Sunday Gyaan! Atal Pension Yojana — All you need to know about the investment scheme

The Atal Pension Yojana (previously known as Swavalamban Yojana) was introduced by the government in order to extend pension benefits to the working poor from the unorganised sector. According to official data the number of Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers has crossed 1.24 crore mark with 27 lakh, new subscribers, joining in the current financial year.

As of October 27, 2018, the number of APY subscribers from Uttar Pradesh stood at 17.90 lakh, Bihar 11.16 lakh, undivided Andhra Pradesh 11.28 lakh, Maharashtra 10 lakh and Karnataka 9.15 lakh. The government-guaranteed pension scheme administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) allows any Indian citizen between 18 to 40 years to join through the bank or post office branches where one has the savings bank account.

So here are things you need to know about Atal Pension Yojana (APY):

Eligibility

The Atal Pension Yojana allows Indian citizens between 18 years and 40 years of age to opt for fixed pension slabs of Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000. An applicant gets to choose the preferred slab at the time of subscription.

Contribution period

The minimum age of opting for Atal Pension Yojana is 18 years and the maximum age is 40 years. The age of exit and start of pension is 60 years. This means that the minimum period of contribution for a beneficiary of the scheme is 20 years, and the maximum is 42 years.

Contribution amount

The contribution amount paid by an applicant depends on the age he joins the scheme at, the pension slab he opts for from Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000, and the time between payments – monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly. As of now, an 18-year old applicant has to pay between Rs 42 and Rs 210 per month depending on the chosen pension slabs. Whereas, a 39-year old applicant will have to pay from Rs 264 to Rs 1318 every month, depending on the pension slab.

Income tax benefit:

Contributions under the pension scheme enjoy the same tax benefits as the NPS (National Pension System). Contributions can be claimed under Section 80CCD (1B) of the Income Tax Act. The current limit for income tax deduction Section 80CCD (1B) is Rs. 50,000. This is over and above the Rs. 1.5 lakh limit allowed under Section 80C.

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