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Atal Pension Yojana Crosses Over 3 Cr Subscriber Base By Mar; 79 Lakh New Additions In FY21

Pace of enrolments has been encouraging especially in the second half of 2020-21 as it took less than six months to enrol 50 lakh new APY subscribers to reach 3 crore enrolments from 2.5 crore enrolments

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Atal Pension Yojana (APY) subscribers crossed the 3-crore mark by the end of March 2021 with addition of over 79 lakh new subscribers to the scheme in 2020-21, PFRDA said on Thursday.

During the financial year 2020-21, more than 79 lakh new APY subscribers joined Atal Pension Yojana (APY) leading total enrolments to over 3.02 crore as on March 31, 2021, the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) said in a release.

Of the total 3.02 crore subscribers under APY, around 70 per cent of the accounts have been opened by public sector banks, while 19 per cent were sourced by regional rural banks.

'Pace of enrolments has been encouraging especially in the second half of 2020-21 as it took less than six months to enrol 50 lakh new APY subscribers to reach 3 crore enrolments from 2.5 crore enrolments,' PFRDA said.

With regard to 79.14 lakh new additions during 2020-21, SBI sourced as many as 28 per cent, equivalent to 22.07 lakh subscribers, followed by Canara Bank and Indian Bank, sourcing 5.89 lakh and 5.17 lakh subscribers, respectively.

Among others, Bank of Baroda, Airtel Payment Bank, Bank of India, Central Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Union Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, Aryavart Bank and Baroda UP Bank added between 1 and 5 lakh new APY accounts in 2020-21.

PFRDA said Airtel Payment Bank, SBI, Indian Bank, Bank of India, Vidarbh Konkan Gramin Bank, Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank, Karnataka Gramin Vikas Bank, and Tripura Gramin Bank performed well.

It added that Uttarbanga Kshetriya Gramin Bank, Asaam Gramin Vikas Bank, Bangiya Gramin Vikas Bank, Aryavart Bank and Tamilnad Mercantile Bank also did well during the year by surpassing the targets allocated to them by the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance.

In terms of state-wise pan-out of the scheme, over 20 lakh APY subscribers were enrolled in 5 states as on March 31, 2021.

Uttar Pradesh is at the top with 45.4 lakh APY enrolments, followed by Bihar with 28.22 lakh, West Bengal with 23.92 lakh, Maharashtra with 23.17 lakh and Tamil Nadu with 22.57 lakh cumulative APY enrolments so far, PFRDA said.

Other six states Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha have done APY enrolments between 10 and 20 lakh by the end of March this year.

Further, the regulator said the preference for a pension amount of Rs 1,000 per month has increased over the past six years.

'Out of the total enrolments under APY, around 77 per cent subscribers have opted for Rs 1,000 monthly pension amount, as on March 31, 2021, in comparison to 38 per cent subscribers who opted for Rs 1,000 monthly pension amount, as on March 31, 2016,' it said.

PFRDA said the gender gap has also narrowed in APY subscription with increased participation of female subscribers.

Share of female subscribers has been increased to 44 per cent from 37 per cent during 2016 to 2021.

Further, age profile of APY subscribers suggests a trend of increasing enrolments at younger age, said the regulator.

As on March 31, 2021, more than 43 per cent subscribers got enrolled are aged between 18 and 25 years, an increase from the earlier level of 29 per cent, as on March 31, 2016.

PFRDA said it has taken new initiatives such as addition of new features in the APY mobile app and availability of the same in UMANG app, updation of APY FAQs, APY Subscriber Information Brochure, APY Citizen Charter which are available in 13 regional languages.

These are targeted for better outreach of the APY scheme and for the benefit of APY subscribers as well as APY service providers.

The authority administers two flapship pension schemes of the government -- NPS and APY.

APY came into effect from June 2015, in order to create a universal social security system for all, especially the poor, under-privileged and the workers in the unorganised sector.

The subscribers can get pension starting from Rs 1,000 per month to Rs 2,000, Rs 3,000, Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 per month after the age of 60 years, depending upon their contribution during the subscription period. All in the age group of 18 to 40 years can join APY.

NPS was introduced as a defined contribution based pension scheme for the union and state government employees in January 2004, replacing the old system of defined benefit based pension scheme, except for the armed forces.

It was subsequently extended to all citizens of the country from May 2009 including self-employed professionals and others in the unorganised sector on a voluntary basis.