Atal Pension Yojana or APY, a pension scheme, encourages workers from the unorganised sector to save voluntarily for their retirement, according to National Securities Depository (NSDL) website - npscra.nsdl.co.in. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The pension is payable at the age of 60 years. Therefore the minimum period of contribution by any subscriber under APY is 20 years or more. Opening an APY account requires the applicant to hold a savings account either with a bank or a post office, according to NSDL.
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Given below are key things to know about Atal Pension Yojana:
1. Under the APY, the subscribers receive the fixed minimum pension of Rs 1,000 per month, Rs 2,000 per month, Rs 3,000 per month, Rs 4,000 per month, Rs 5,000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which is based on the age of joining the APY.
2. The scheme's contributions can vary from Rs 42 to Rs. 210 per month, depending on the age of entry and the pension slab chosen by the investor. Subscribers' joining at 18 years of age have to contribute Rs 42 and Rs 210 on monthly basis to get a minimum guaranteed monthly pension of Rs 1,000 and Rs. 5,000 respectively, according to the pension regulator's website, pfrda.org.in
3. One can invest in the Atal pension scheme through three modes of payment: monthly, quarterly and half-yearly.
4. Under APY, the monthly pension is available to the subscriber, and after him to his spouse and after their death, the pension corpus, as accumulated at age 60 of the subscriber, is returned to the nominee of the subscriber.
5. The subscribers of the pension scheme are allowed a premature exit before the age of 60 years "only in exceptional circumstances, i.e., in the event of the death/ terminal disease", according to pension regulator PFRDA.