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Few takers for pension and life cover schemes by govt

Namrata Acharya / Kolkata 29 Nov 17 | 12:28 AM

The response to three schemes launched by the government on the Jan Dhan Yojana platform two years ago has been tepid.

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The three — the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY), Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), and Atal Pension Yojana (APY) — were meant to provide insurance and pension to the economically weaker sections of society.

The schemes were aimed to give universal social security, especially to the unorganised sector. Notably, in November, the enrolment in the Jan Dhan Yojana was about 306 million.

Against this, in the same month, the enrolment in the PMSBY was about 112 million, while that of the PMJJBY was about 35 million, according to the data with the government.

The enrolment under the APY was around 6 million till August 2017, according to a government press release. 

The government has now given banks specific targets for enrolment under the APY.

“Like private banks, we have now been given specific targets for enrolment in the APY. We are organising special camps for it. However, the problem is that people in general do not have an awareness about pension products," according to an executive of a public sector bank.

In general, the PMSBY has received a better response because of its low premium. The scheme provides risk coverage in the case of accidental death, and full or partial disability at Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively. 

The scheme has an annual premium of Rs 12, and open for people of the age 18-70. 

According to the government data, among the about 112 million enrolled, so far the government has settled claims for about 13,090 against 17,689 claims.

As regards the PMJJBY, the premium is slightly high compared to the PMSBY. It is open for people in the age group 18-50. The scheme provides a life cover of Rs 2 lakh, against an annual premium of Rs 330. As of November, against the enrolment of about 35 million, the government settled claims of about 76,096 applicants, against claims by about 82,828 individuals.

The Atal Pension Yojana is a pension scheme that offers a guaranteed rate of 8 per cent assured return for the subscribers and also the opportunity of higher earnings in case the rate of return is higher than 8 per cent at the time of maturity, after staying invested in the scheme for 20-42 years.

Under the APY, the subscribers would receive a fixed minimum pension of Rs 1,000-5,000 per month, depending on their contributions.

“While people have been willing to spend as little as Rs 12 for an accident coverage scheme, not many are willing to purchase a scheme that requires a higher premium," said an executive of a public sector bank.

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