Atal Pension Yojana eligible for tax benefits
APY will now be eligible for the same tax benefits as the National Pension System (NPS), according to a circular released by the IT dept.
The APY is open to Indians aged between 18 and 40 years and has a minimum tenure of 20 years. Nearly 20 lakh subscribers have joined the scheme since its launch in June 2015. The APY replaced the NPS Lite or Swavalamban scheme, which got about 45 lakh subscribers in the past six years.
The biggest draw of the APY is that the government will contribute 50% of the contribution made by the investor for a period of five years. But this benefit will only go to subscribers who put in less than Rs 1,000 a year and those who join the scheme before March 31, 2016. Those with taxable income are also not eligible.
Most subscribers to the APY are small-ticket investors. Its AUM of Rs 328 crore is spread across 19.77 lakh accounts, so the average balance per account is only Rs 1,640. In comparison, the NPS Lite, which benefited from the market rally since 2010, has about Rs 1,982 crore lying in 44.63 lakh accounts, an average of `4,440 per account.