Atal Pension Yojana (APY), the government's guaranteed pension scheme is gaining popularity among youngsters. As of September 2021, more than 43% subscribers were between 18 and 25 years, as compared to 29% as of March 2016, says the Economic Survey 2021–22 tabled by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Lok Sabha. Young subscribers joining the APY scheme at an early age are required to pay a lesser monthly subscription amount as compared to the subscriber joining at a later age. Also, most of the subscribers go for the minimum pension amount of ₹1,000. Around 78% subscribers opted for ₹1,000 per month pension amount as on September 2021, as compared to 38% subscribers as on March 2016.

Atal Pension Yojana, a pension scheme for citizens of India was launched on May 09, 2015. It focuses on the unorganised sector workers. Under the APY, guaranteed minimum pension of ₹1,000 or ₹2,000 or ₹3,000 or ₹4,000 or ₹5,000 per month will be given at the age of 60 years depending on the contributions by the subscribers. In order to avail a higher pension amount, spouses below 30 years can open two separate Atal Pension Yojana accounts to get a maximum total monthly pension of ₹10,000 after 60 years.

Anyone aged between 18 years and 40 years may join APY. APY accounts can be opened online or offline. The APY scheme is being distributed through more than 250 active APY service providers including all banks and post offices. Currently, 17 banks offer online APY account opening facilities.

The share of subscribers opting for ₹2,000, ₹3,000 and ₹4,000 pension amount per month is 8%, while 14% opt for ₹5,000 per month pension. As per the Economic Survey, the gender gap in enrolments under APY has narrowed down with increased participation of female subscribers. Female participation has increased from 37% as of March 2016 to 44% as of September 2021.

As on October 12, 2021, APY scheme collected a contribution of whopping ₹16,109 crore from more than 3.45 crore enrolments.

So far in this fiscal, the new enrolments in APY have crossed the 65 lakh mark. Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority (PFRDA) is hopeful that the APY enrolments in the year will reach one-crore mark by March 31, 2022.

Contribution to the APY scheme allows tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. Any individual subscriber to Atal Pension Yojana can claim tax benefit under Sec 80 CCD (1) within the overall ceiling of ₹1.5 lakh under Sec 80 CCE.

An additional deduction for investment up to ₹50,000 is available exclusively to APY subscribers under sub-section 80CCD (1B). This is over and above the deduction of ₹1.5 lakh available under section 80C of Income Tax Act.

APY guarantees an equal lifetime pension benefit to spouse after the death of the subscriber. In case of death of the subscriber, the nominee receives an indicative amount between ₹1.70 lakh and ₹8.50 lakh after the death of the spouse.

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