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    Atal Pension Yojana: Now you can change pension amount anytime during the year

    Synopsis

    This scheme is open to all citizens of India for joining who are in the age group of 18-40 years, through the bank-branches or post offices where they have their savings bank accounts.

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    More than 5 lakh new subscribers have been enrolled under APY in first quarter of the FY 2020-21.
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    From now on, Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers can increase or decrease the pension amount under the scheme any time during the year. The Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) has asked all banks to process upgrade/downgrade of pension amount requests of APY subscribers throughout the year with effect from July 1, 2020. Subscribers can update pension amount once in a year. Earlier this facility was available only during the month of April year.

    According to the PFRDA press release, issued on July 6, "This arrangement will enable the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers to increase/decrease their pension plans as per their changed income levels and capacity to pay APY contributions, which is very important to continue contributions in the scheme till 60 years."

    Auto-debit of APY contributions
    Apart from the above, from July 1, 2020 auto-debit of APY contributions has also started, which was stopped till June 30, 2020 due to PFRDA's circular issued on 11th April, 2020. This was done to reduce the financial stress on APY subscribers caused due the covid-induced lockdown. As per current arrangements, if all pending APY contributions due between April and August, 2020 get auto-debited from savings accounts of subscribers, latest by September 30, 2020, then no penal interest would be charged to them, as per the release.

    Further, in order to enable subscribers to follow social-distancing norms and promote digital utilities PFRDA has also sent a communication to banks describing usage and ways to access digital utilities for few functionalities available online for facilitating APY subscribers to access their accounts and get various forms without visiting the bank branch. These functionalities include downloading upgrade/downgrade form, PRAN Card Printing, View/download of APY e-PRAN with complete subscriber's details, Transaction Statement, APY Subscriber Information Brochure and Subscriber Details Modification Form.

    What is Atal Pension Yojana scheme?
    The Atal Pension Yojana was launched by the Government of India in May, 2015 and is administered by PFRDA. This scheme is open to all citizens of India who are in the age group of 18-40 years. Under the scheme, a subscriber will receive a minimum guaranteed pension of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per month after attaining the age of 60 years, depending upon his contributions.

    After the death of the subscriber, the same pension amount will be paid to the spouse of the subscriber. On the demise of both subscriber and spouse, the accumulated pension wealth as accumulated till age 60 years of the subscriber would be returned to the nominee.

    As per the latest PFRDA release, the scheme is currently being distributed through 258 active APY Service Providers consisting of Banks and post-offices as this scheme is only available to those who have a Savings Bank account.

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