheme. The government has the obligation to pay 50% of the amount contributed by the subscriber or Rs. 1,000 whichever is less.
  • The government is bound to co-contribute for a period of 5 years (for the financial years 2015-16 to 2019-20) for all the eligible subscribers including those migrated from the original Swavalamban Scheme and the government contribution shall not increase the prescribed years in any case.
  • The amount of pension that the subscriber would receive at maturity of the scheme (at the age of 60) depends on the contributions made throughout the scheme.
  • The tax benefit for the subscriber will be the same as that under the NPS scheme. The government has proposed to issue a separate notification for the same under the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • The subscribers can nominate a person who will be given the corpus fund accumulated over the tenure of the scheme in the event of the death of the subscriber and his/her spouse.
  • The scheme also gives the spouse of the contributor an option to opt out of the scheme and claim the accumulated amount along with interest or to continue with the scheme for the remaining period in the event of the contributor’s death prior to attaining the age of 60 years.
  • The scheme does not permit the contributor to exit before the contributor is of 60 years unless in the event of death or serious illness.
  • This scheme provides for regular information on the status of the contributions made via SMS alerts sent to the registered mobile number of the subscriber.

Eligibility for the Scheme

The eligibility criteria for the potential subscribers is stated below,

Application Procedure for the Scheme

  • The government has extended this scheme to all the nationalized banks of the country. The potential subscribers can thus contact any nationalized bank or any post office to get the application form for this scheme.
  • The application forms for the Atal Pension Yojana are also available online. Subscribers can download the forms from the bank’s website or directly from the website of NSDL (National Securities Depository Limited) which is the government website related to the National pension System.
  • The application form is available in various languages like English, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Odia, Tamil and Telugu for the convenience of the public at large.
  • The subscribers are required to duly fill the application form and submit it at the bank
  • They will have to provide a photocopy of their Aadhaar card and a verified mobile number along with the application.

Monthly Contributions to the Scheme

The monthly contributions that the subscriber has to make will depend on the amount of pension that he/she expects to receive at the time of retirement as well as the age at which they start contributing. Following table shows the details of the amount needed to be contributed based on the age and the pension plan sought.

The above table can be explained with the following example,

In order to get a monthly pension of Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 5,000, subscribers will have to contribute Rs. 42 to Rs. 210 if they join the scheme at the age of 18 years, whereas the contribution will range between Rs. 116 to Rs. 577 if the subscriber joins the scheme at the age of 30.

Modifications in the Subscriber Details

The scheme allows the subscribers to modify their details like address, change in mobile number as well as the frequency of the contributions or to upgrade or downgrade the pension amount.

  • A written request has to be made for modification of the subscriber details along with the required documents and to be submitted at the APY-SP branch or the issuing bank.
  • The scheme permits the subscribers to change (upgrade or downgrade the pension amount) only once in a year in the month of April. The subscriber has to download the same under the following path
  • https://www.npscra.nsdl.co.in/ -Home-Atal Pension Yojana-Forms-Maintenance- Forms to upgrade/downgrade pension amount under APY
  • The form has to be duly filled and submitted to the APY-SP branch.
  • The term upgrade of the pension amount refers to the increase in the pension amount of the subscriber, similarly, downgrade pension amount means reducing the pension amount of the subscriber.
  • The subscribers are also allowed to change the frequency of their contribution monthly, quarterly or half yearly depending up on their needs after submitting a written request for the same at the APY-SP branch.

Penalties for Delayed Contribution

The scheme entitles the banks to collect a penalty ranging from Re. 1 per month to Rs. 10 per month depending up on the amount of contribution made by the subscriber. This fixed interest or penalty will remain part of the corpus fund of the subscriber. Following table shows the details of the penalty charged/levied under the scheme.

PENALTY PER MONTHRANGE OF CONTRIBUTION

Re. 1

Up to Rs. 100 per month

Rs. 2 

From Rs. 101 to Rs. 500 per month

Rs. 5

From Rs. 501 to Rs. 1000 per month

Rs. 10

Beyond Rs. 1001 per month

If the subscribers fail to contribute to the scheme over a period of time, the following action will be taken as per the provisions of the scheme.

  • if contributions are not paid for 6 months, the account will be frozen
  • if contributions are not paid for 12 months, the account will be deactivated
  • if contributions are not paid for 12 months, the account will be closed

The subscriber has to ensure that the savings bank account that has been provided at the initiation of the scheme has to be continued so as to ensure regular auto debit as well as credit of the corpus fund.

Other Relevant Details of the Scheme

  • The government has also launched a mobile application for the APY subscribers which can be downloaded from the Google Play Store (for Android users) searching the same by simply typing ‘APY and NPS Lite’. Following are few features of this mobile application
    • available free of cost
    • subscribers can check recent 5 transactions
    • transaction statement can be checked
    • e-PRAN can be downloaded
  • Subscribers can also register any grievance that they may face at zero cost from anywhere and anytime by downloading the form for the same from the website of the bank or through the following path

www.npscra.nsdl.co.in -Home - select: NPS-Lite

Upon raising the grievance, subscribers will receive a token number (acknowledgement number) which has to be quoted in future correspondence regarding the same or can be used to check the status of the grievance registered.

The government’s website provides a detailed list of grievances and the mode of resolution provided for the same.

Grievance CategoryMode of resolution/What APY-SPs may inform the grievant

Closure of APY Account

APY-SP should obtain a written request from the subscriber. After due verification of the request, APY-SP should forward the request to NSDL-CRA. Once the letter of confirmation is received from APY-SP, CRA will take further action for closure of the account.

Contribution not deducted, Contribution deducted but not credited, Wrong amount deducted & Credit not reflected in account for latest contribution made

Since the amount is auto debited from the subscriber account, APY-SP should check the contribution details and upload the correct contribution towards subscribers account. If the error in contribution amount is due to incorrect capturing of Date of Birth etc, then the APY-SP should provide details of the same to CRA for rectification.

PRAN kit not received & PRAN card not received

Currently, there is no provision to issue PRAN card/I-PIN/TPIN to the subscribers registered under Atal Pension Yojana (APY) scheme. Accordingly, PRAN Card/Kit is not issued.

Transaction Statement not received

Transaction Statements are sent to APY subscribers on a yearly basis by CRA. However, if the subscriber has not received the Transaction Statement, APY-SPs can also log into the CRA website and print the Transaction Statement of the subscribers who are mapped with the APY-SP.

Incorrect/updating of subscriber details & Incorrect / no updating in Subscribers details

APY-SP can log into the CRA website and update the subscribers details who are mapped to the APY-SP.

Service not received

The APY-SPs are expected to look into the details of such cases and provide necessary services to the grievant.

How to open an APY Account?

APY-SP can guide the subscriber to refer the APY details available on CRA corporate website www.npscra.nsdl.co.in or PFRDA website www.pfrda.org.in

PRAN not Received

APY-SP can provide 12 digit PRAN to subscribers as same is auto generated at the time of registration.

  • The subscribers can contact the Helpdesk set up by the government for any queries or issues regarding the scheme by calling on the toll free number 1800 110 069.
  • They can also visit the government’s website for any clarifications or details required about the scheme or can also contact the nearest bank for the same.

FAQs: Atal Pension Yojana

1. Can the private sector employees also subscribe to the scheme?

The scheme is open to the private sector employees as well provided they are not the recipients or beneficiaries of any other scheme of the government. Also the government is not bound to co-contribute the amount as specified under the scheme for such subscribers.

2. What are the other social security beneficiary schemes whose subscribers are not eligible for the benefits under the APY scheme?

Beneficiaries who are covered under statutory social security schemes are not eligible to receive Government co-contribution. Following are the examples of the schemes members of which would not be eligible to receive Government co-contribution -

  • Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1952.
  • The Coal Mines Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1948.
  • Assam Tea Plantation Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provision, 1955.
  • Seamens’ Provident Fund Act, 1966.
  • Jammu Kashmir Employees’ Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provision Act, 1961
  • Any other statutory social security scheme.

3. Is Aadhaar Number mandatory for subscribing to the scheme?

It is not mandatory to provide an Aadhaar number for opening an APY account. However, an Aadhaar card is the basic KYC document that is required for identification of spouses, nominees or beneficiaries. This is to ensure that any future disputes relating to the pension rights or entitlement are avoided.

4. Can a subscriber open an APY account without opening a savings bank account?

The savings bank account is a mandatory requirement for the scheme as the contributions for the scheme are to be accepted by auto debit from the savings bank account.

5. is the subscriber required to furnish the nomination details at the time of subscription?

The nomination and spouse details are a mandatory requirement of the scheme along with their Aadhaar card details wherever necessary.

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