While public sector banks have outperformed in the sphere of Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) by opening over 180 million accounts so far in just over one year, the take off for the Atal Pension Yojana (APY), launched in May, has been tepid.
The APY, a government-backed pension scheme, was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year, to address the longevity risks among workers in the unorganised sector, and provide them with old-age income security. Any subscriber who is 18 years or above and has a bank account can join the APY.
The finance ministry, which has set a target of 20 million subscribers by December 31, has raised concerns over the lukewarm response to the scheme, and has asked banks to chalk out individual strategies to expand its reach and meet targets.
Until August, banks had managed to bring about 500,000 subscribers under the APY.
“Targets have been given to banks, but there is limited awareness on the pension scheme and this needs to be addressed,” a senior government official said.
State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank are among the lenders with the maximum targets for APY accounts.
“Until now the scheme has not taken off the way one expected it to and the government is open to take further steps to push the scheme,” the official added.
At present, only 11% of the population is covered under pension schemes, while only 20% of the people are insured.