At the end of the productive life, a person needs a steady source of income to survive and maintain the standard of living in the retired life. So, it is very important to plan for retirement savings early to earn a decent pension and meet unforeseen expenses.
To accumulate the retirement corpus and get pension, there are many options available. Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is one such option.
The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is a pension scheme especially for the workers in the unorganised sector like personal maids, drivers, gardeners etc. However, any person from 18 to 40 years of age who has a bank account may take this plan. It was launched in June 2015 by the government.
Eligibility: The applicant should be a citizen of India who has a bank account and aged between 18 and 40. It is mandatory to have a valid mobile number. Existing Swavalamban subscribers between 18-40 years of age will be automatically migrated to APY.
How to apply: People willing to make APY contributions may approach the bank branch/post office where their savings bank account is held or open a savings account and fill up the APY registration form. A person may also get enrolled for APY through savings account directly using internet banking and choose auto debit facility for contributions.
Contribution: A person may opt for an option of Rs 1000, Rs 2000, Rs 3000, Rs 4000 and Rs 5000 per month as guaranteed pension under this plan. Per month contribution will depend upon the age and the monthly pension opted. The scheme also promises a co-contribution. The Central government makes 50 per cent of the total prescribed contribution by a worker, up to Rs 1000 per annum for five years, but only to those who joined APY before 31.12.2015 and who are neither income tax payee nor covered under any other statutory social security scheme.
Return: The monthly pension is guaranteed by the government. The CAGR during accumulation period would be around 8 per cent, assuming that 7 per cent interest on corpus amount is paid to the contributors as pension.
Management of fund: The amount collected under APY are managed by Pension Funds appointed by PFRDA as per the investment pattern specified by the government.
Investment options: The option to choose either the investment pattern or Pension Fund is not there.
Benefits: The scheme provides guaranteed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 to the subscribers. In case of death of the subscriber, the spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled for the same amount of pension till his or her death. And after the demise of both spouse and subscriber, the nominee will be entitled to receive the corpus money that the subscriber had accumulated till 60 years of age. However, if the subscriber dies before 60 years, the spouse will have the choice to either exit the scheme and claim the accumulated amount or continue maintaining the account under the subscriber’s name for the remaining vested years. The spouse of the subscriber shall be entitled to receive the same pension amount as the subscriber until death of the spouse in the latter case.