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Over 79 lakh new subscribers joined Atal Pension Yojana (APY) during FY 2020-21. With this new subscribers, the total enrolment is more than 3.02 crore as on March 31, 2021.

Out of these 3.02 crore, around 70% accounts were opened by Public Sector banks, while 19% accounts were opened by Regional Rural Banks.

The pace of enrolment has been encouraging specially in the second half of FY 2020-21 as it took less than six months to enroll 50 lakh new APY subscribers to reach 3 crore enrollments from 2.5 crore enrolments, a release from Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) said.

Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed pension scheme, primarily targeted at the unorganised sector. It is open to all bank account holders.

Out of total 79.14 lakh subscribers who joined APY in FY 2020-21, State Bank of India sourced 22.07 lakh subscribers, i.e. 28% of total enrolments. It was followed by Canara Bank and Indian Bank, which sourced 5.89 lakh and 5.17 lakh subscribers, respectively, during the same period.

Further, 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 have sourced new APY accounts between 1 and 5 lakh, during FY 2020-21.

In terms of over-achievement with respect to annual target allocated by Department of Financial Services, banks like Airtel Payment Bank, State Bank of India, Indian Bank, Bank of India, Vidarbh Konkan Gramin Bank, Jharkhand Rajya Gramin Bank, Karnataka Gramin Vikas Bank, Tripura Gramin Bank, Uttarbanga Kshetriya Gramin Bank, Asaam  Gramin Vikas Bank, Bangiya Gramin Vikas Bank, Aryavart Bank and Tamilnad Mercantile Bank have performed exceptionally well in the Financial Year 2020-21.

Uttar Pradesh tops in APY enrolment

Among the State-wise distribution, more than 20 lakh APY subscribers got enrolled in 5 states as on March 31, 2021. Uttar-Pradesh was at the top with 45.4 lakh APY enrollments followed by Bihar with 28.22 lakh, West Bengal with 23.92 lakh, Maharashtra with 23.17 lakh and Tamilnadu with 22.57 lakh cumulative APY enrollments, as on March 31, 2021.

The other six states – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha- have done APY enrolments between 10 lakh and 20 lakh, as on March 31,2021.

The preference for a pension amount Rs 1,000 per month has increased over last six years. Out of the total enrolments under APY, around 77% subscribers have opted for Rs 1,000 monthly pension amount, as on March 31, 2021 in comparison to 38% subscribers who opted for Rs 1,000 monthly pension amount, as on March 31, 2016.

Also, gender gap in APY enrolments has narrowed with increased participation of female subscribers. Share of female subscribers has been increased to 44% as on March 31, 2021 from 37% as on March 31, 2016. Further, age profile of APY subscribers suggests trend of increasing enrolments at younger age. As on March 31, 2021 more than 43% subscribers who got enrolled are aged between 18 and 25 years, an increase from the earlier level of 29%.

New Initiatives

PFRDA has taken various 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 were released in 13 regional languages for better outreach of the APY Scheme and for the benefit of APY subscribers as well as APY Service-Providers.

Encouraged by the increasing number of enrolments under the Scheme since its inception, PFRDA will continue to popularise the scheme and take APY to greater heights and contribute towards making India a pensioned society, the release added.

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