The Government of India is extremely concerned about the old age income security of the working poor and is focused on encouraging and enabling them to join the National Pension System (NPS). To address the longevity risks among the workers in unorganised sector and to encourage the workers in unorganised sector to voluntarily save for their retirement, who constitute 88% of the total labour force of 47.29 crore as per the 66th Round of NSSO Survey of 2011-12, but do not have any formal pension provision, the Government had started the Swavalamban Scheme in 2010-11. However, coverage under Swavalamban Scheme is inadequate mainly due to lack of guaranteed pension benefits at the age of 60.
The Government announced the introduction of universal social security schemes in the Insurance and Pension sectors for all Indians, specially the poor and the under-privileged, in the Budget for the year 2015-16. Therefore, it has been announced that the Government will launch the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), which will provide a defined pension, depending on the contribution, and its period. The APY will be focussed on all citizens in the unorganised sector, who join the National Pension System (NPS) administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA). Under the APY, the subscribers would receive the fixed minimum pension of Rs. 1000 per month, Rs. 2000 per month, Rs. 3000 per month, Rs. 4000 per month, Rs. 5000 per month, at the age of 60 years, depending on their contributions, which itself would be based on the age of joining the APY. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years. Therefore, minimum period of contribution by any subscriber under APY would be 20 years or more. The benefit of guaranteed minimum pension would be guaranteed by the Government. The APY would be introduced from 1st June, 2015.