Atal Pension Yojana Eligibility

The Atal Pension Yojana (APY) is a government-backed pension scheme to provide a sustainable pension to unorganized sector workers. The Atal Pension Yojana eligibility includes individuals who are citizens of India aged between 18 to 40 years. They should have a valid bank account and comply with the prescribed contribution amount based on their chosen pension amount.

Read till the end to understand the eligibility criteria of the APY scheme, NPS Swavalamban Scheme, and its eligibility in detail.

Starting from October 1, 2022, if you are currently or have previously been an income taxpayer, you will not meet the eligibility criteria to enroll in the APY scheme.

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Eligibility Criteria For Atal Pension Yojana Scheme

Here's a detailed breakdown of the eligibility criteria for the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) scheme:


You must be between 18 and 40 years old at the time of enrollment. This ensures you have a long contribution period to build a healthy pension corpus.


Only Indian citizens can enroll in the APY scheme. This is because the scheme is a social security initiative by the Government of India.


  • The APY scheme was originally designed for workers in the unorganized sector, which includes individuals who typically don't receive a pension from their employers. This could be people like:
    • Street vendors
    • Rickshaw pullers
    • Construction workers
    • Farmers
    • Homemakers
  • However, there is no restriction based on occupation. Any Indian citizen who does not have a pension plan through their employer can enroll in APY.

Income Tax:

  • An important change introduced in October 2022 is that income taxpayers are no longer eligible to join APY.
  • If you were already enrolled in APY before October 2022 and subsequently became an income taxpayer, your APY account will be closed. You will receive the entire amount accumulated in your account till the date of closure.

Bank Account:

  • You must have a valid savings bank account with a bank or post office in India. This is because the contributions are made through a direct debit system from your bank account.

Additional Points:

  • There is no minimum income requirement for enrolling in APY.
  • There is no educational qualification required for enrollment.
  • While Aadhaar linking is not mandatory for enrollment, it is recommended to have an Aadhaar card to receive updates on your APY account easily.

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Important Points to Know Before Applying For APY Scheme

Overall, APY offers a flexible and secure way for individuals, especially those in the unorganized sector, to build a retirement corpus. Understanding the key points will help you decide if APY is the right fit for your long-term financial planning.

  • Meeting the eligibility criteria: Indian citizen aged between 18 and 40 years.
  • Minimum Contribution: The minimum contribution amount varies depending on the chosen pension plan (₹1000 to ₹5000 monthly). You can choose to increase contributions once a year.
  • Government’s Co-contribution: The government co-contributes up to 50% of your monthly contributions (subject to a maximum) for those joining between 18-40 years. This is a significant benefit to boost your pension corpus.
  • Minimum Contribution Period: You need to contribute for a minimum of 20 years to be eligible for a pension after reaching 60 years of age.
  • Early Exit: Early exit is generally not allowed except in cases of terminal illness or death of the subscriber. In such cases, the spouse or nominee receives the accumulated corpus.
  • Tax Benefits: Contributions to APY qualify for tax deductions under Section 80CCD of the Income Tax Act.
  • Nomination:Allows designating beneficiary to receive accumulated corpus in case of death before 60 years old.
  • Delayed Payments: No penalty but miss out on potential returns, reduce government co-contribution, and disrupt savings discipline.
  • Early Retirement: Consider max contribution, explore other investment options, and consult a financial advisor for a personalized plan.

Check more on Atal Pension Scheme Benefits from the linked page.

You can check out more on the Atal Pension Yojana Scheme from the links provided in the table below:

SBI Atal Pension Yojana Atal Pension Yojana Chart
Atal Pension Yojana Statement APY Balance Check
APY PRAN number search APY Calculator
Atal Pension Yojana Exit Policy NPS Vs APY

NPS Swavalamban Scheme

  • The NPS Swavalamban Scheme, also known as Swavalamban Yojana, was a pension scheme supported by the Government and targeted at the unorganised work sector in India.
  • This scheme has been replaced by the Atal Pension Yojana, and existing subscribers were automatically transferred to APY with the option to opt-out.
  • If there was no automatic transfer, subscribers were allowed to convert their Swavalamban account into APY at the nearest authorized bank.
  • Those who opted out received the Government's contribution only up to 2016/2017, if eligible, and could continue with the Swavalamban scheme until they reached the exit age of 60.
  • Subscribers over the age of 40 who were unwilling to continue could opt out by withdrawing their entire contribution in a lump sum.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Individuals aged between 18 to 40 years can join the Atal Pension Yojana.

Who is not eligible for Atal pension?

The conditions include having a valid bank account and adhering to the prescribed contribution amount based on the chosen pension amount.

You will need a valid Aadhaar card and a savings bank account to apply for the APY scheme.

Once your APY account is opened and the first contribution is received, you will receive a confirmation from the bank.

Yes, you can join the Atal Pension Yojana with a post office savings bank account.

Yes, an Aadhaar is mandatory for opening an APY account.

The Atal Pension Yojana is a government-backed scheme, and your money is safe. Changes to the scheme would be communicated publicly if they were to occur.

Certainly, you are eligible to open an APY account as an NPS subscriber as long as you fulfill the eligibility requirements.

Certainly, you are eligible to open an APY account as long as you hold a post office savings bank account.

To open an APY account online, you need to provide your Aadhaar number.

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