Atal Pension Yojana – Objective, Eligibility and Benefits

The government has launched Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme mainly aimed to create social security for all Indians. It is especially for the poor, the underprivileged, and the unorganised sector, such as maids, delivery boys, gardeners, etc. The APY scheme replaced the previous Swavalamban Yojana, which was not much accepted.

As per the investment pattern laid down by the government of India, the collected amount under the scheme is to be managed by the Pension Funds Regulatory Authority of India (“PFRDA”).

Atal Pension Yojana Objective

Atal Pension Yojana is aimed at:

  • Unorganized sector employees like househelps, gardeners, delivery folks, etc.
  • Provides a sense of security by protecting individuals against financial burden associated with accidents, illness, diseases, etc.

Atal Pension Yojana Eligibility

The eligibility of Atal Pension Yojana are mentioned below:

  1. You must be an Indian citizen.
  2. You must be between the ages of 18 and 40 years.
  3. You must have an active mobile number.
  4. You must have a valid bank account number linked to your Aadhaar number.
  5. You must submit all ‘Know Your Customer’ details.
  6. You must not have an existing APY account.
  7. You must make contributions to the APY scheme for at least 20 years
  8. You must not be eligible for any other social welfare programme.
  9. In addition, those who were Swavalamban Scheme beneficiaries are eligible and transferred to the APY scheme.

Atal Pension Yojana Benefits

The Atal Pension Yojana comes with a wide range of benefits for subscribers. Here are some of the key benefits to be availed from this pension scheme:

  • Low risk retirement investment with benefits guaranteed by the Government of India.
  • Guaranteed pension of Rs. 1,000, Rs. 2000, Rs. 3000, Rs. 4000 or Rs. 5,000 depending on contributions made by the investor.
  • Tax benefits can be availed for contributions made in the scheme, as per Section 80CCD (1) of the Income Tax Act, 1961.
  • Indian residents, both self-employed or salaried, can easily subscribe to this scheme.
  • Those contributing to other private/government-backed pension schemes can also opt for APY.
  • Flexibility of upgrading or reducing pension amount as per subscriber’s preference.
  • Flexibility to subscribe for pension on a monthly, quarterly or half-yearly basis.
  • APY can be availed by both organized and unorganized sector workers.
  • Guaranteed benefits for spouse/nominee/next of kin as per applicable rules in case of the demise of the APY subscriber.

Recent Government Notification on Atal Pension Yojana

According to the notification given by the Department of Financial Services that comes under the Ministry of Finance, individuals who have been or are currently a part of the income tax regime will not be eligible to join the Atal Pension Yojana scheme.

The Centre will not allow income taxpayers from availing themselves of the APY from October 1, 2022, to ensure that the benefits of the scheme meet the underprivileged.

The notification stated – “Provided that from 1st October 2022, any citizen who is or has been an income-tax payer, shall not be eligible to join APY.”

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