The flagship social security scheme of Government of India ‘Atal Pension Yojana’ (APY) has completed five years of its implementation. Launched on 9 May 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi aimed to deliver income security to the old age. It particularly offered assistance to the workers in the unorganised sector and guarantee of minimum pension to the citizens after 60 years of age.
Within five years of its implementation the scheme registered 2.23 crore workers and addressing the challenges of rapidly increasing aging population of India. Apart from the enrolments, the scheme has been implemented comprehensively across the country covering all states and Union Territories with male to female subscription ratio of 57:43.
During the first two years of its launch, almost 50 lakh subscribers were enrolled which doubled to 100 lakhs in the third year and the milestone of 1.50 crore was achieved in the 4th year. In the last financial year, almost 70 lakhs subscribers were enrolled under the scheme.
Supratim Bandyopadhyay, Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), which administers Atal Pension Yojana, said ‘this feat of bringing in the most vulnerable sections of the society under the coverage of pension was possible only with the untiring efforts of Public & Private Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Payments Banks, Small Finance Banks, Department of Posts and the support extended by the State Level Bankers’ Committees’.
APY can be subscribed by any Indian citizen in the age group of 18-40 years, with a bank account. It offers three distinctive benefits. First, it provides a minimum guaranteed pension ranging from Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 on attaining 60 years of age, Secondly the amount of pension is guaranteed for lifetime to spouse on death of the subscriber and lastly, in the event of death of both the subscriber and the spouse, entire pension corpus is paid to the nominee.
Bandyopadhyay said ‘going forward we have a humongous task of increasing the pension coverage as only five per cent of the eligible population has been covered under APY till date and recognising the social importance of this scheme, we continuously undertake proactive initiatives for achieving exponential growth and addressing unexpected scenarios as an when they arise.’