Pension is an essential mechanism that helps in leading a financially stable life after retirement or at an age when an individual usually retires from his vocation. With rapid economic progress, the cost of living has increased manifold thereby making pension schemes a must for every individual, providing him/her with funds to cover the daily expenses, medical needs and other contingency expenses to lead a comfortable and longer life. Another reason that makes pension unavoidable is to cover post retirement expenses, like an independent lifestyle, social security or education of children. None of these are negotiable nowadays.
In order to cope with such a financial necessity, the Union Government has launched various pension schemes for the citizens. Prominent among them are Atal Pension Yojana (APY), National Pension System (NPS) and National Pension System-Lite(NPS-Lite).
Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is a pension scheme targeting the unorganised sector. The scheme was launched by Hon'ble PM Shri Narendra Modi on May 9, 2015 in Kolkata. As of May 2015, only a meagre 11 per cent of the country’s population was covered under any kind of pension scheme.
In APY, for every contribution made to the pension fund, the Union Government would also co-contribute 50 per cent of the total contribution or Rs 1,000 per annum (whichever is lower), to each eligible subscriber account, for a period of 5 years. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. The age of exit and start of pension would be 60 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by the subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more.
This scheme has been linked to the bank accounts opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the contributions will be deducted automatically. Most of these accounts had zero balance initially. The government aims to reduce the number of such zero balance accounts by using this and related schemes.
The salient features are:
To know more, click here: Atal Pension Yojana
The Union Government introduced the National Pension System (NPS) with effect from January 01, 2004 (except for armed forces). NPS was made available to All Citizens of India from May 01, 2009. Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), the regulatory body for NPS, has appointed NSDL as Central Recordkeeping Agency (CRA) for National Pension System.
The CRA is the first of its kind venture in India which will carry out the functions of record keeping, administration and customer service for all subscribers under NPS. CRA shall issue a Permanent Retirement Account Number (PRAN) to each subscriber and maintain data base of each permanent retirement account along with recording transactions relating to each PRAN.
National Pension System (NPS), Regulated by PFRDA, is an important milestone in the development of a sustainable and efficient voluntary defined contribution pension system in India. It has the following broad objectives:
For open an NPS account, click here: National Pension System
The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has introduced the National Pension System-Lite (NPS-Lite) with effect from April 01, 2010. The NPS-Lite is basically designed with the intention to secure the future of the people who are economically disadvantaged and who are not financially well to do. Towards this endeavor NSDL has developed a NPS Lite system on a low charge structure. The servicing model is of NPS Lite is based on group servicing. The people forming part of this low income groups will be represented through their organizations known as 'aggregators' who would facilitate in subscriber registration, transfer of pension contributions and subscriber maintenance functions. Subscribers in the age group of 18 to 60 can join NPS - Lite through the aggregator and contribute till the age of 60.
For more details, click here: NPS LITE
NPS Corporate Sector Model is the customized version of core NPS to suit various organisations and their employees to adopt NPS as an organized entity within purview of their employer-employee relationship. This would facilitate corporate entities and other registered bodies to move their existing and prospective employees to NPS architecture. This is in an additional avenue for retirement planning being made available to the organised sector and does not dilute their responsibilities under other statutory provisions like provident fund etc. NPS Corporate Sector has been formally launched from December 2011. Corporate may join NPS through any one of the existing Point of Presence (POP):
For more details, click here: NPS Corporate