Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) chairman Hemant Contractor said here on Monday they have requested the government to raise the upper age limit for Atal Pension Yojana (APY) to 50 years from 40 years. "The upper age limit for APY, which is for people in the unorganised sector, is 40 years. We have taken it (raising age limit) up with the government," Contractor told IANS.
Though the government is yet to get back on the issue, the pension fund regulator believes raising of the age limit by 10 years would benefit a wider population by augmenting old-age security when life expectancy is rising. People in the 18-40 years age group, having a savings bank account and an active mobile number, can open an APY account. It ensures them a guaranteed regular pension of Rs 1,000-Rs 5,000 per month once they attain 60 years of age.
Contractor said assets under management (AUM) in the PFRDA's flagship National Pension System (NPS) has crossed Rs 3 lakh crore and the subscriber base touched 2.65 crore. Majority of them were APY subscribers, he added. "The number of current subscribers is 2.65 crore and the amount under management over Rs 3 lakh crore. By the end of this fiscal, we expect the subscribers' number to go up to 2.75 crore and AUM Rs 3.10-3.15 lakh crore," he said.
Of the 2.65 crore subscribers, the APY accounts at 1.45 crore formed a big chunk. It was likely to grow to 1.55 crore by end of March, Contractor said. "The APY is doing well. We have seen good growth. Last year, we saw 100 per cent growth in subscribers. This year too it has been growing at a rollicking pace. We are growing at a rate of 5 lakh subscribers a month. By the end of the fiscal, it will be about 1.55 crore," he said.
However, he said the AUM in the APY was still small because it was a new scheme, only three years old. Right now it's about Rs 6,500 crore. "These are small contributions," he said, adding the government sector accounted for almost 85 per cent of the assets. On the government's decision in December 2018 to increase its contribution from 10 per cent to 14 per cent under the NPS for the central government.employees, Contractor said it would start from April 1 and hoped the state governments would follow soon and raise their contributions.
"It will start from April 1, 2019. When the NPS was introduced for the central government, the state governments followed. It would not be inconceivable that the state governments also increase their contribution from 10 per cent to 14 per cent," he said. Last December, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley enhanced the government contribution to the NPS to 14 per cent of the basic salary while retaining the minimum employee contribution at 10 per cent.
(With inputs from agencies.)