A first: Atal Pension Yojana logs 10 million enrolments in a calendar year


The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) — targeted towards unorganised sector workers — saw the highest-ever takers in 2022 with enrolments rising 36 per cent. The figure crossed 10 million for the first time in a calendar year, data released by the finance ministry showed.

The number of enrolments in 2022 rose to 12.5 million from 9.2 million in 2021.

The enrolments in 2022 grew by 81 per cent compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when 6.9 million subscribers had enrolled for the pension scheme. A Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA) official said the high enrolment was because of the automation done for easy on-boarding of APY subscribers.

“Aadhaar-enabled enrollment, paperless on-boarding and closely working with other stakeholders have enabled PFRDA to achieve this number.

PFRDA regularly holds consultations with public sector banks (PSBs), department of financial services, state-level bankers committee and lead district managers to review and improve the implementation of APY across the country,” he added.

Cumulatively, the majority of subscribers (82 per cent) have opted for a Rs 1,000 pension followed by 11 per cent opting for the highest pension amount of Rs 5,000 per month. The official said 30 years down the line, the amount would be too little to enable them to fulfil their basic necessities.

“The beneficiaries of this scheme need to fulfil their current day-to-day requirements, thus hindering their ability to contribute a higher amount under the scheme,” he added.

The highest number of enrolments age-wise was from 21-25 years (28 per cent), accounting for 13.7 million subscribers, followed by 25-30 years (25 per cent) with 12.1 million subscribers. The least number of subscribers were those above 35 years (11.14 per cent).

The Centre launched the APY in 2015 to ensure minimum social security for unorganised sector workers. The minimum age of joining the scheme is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years.

A subscriber under the APY is required to make a monthly/quarterly/six monthly contribution of an amount determined by the pension chosen and the age of joining the scheme.

The subscriber will receive a government-guaranteed minimum pension of Rs 1,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 or Rs 5,000 per month. It will be paid after the age of 60 until death, depending on the contribution chosen.

Till November 30, 2022, the top-five states in enrolments were Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are also the top-performing states in terms of women enrolments followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

The transgender community has also reported the highest number of enrolments in 2022.

Last week, the finance ministry exhorted PSBs to achieve their financial inclusion targets for 2022-23. At a meeting of PSB heads and financial institutions — chaired by department of financial services (DFS) secretary Vivek Joshi — progress of various social security (Jan Suraksha) schemes, including Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), APY and others were reviewed.




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