Clarification pursuant to change in the eligibility criteria for joining Atal Pension Yojana- as per DFS, MoF Notification dated 10.08.2022
PENSION FUND REGULATORY AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY
File: PFRDA/03/05/1/0071/2017-PnD-APY-Part(l )
Date: 15th September 2022
All APY Service Providers
Dear Sir/ Madam,
Subject: Clarification pursuant to change in the eligibility criteria for joining Atal Pension Yojana- as per DFS, MoF Notification dated 10.08.2022
The Government of India had introduced Atal Pension Yojana (APY), with effect from 1st June 2015, pursuant to the announcement in the budget for 2015-16, in order to create a universal social security system for all Indians, especially for the poor, the under-privileged and the workers in the unorganized sector.
2. APY was notified by Government of India vide Gazette Notification dated the 16th October 2015 and amended vide notifications dated the 19th January 2016, and 22nd March 2016. Subsequently , On 10th August 2022, the amendments were made in the original notification dated 16th October 2015 (copy attached) .
3. After issuance of the amendment, various queries have been received from stakeholders seeking clarification. Please find such queries and responses in the following table:
|Information in APY Subscriber Registration form
|Since in the APY subscriber registration form declaration regarding Income tax payee status is already available, therefore , response on the same from customers would be mandatory at the time of enrolment from 151 October, 2022.
Also, the PoP-APYs shall ensure that the self-declaration regarding income tax payee status is mandatorily obtained from the subscribers at the time of the enrollment w.e.f pt October, 2022 .
Scenario 1: Income tax payee status as “YES”
Offline mode of registration of subscriber : The subscriber registration form should be rejected and not to be processed further .
Online mode of registration of subscriber: The system should display a pop-up message to the customers regarding their ineligibility to join APY w.r.t the amendment arid not permit further to fill up information in the next fields .
Scenario 2 : Income tax payee status as “NO”
Offline/Online modes of registration of subscriber: Subscriber registration to be done under APY.
|PAN or conduct any due- diligence at Bank’s end to verify whether the applicant is an Income tax payer or not.
|If APY SP is required to take Status needs to be captured by APY-SPs on the basis of self declaration made by the customers/subscribers, at the time of registration.
However, APY-SPs are required to do some basic due diligence on customer-profiling with respect to the savings bank account linked/proposed to be linked with APY account, for auto-debit purpose.
|Any changes in the existing process of application received through physical mode
|APY-SPs are suggested to make changes in their existing APY module to ensure system-level rejection of such APY subscriber-registration forms, w.e.f October 1, 2022; wherein tax payer status of the subscriber is “Yes”.
Till the time such system-level changes are not carried out in the APY module, the APY-SPs shall ensure that only the eligible subscriber, in line to notification dated 10.08.2022 are enrolled and registered under APY .
|APY registration option provided in internet banking/mobile banking/any alternate channel.
|APY-SPs are required to make changes in the APY registration process in the internet banking/mobile banking/any other alternate channel.
|If customer has filed income tax returns previously, but stopped now or does not file returns at all, is he eligible for the subscription or not.
Customers who have filed income tax return on or before their application for registering under APY cannot join APY. Such subscribers, if subsequently found Income Tax payer on or before date of application, their APY account should be closed and accumulated pension wealth would be given back to the subscriber.
|Today customer is a non tax payer and post subscription he starts filling returns, customer can continue with APY?
The customer should not be an income tax payer on the date of making application for registration under APY . If on a later date, he or she becomes an income tax payer, then, in that case, there shall not be any effect on their APY account. All such APY subscribers can continue their APY accounts for getting triple benefits under APY
|Customer has income but it is under non-taxable bracket,
then will he be eligible to subscribe .
|Process for closure of Atal
Pension Scheme (APY) if a customer is found to be a taxpayer
|Separate guidelines will be issued shortly.
|If later on it is found that the customer is an Income Tax
payer and his APY is to be closed. Will any penalty be levied on the customer in this regard.
There will not be any penalty on subscriber for opening APY account. However, APY account of such subscriber shall be closed and accumulated pension wealth would be given back to the subscriber, as stipulated under notification dated 10.08.2022 .
|What will be the method and frequency followed by regulators for the reconciliation of Income tax payers? Will any communication be sent to customers from regulators in this regard?
|Registration under APY would be on the basis of self declaration of the customers/subscriber regarding their income-tax payer status from 1st October, 2022 . There are no other stipulations as of now.
However, further development, if any, on the subject-matter would be communicated to all APY-SPs, in due-course.
|Continuation of the scheme by Spouse
|In case of continuation of the scheme by Spouse wherein the spouse is continuing the PRAN on behalf of deceased husband/wife, the declaration of Yes or No provided on Income Tax Payer status by deceased husband/wife at the time of their registration will only be considered. The income tax payer status of the spouse will not being considered, as such APY accounts will be continued on behalf of the deceased subscriber . Thus, in case of death of subscriber, who was registered on or after 01.10.2022, the option to continue the APY account will be available to the spouse and income tax status of the spouse will not be considered .
|Subscriber Shifting from one APY-SP to another APY-SP
|The declaration given at the time of registration will be considered
|Applications with Income Tax payer status as “Yes” with date of application before “October 1, 2022”.
|With the said amendment, there is a possibility that some APY-SP/BCs might be in receipt of APY registration forms (having/not having declaration w.r .t Income Tax status) and the APY-SPs may process the subscriber-registration form for the subscriber with Income Tax payer status as “Yes” and carrying date of application before “October 1, 2022” . ‘Such applications will be accepted for registration as date of application is prior to Oct 1, 2022.
However, at the same time, APY-SPs should adhere to the Circular no. PFRDA/2021/31/SUP-POP/S dated 23/12/2021 on ‘Guidelines for Operational Activities- to be followed by POPs-APY for maintaining/complying to TAT w.r.t Registration of subscribers as prescribed under Schedule I .
|Any effect on existing APY subscribers or subscribers joining APY on or before 30th September, 2022 with respect to closure of their APY accounts .
All such APY subscribers can continue their APY accounts for getting benefits under APY in line to the Gol notification.
Chief General Manager