Atal Pension Yojana For Social Security In India

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The top priority of the NDA government is having financial inclusion and promoting social security as well as low cost benefits for its people. The government and other bodies, since the NaMo government’s rise to the centre have worked towards introduction of new schemes to ensure financial security of the common man. Step one was the introduction of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), phase one of which was a major success.

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About 1.8 crore bank accounts were opened countrywide. The government then gave the green light for three new schemes in May, two of which were insurance schemes and the third a pension plan or scheme known as Atal Pension Yojana. This is the second phase of the PMJDY as it was particular paramount to get people into banking before benefits were extended to them.

The Atal Pension Yojana was effective as of 1st June 2015. Its main intention is to bring pension benefits to the people of the unorganized sector to allow them enjoy social security even with minimal monthly contributions. Those who can apply for the scheme include those who work in private sector or any other occupation that does not give them the benefits of a pension. These people have a range of options from which to choose.


One can opt for a fixed pension of INR 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000 or 5000. Upon  death of contributor, the spouse can claim the pension and when the spouse dies, the nominee is returned the corpus fund accrued. The pension funds will manage the amount collected according to the investment pattern of the government and the applicant has no say in either.

This scheme is intended to bring security to ageing Indians as well as promote saving and investment among the lower and lower middle society sections. The poorest sections of the society are the most likely to reap from the scheme.

Individuals in the age bracket of 18 and 40 are the targets of the scheme. This allows them save for not less than 20 years before they can start enjoying its benefits. Also bank account holders who are not part of any statutory social security scheme can apply for this scheme.

Those who were already in the government’s plan “Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite” also will be automatically moved to the new scheme. To enroll for the new scheme, an account holder is required to complete an authorization form which is forwarded to their bank. Details such as account number, spouse and nominee details should be included in the form as well as authorization for auto debit of contribution amount.

The application form can be downloaded from

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The form comes in different languages. The account holders who apply should ensure that they maintain sufficient balance in their account every month as failing to do so attracts a monthly fine of different rates depending on the contribution amount. The fining charges are as follows:

  • For a monthly contribution of up to INR 100 – INR 1
  • For a monthly contribution between INR 101 and INR 500 – INR 2
  • For a monthly contribution between INR 501 and INR 1000 – INR 5
  • For a monthly contribution beyond 1001- INR 10

Failure to make payments to the scheme also has consequences.

  • An account holders account will be frozen if no payment is made for six month
  • An account holder’s account will be deactivated if they don’t make payment for 12 months
  • An account holder’s account will be closed if they don’t remit their contributions for 24 months.

Those without a bank account who wish to apply for the scheme first need to open a bank account by submitting the KYC document and their Aadhaar card. They are also required to submit the APY proposal form.

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Any contributor who becomes part of the scheme, under normal circumstances, will not be able to withdraw from the scheme before attaining the age of 60. They will only be able to do so under special circumstances such as death of the beneficiary.

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Public Provident Fund – Frequently Asked Questions


What documents are necessary in the opening of a PPF account?

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  • Account opening Application form (Form A).
  • A copy of the PAN card.
  • Proof of identity and residence – passport, power bill, elector’s card etc.
  • Photograph – Passport-size.

Can I open two or three PPF accounts for my own use?

No. An individual is only allowed to open a single PPF account, not more.

Can I open a PPF account on behalf of a minor?

Yes. If you are the father or the mother of a minor you can open a PPF account for on behalf of the minor in your name. However it has to be either of the parents and not both.

Grandparents are only allowed to open a PPF account in the name of a minor only in a case the minor doesn’t have an existing parent.

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How much am I allowed to invest in PPF account on a yearly basis?

The lowest amount you can invest in a public provident fund per year is 500 rupees. The highest investible amount on the other hand is 150,000 rupees per year.

How much do I earn as interest on a PPF account?

The interest rate varies from year to year depending on the performance of the fund. The current interest rate is 8.7% per annum.

What is the maturity period for a PPF account?

The maturity period of a Public Provident Fund account is 15 years.

Can the maturity period for a PPF account be extended?

Yes, the maturity period can be extended by another five years following the end of the previous maturity period.

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When do funds held in a PPF account become withdrawable?

Funds held in a PPF account can be withdrawn five years after the account was opened. This is done by filling Form C at the post office or bank. The maximum amount withdrawable is half of the balance that was in the account in the previous year after all deductions such as loans issued are made. Only one withdrawal can be made in a year.

Is it possible to close a PPF account prior to the date of maturity?

No. The only exception to this is in the event of a member’s demise in which case an appointed heir or nominee can apply to have the account closed upon submission of the requisite documents.

What are the consequences for missing a deposit?

For every year you fail to deposit at least 500 rupees a fine of 50 rupees will be slapped on you.

Can I transfer my PPF account from one financial institution to another?

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Yes, it is perfectly legal to transfer a PPF account either from one bank to another or from one post office to another. For this to happen you will need to visit the post office or bank or where the present PPF account is held and apply for it to be transferred to another bank or post office of your choice. Then the current post office or bank where the account is held will arrange to transmit requisite documents and the outstanding balance in your PPF account to the new bank or post office that you wish to transfer to.

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