Atal Pension Yojana Current Affairs - 2019

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OCI can now apply for National Pension System

The Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) will now be eligible to apply for National Pension System (NPS) at par with Non Resident Indians (NRIs). The permission to permit OCI to enroll in NPS was given by Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). The decision is one of the endeavours of PFRDA towards promoting and developing NPS and increasing pension coverage in country.

Key Highlights

As per a notification issued by Finance Ministry, now, any Indian citizen, resident or non-resident and OCIs are eligible to join NPS till age of 65 years.

Condition: An OCI may subscribe to NPS provided such person is eligible to invest as per provisions of PFRDA Act and accumulated saving will be repatriable, subject to Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) guidelines.

Till 26th of October 2019, the total number of subscribers under National Pension System (NPS) and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) has crossed 3.18 crores and Asset under Management has grown to over Rs.3.79 lakh crore. Subscribers enrolled under NPS includes more than 66 lakh government employees and 19.2 lakhs subscribers in private sector with 6,812 entities registered as corporates.

About National Pension System (NPS)

It was initially notified for Central government employees joining service on or after 1 January 2004. The NPS was subsequently adopted by almost all State Governments for its employees and was later extended to all citizens of India (on a voluntary basis) from May 2009, to corporates in December 2011 and to Non-Resident Indians (NRI) in October 2015.

A NPS subscriber can contribute regularly in a pension account during his/her working life, withdraw a part of corpus in a lumpsum and use remaining corpus to buy an annuity to secure a regular income after retirement.

In Union Budget 2019, the tax exemption limit under section 10(12A) of IT Act, for lump sum withdrawal on exit/maturity from NPS was increased from 40% to 60%. Moreover, the remaining 40% of corpus is already tax-exempt as it is mandatorily utilised for annuity purchase.

NOTE: PFRDA is a pension regulator of India. It administers and regulates National Pension System (NPS) and also administers Atal Pension Yojana (APY). It is a statutory authority established by PFRDA Act of Parliament, to promote, regulate and ensure orderly growth of NPS and pension schemes to which this Act applies.

Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan

The Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal announced the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan scheme in the interim budget 2019 for workers in the unorganised sector.

About the Scheme

The features of the Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Mandhan scheme are:

  • Under the scheme, an assured monthly pension of Rs 3,000 per month will be provided to workers in the unorganised sector after 60 years of age.
  • To avail of the scheme, workers will have to contribute a minimal Rs 100 month per month.
  • The scheme is expected to benefit 10 crore workers.
  • This new pension scheme will run alongside the existing Atal Pension Yojana, which guarantees returns post-retirement.

The budget also increased gratuity limit from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 30 lakh from the next fiscal.

The scheme is touted as to become the world’s biggest pension scheme for the unorganised sector in five years. The scheme is designed as a tribute to the workers in the unorganised sector who contribute around 50 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).