A recent census shows that only 20% of the Indian population are beneficiaries to pension schemes. It leaves a majority of Indian citizens, especially from the middle class, unorganised sector, exposed to a chaotic financial condition post retirement.
The Government of India has various programs to help an individual prepare a suitable retirement plan. Among these, the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is one of the popular options. It aims to facilitate citizens employed in the unorganised sector. They can now join the National Pension System (NPS) under the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA).
APY offers a substantial return against a minimum amount of investment every month. One can even retire with Rs. 8.5 lakh with investments of only Rs. 210 every month, provided they enrol in the pension scheme at 18 years of age.
Enrolling with APY
If you want to know how to invest in the Atal Pension Yojana, you can visit a government associated financial institution or a local post office where you have a savings account. In case you do not have a savings account, you can opt to create a new one to enrol in APY.
You can also download the application form online to sign-in for the pension scheme.
Eligibility for the APY
Any citizen between 18 to 40 years of age can apply for the Atal Pension Yojana.
They should have an Aadhaar card and an active mobile number for KYC purposes. However, Aadhaar details can also be submitted at a later time.
The policy will mature once an investor reaches 60 years of age. At that age, a policyholder will get 100% of his or her invested amount. In case an investor passes away before the maturity period, his/her pension will be available to their spouse, absence of which will make a nominee the recipient of the funds.
Also, one can opt for premature termination of the Atal Pension Yojana. Critical illness or death of the beneficiary will be taken as a valid reason.
If you do not want to pre-terminate the policy, you can avail a personal loan to tackle the monetary challenges during the lock-in period. Various financial institutions offer such advances at affordable interest rates and flexible tenors to meet immediate financial requirements with ease.
Earning the Investment
Atal Pension Yojana is one of the best monthly income scheme as under APY, a subscriber would receive a pre-set pension amount from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 5000 per month. The minimum age for enrolment is 18 years, and age of maturity is 60 years. To earn the maximum benefit after its maturity period, an Atal Pension Yojana holder has to pay Rs. 210 every month for the duration of the scheme, i.e. 42 years.
It is advised to join this pension plan at its minimum eligible age to earn the maximum benefits. The Government of India guarantees a fixed pension for its subscribers, and would also co-contribute 50% of the total investment, or Rs. 1000 (whichever is lower) every year to investors barring income taxpayers or SSSS (Statutory Social Security Scheme) beneficiaries.
Atal Pension Yojana is a great scheme to improve awareness among the majority of Indian citizens who fall under the middle-class unorganised worker category. It promises to provide financial stability to the bulk of the population with minimum investment and substantial returns. If an investor opts for this scheme at the age of 18 and continues till its maturity period, they will get a hefty return of Rs. 8.5 lakh, a significant amount of money to help manage one's personal finances for the days to come.