Are you looking for a pension plan to help you through the sunset years of your life? Well, the Atal Pension is a great option that offers guaranteed returns once you retire and gives subscribers a pension of Rs.1,000 to Rs.5,000 per month, depending on the amount contributed.
The Atal Pension Yojana is open to persons aged 18 to 40 years. The subscriber needs to have a savings bank account in either a post office or bank to avail of this scheme, and the bank account should be linked to the person’s Aadhaar card. The contribution will need to be made for a minimum period of 20 years.
Under the Atal Pension Yojana scheme, the subscriber can contribute an amount ranging from Rs.42 to Rs.210 a month if they join the scheme at 18. This amount varies with age. For example, if a person joins the scheme at the age of 35, the contribution amount would be between Rs.181 and Rs.902.
How to apply?
There is no option to subscribe to this scheme online. However, the forms are available for download on the National Securities Depositories Ltd (NSDL) website and in nationalised banks. A person who wishes to subscribe should submit the filled-in forms at a nationalised bank and copy their Aadhaar card.
Discontinuation of payment
If a subscriber stops contributing to the scheme, their account does not get deactivated immediately. The account only gets closed when the account balance along with the self-contributions minus government co-contributions, if any, becomes zero. This could happen due to account maintenance charges and fees being debited.
A penalty ranging from Rs.1 to Rs.10 is levied for delayed payments depending on the contribution amount each month.
Death of the subscriber
In case of the subscriber’s premature death (death before the age of 60), then the subscriber’s spouse can choose to continue contributing to the subscriber’s account for the remaining period until the time the subscriber, if alive, would have attained the age of 60. In the case of the death of both the subscriber and their spouse, the entire pension corpus will be given to the nominee.
Exiting the scheme before reaching 60 years
A subscriber will be permitted to exit the scheme before attaining 60 years of age only under exceptional circumstances. One, in the event of the death of their beneficiary, or two, in the event of a terminal disease.
The Indian government offers tax benefits on contributions made to the Atal Pension Yojana scheme. In addition to a deduction under Section 80C, any investments to the scheme are eligible for a deduction of Rs.50,000 under Section 80CCD (1) of the Income Tax Act.
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