The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) was launched in May, 2015 and is operational from 1st June, 2015. The APY is primarily focussed on all citizens in the unorganised sector, who are not covered by any pension scheme. All citizens of the country in the eligible category may join the scheme. As on 06.08.2018, the total number of subscribers under APY is 1,09,66,981, out of which, 43,87,993 subscribers are women. The salient features of the Atal Pension Yojana are as under:
In case of death of both subscriber and spouse, the entire pension corpus would be returned to the nominee. If the accumulated corpus based on contributions earns a lower than estimated return on investment and is inadequate to provide the minimum guaranteed pension, the Central Government would fund such inadequacy. Alternatively, if the actual returns during the accumulation phase are higher than the assumed returns for minimum guaranteed pension, such excess will be passed on to the subscriber.
With a view to provide flexibility to the subscribers of APY with seasonal or irregular income, besides the monthly mode of payment, quarterly and half yearly mode of payment of contributions have been provided in the Scheme. Further in case of default in payment of contribution, a subscriber may regularize the account by paying the overdue amount along with a minimal charge to obtain the guaranteed pension.
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has informed that the report of PFRDA and CRISIL on ‘Financial security for India’s elderly’ has, inter-alia, mentioned designing of a pension policy exclusively for women where contributions could be from the women’s families. Some tax relief to the savings held in the form of pension has also been mentioned.
This was stated by Shri Shiv Pratap Shukla, Minister of State for Finance in a Written Reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.