Amid the gloomy news of economic slowdown and job loss due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the good news for pension seekers under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is that the pending contributions for April to August 2020 can be paid without any penalty by September 30, 2020.
If sufficient balance is available in the savings bank account of an APY subscriber, such pending APY contributions will be auto debited without any penalty till September-end.
Contributions to APY may be made at monthly or quarterly or half yearly intervals through the auto debit facility from the savings bank account/ post office savings bank account of a subscriber.
The amount of monthly/quarterly/half yearly contribution depends on entry age of a subscriber and the amount of targeted monthly pension. The amount of contribution increases with increase in the targeted pension and amount of targeted pension.
Especially designed to benefit the workers in the unorganised sector like personal maids, drivers, gardeners etc, the pension scheme is a hit among youths with maximum number of subscribers are in the age group of 21 to 25 years.
Individuals between 18 to 40 years of age may take advantage of APY, which provides monthly pension of minimum Rs 1,000 to maximum Rs 5,000 per month after the age of 60 years.
The data released by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) on age-wise enrolments in APY as on July 31, 2020 shows that 34,27,065 or 14.61 per cent of APY subscribers are in the age group of 18-20 years, 63,16,978 or 26.93 per cent of subscribers are in the age group of 21-25 years, 59,97,333 or 25.57 per cent in 26-30 years age group, 48,48,367 or 20.67 per cent in 31-45 years or age group and 28,67,696 or 12.23 per cent subscribers are above 35 years.
It also indicates that young Indians are becoming more aware of importance of having guaranteed pension at old age and are opting for APY as soon as they are getting employed.
The PFRDA data also reveals that the APY is the most favourite among the pension schemes offered by the pension regulator.
According to PFRDA data, as much as 62.29 per cent of total pension fund subscribers under PFRDA are APY subscribers with the number of subscribers standing at 2,25,53,000 as on August 15, 2020.
With their increasing contributions towards economic development, women are not far behind men in seeking pension benefits, with the number of female subscribers standing at 96,82,995 or 43.54 per cent of total APY subscribers in comparison to 1,27,33,641 male subscribers, which is 56.44 per cent of total subscribers as on July 31, 2020.
However, due to the limit on maximum monthly pension at Rs 5,000 and lower amount of contributions – especially for young subscribers – the share of APY as on August 15, 2020 was just 2.56 per cent out of the total AUM of pension funds managed by the PFRDA.