Union Cabinet decided to indefinitely extended Atal Pension Scheme, which had lapsed in August 2018. It also has broadened its scope by keeping it open-ended. The extension was given by taking into consideration of mass participation.
To further incentivize people’s participation in the scheme, age criterion for participation has been revised. Earlier, people of age 18 to 60 years were entitled to enroll in this scheme. But now it has been relaxed further to 65 years, taking into consideration rise in average age-expectancy. Henceforth the scheme will expand its focus to target individuals, instead of households. Moreover, all accounts opened after August 2018 will have accident insurance limit of Rs 2 lakh, double than earlier Rs 1 lakh limit. The overdraft facility of the scheme was also increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.
It is a social security scheme that aims to provide affordable universal access to essential social security protection to unorganized work force of country, which constitute more than 85% of the workforce. It had replaced earlier government-backed pension Swavalamban scheme targeted at the unorganised sector. It was launched in June 2015. It is available to all citizens of India in age group of 18-40 years (making minimum period of contribution by subscriber is 20 years). There is no exit to scheme before maturity age. In case of death of subscriber, spouse of subscriber is entitled for same amount of pension till his or her death.